Twelve-time UFC competitor Sam Sicilia is the latest free agent to sign a deal with Bellator MMA.
Sherdog.com confirmed the news with a promotion official on Wednesday following an initial report from MMAjunkie.com. Sicilia signed a multi-fight contract and will compete in the featherweight division. A date for Sicilia’s debut was not announced, but he is hoping to appear in the Bellator cage by October or November.
Regardless of when he makes his debut, Sicilia is excited about the opportunity that Bellator offers.
“The biggest thing was talking to them and finding a way to compete more. Even after wins [in the UFC] I’d have to sit seven months,” Sicilia told Sherdog.com “…I’m a worker that really wants to work. I know I’m in a crowded division. You don’t really get that [in the UFC]. They’re [Bellator] looking for a fight right now. They’re holding up their end, and I’ve got to hold up my end by winning fights and getting in there and scrapping. I think if we both hold up our sides we’re going to have a good relationship.”
Sicilia, who trains with the Sikjitsu team in Washington, exited the UFC on a three-fight losing streak. He last appeared at UFC Fight Night 105 on Feb. 19, dropping a unanimous decision to Gavin Tucker. The 31-year-old Spokane, Wash., initially appeared on Season 15 of “The Ultimate Fighter” and compiled a 5-7 mark in the UFC that included wins over Yaotzin Meza, Akira Corassani, and Godofredo Castro.
Sicilia plans on making an impact in Bellator’s 145-pound division, and that starts with consistency. In the UFC, he only won consecutive fights once.
“I’m done with this win-loss, win-loss thing. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way and unfortunately I learned on the big stage. Now it’s about putting it all together and stringing these wins together. I found consistency in myself, and I believe if I consistently compete I can do that,” he said.
“Not only just to show up as a middle of the pack guy, but I’d really like to compete at the highest level. The way I have been in practice and the way I’ve mentally came back and endured this sport, I believe I’m a top guy. With Bellator picking me up I get to prove that. I’m excited to put it on the line for them.”