Former UFC heavyweight champion Frank Mir, 38, has signed with Bellator MMA. The announcement came during an appearance on the Phone Booth Fighting podcast
“Out of all the organizations that came forward, it came down to two that were going to allow me to have my desire of not being locked into one organization,” said Mir, as transcribed by Tristen Critchfield for Sherdog. “I did that with the UFC for almost 16 years. … It was coming down to Bellator and [Absolute Championship Berkut] who were both seeming to be very understanding of that fact, unless I was their champion.
“It came down to the financial aspect, obviously, who pays the most, and Bellator, with Viacom supporting them obviously, I’m getting paid more than I made with the UFC. I’m extremely excited to be part of the Bellator roster with Scott Coker. They have some very legitimate heavyweights over there. First and foremost on my mind is to fight Fedor [Emelianenko]. Hopefully that will work out. But it doesn’t close the door now that I could still go and fight now with ACB, who I have a contract with for commentary work.
Mir requested and was granted a release from his UFC contract. He is currently suspended until April 8, 2018 for failing a test for Oral Turinabol metabolites. He will not be able to compete in North America, but may be able to compete overseas. However, if he does so, his ability to get licensed again after his suspension is over could be jeopardized.