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Midnight Mania! Gegard Mousasi: ‘Greedy’ UFC stealing from fighters with uniform deal

UFC 210: Weidman v Mousasi Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Welcome to Midnight Mania!

Though his time inside the Octagon was fairly short, Gegard Mousasi is one of the most accomplished fighters of all time. The former Strikeforce, Dream, and Cage Warriors champ currently holds the Bellator Middleweight title, and he’s in pursuit of his 50th win as a professional. He’s only lost a single time in the last six years, winning 11 bouts in that span.

Mousasi left UFC for Bellator in 2017, during the midst of his current successful run and riding a major win streak over men like Chris Weidman and Thiago Santos. He was a top-ranked contender and closing in on his first title shot, but “The Dreamcatcher” decided on a different path.

The promotion and Mousasi were at odds over several issues, but perhaps the largest was the uniform issue. At the time, Mousasi was blasting Reebok, and though the official clothing partner is now Venum, he remains unimpressed. In his opinion, the uniform rules are another way for the promotion to sap income from its athletes.

“You took those away, you put Reebok. All the money went to UFC. Paying a fighter that can make $200K a fight, then it goes to $10K (because of) Reebok. That’s stealing from the fighter,” he told Robin Black (via BloodyElbow). “They could’ve said, ‘OK, f—k that.’ And then they killed the whole sponsorships, everything.”

Mousasi believes that the Reebok deal helped the UFC sell for $4 billion in 2016, another figure that the athletes never say any part of. All in all, Mousasi believes that the promotion’s general behavior was greedy.

“They could’ve sent every fighter $10K checks as an employee (as a) thank you for where we are now (after the sale). $10K is nothing,” he said. “They took the sponsorship, they put Reebok. I was making $6K with Reebok. (What) they were giving the fighters, it wasn’t always the best. They could’ve done a better job. You don’t have to be that greedy.”

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