Gegard Mousasi’s previous UFC deal expired following his last Octagon appearance in April, and the middleweight contender remains in limbo with the Las Vegas-based promotion.
“The Dreamcatcher” summarized the situation during an interview on UFC Tonight on Wednesday evening. Despite being on a UFC-produced show, Mousasi pulled no punches.
“It’s not good,” Mousasi said of the current negotiations with the UFC. “We don’t like it.”
The 31-year-old former Strikeforce champion has won seven of his last eight UFC appearances and owns notable triumphs over the likes of Chris Weidman, Uriah Hall, Vitor Belfort and Dan Henderson. Still, he looks around the organization and sees those with far less on their resumes cashing in with significant paydays.
“I think I earned it. If you’re one of the best fighters you should get paid Sometimes it’s about nationality. Sage Northcutt I just heard is making ($75,000/$75,000) and the guy is a beginner,” Mousasi said. “Don’t tell me it’s a fair sport. It has to be something with rankings, if you’re one of the best you should get paid as one of the best. I’m up there…I’ve earned what I should get.”
Overall, there might be a general disconnect between the UFC and its athletes when it comes to financial matters. According to Mousasi, this was apparent during the UFC Athlete Retreat in Las Vegas last weekend.
“Kobe Bryant comes and talks about investing hundreds of millions of dollars,” he said. “And you’ve got fighters sitting there who’re making ($10,000 to show) plus ($10,000 to win). It didn’t make any sense.”
Mousasi, who has compiled a 42-6-2 record since beginning his career in 2003, still wants to re-sign with the UFC despite the current stalemate.
“We want to sign with the UFC. The UFC wants to sign also, so I don’t know. They should pay,” he said.
“I’m co-main event all the time, so it’s not like people don’t know me.”
Mousasi contract status, or lack thereof, is just one element of a middleweight division in turmoil. Reigning champion Michael Bisping was to defend his title against returning ex-welterweight king Georges St. Pierre, an announcement which caused dissent among the rest of the contenders in the weight class. However, St. Pierre said he would not be ready to fight until November, and Bisping has been slow to heal from knee surgery, so that matchup might not ever come to fruition. In the meantime, an interim 185-pound championship bout between Yoel Romero and Robert Whittaker has been booked for UFC 213 on July 8.
Once again, Mousasi feels like he’s been overlooked.
“I heard Whittaker is above me. I don’t know. I thought I was higher above,” Mousasi said. “He’s skipping three and every time I win I go one above.”
Assuming Mousasi is able to come to terms with the UFC, it appears that his next fight is already lined up.
“At this moment there is only one guy left. It’s Luke Rockhold,” Mousasi said. “And that’s the fight the UFC wants to make. I’m open for it. It’s a good fight for me.”
However, the clock is ticking if the promotion doesn’t make an offer that suits Mousasi’s demands. And it’s worth noting that the Netherlands native has previously worked with Bellator MMA President Scott Coker during the Strikeforce era.
“I have one and a half months left and then I can go and talk to other [promotions],” Mousasi said.