Despite calls for a rematch between Gegard Mousasi and Chris Weidman, the two middleweights may never get the chance to settle their score after the regulation debacle that occurred at UFC 210 in Buffalo.
Mousasi finds himself in an interesting position. The fight vs. Weidman was the final bout on his contract with the UFC, effectively making him a free agent in the very near future. While I do not know the full details of Gegard’s deal, I do believe there is a period where the UFC may match whatever offers may come his way.
One such offer could come from Bellator MMA, who have allegedly been told by Viacom, to go after and sign any and all of the best Mixed Martial Artists out there. Considering the man who steers the Bellator ship is Scott Coker, who just so happens to be someone who apparently is a huge fan of Mousasi’s, and here my friends, we have ourselves an interesting scenario.
When it comes to negotiations, especially when some of it is privy to the media and fans, it’s all about saying the right things. It’s also about saying some wrong things, in the right way and of course, using the art of crypticism.
Examining what was said by UFC President Dana White and Mousasi at the UFC post fight press conference, we were made privy to two separate sides of the negotiations. For arguments sake, there was the the black, the white (no pun intended) and some grey.
We’ll start with the black, where Dana replied to the argument that Mousasi wants to be paid on par with those he has already defeated. You know … Mark Hunt, Vitor Belfort, Dan Henderson and now Chris Weidman, who are all regarded as big ticket items and paid handsomely by the UFC.
White basically balked at this suggestion and stated guys like Hunt and Belfort have a whole country behind them, and when asked to headline a show in their homelands, they can sell out the venue almost instantaneously. As for Henderson, he is a living MMA legend, with a massive fan base while also being a pay per view draw. Weidman - well, he’s a former UFC champ and put him in New York State, and he can easily help sellout a venue.
Add all of this together, and Dana basically hinted that Gegard cannot do any of what the aforementioned gentlemen can easily do.
Let’s move on to the white, where Gegard said he should be paid more because he has already proven he can defeat those guys, just beat the former champion (in Weidman) and he himself, is a fighter you can place on any card around the world and his fans will show up. From the U.S. to Japan, Brazil to Europe, Mousasi said let me know where and when and he’ll be there.
He also challenged the UFC to put him on an event in Holland, and he will prove his name alone will sell out the venue.
Which now brings me to the grey: Dana stated he really likes Mousasi and was the one who brought him to the UFC, so he does want him to stay. On the flip side, Mousasi also stated he wants to stay in the UFC, as he wants that elusive title around his waist.
There is still so much that needs to happen between both of these parties but rest assured, discussion are going on and could get spirited. Mousasi has joined that fighter ilk who now sees the power of the media, as well as the power of dropping some f-bombs to get his point across.
Heck - forget The Ultimate Fighter as a reality show. I’d like to see the negotiations between the UFC and their athletes as a reality show. The board room drama alone is worthy of a bowl of popcorn … or two.