Concerning contract updates for two elite UFC contenders
It's hard to blame these UFC fighters who are looking to get paid.
Top middleweight contender Gegard Mousasi, in particular, has every right to feel aggrieved. Here's what Dana White had to say about the veteran after he defeated former champion Chris Weidman in UFC 210's co-main event.
“Dan Henderson has been in the game forever. Mark Hunt has an entire country behind him. When we do fights in Australia, he sells out arenas. Gegard Mousasi isn’t selling out arenas."
“That’s why you see guys like Bisping, different fighters from Brazil, Conor McGregor. When you have guys who have countries behind them, it’s a game-changer for them. Not everybody has that luxury.”
Strange comments considering White has called upon Mousasi to take part in either the headliner or co-headliner in 11 of his 12 UFC appearances. The one time he didn't was for UFC 200, a card that was more stacked than a can of Pringles. The fact that he was fighting at the event is a testament to his ability. Not to mention the fact that he's beaten Mark Hunt and Dan Henderson.
He's now a free agent after having yet to come to an agreement with the promotion over a new contract. Another top five middleweight is set to join him at the weekend.
— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) April 9, 2017
Jacare Souza's fight against Robert Whittaker at UFC on Fox 24 will mark the last of the Brazilian legend's current deal. The former Strikeforce champion has won 10 of his last 11 bouts, and his only loss under the UFC banner came via highly-contentious split decision to Yoel Romero at UFC 194.
Despite many seeing Jacare as the rightful heir to the 185 lb throne currently held by Michael Bisping, his manager Gilberto Faria revealed to MMA Fighting that he too has yet to agree on a new deal with the UFC.
"We've been going back and forth (with UFC officials) for a while. We still have not reached an agreement on his value, but we will continue to talk after the fight. Our goal is to reach a new agreement shortly. The UFC middleweight belt is Jacare's goal. With a good contract in place, we will keep fighting the best middleweight talents out there and earn the title shot."
Here's hoping both contracts get ironed out quickly. Most fans will agree that the division can't really afford to lose two genuine contenders of their ilk.