PFL announces Gegard Mousasi released from contract; manager responds

The PFL has announced the release of former Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi following a contractual dispute turned public.

One day after Mousasi (49-9-2) called the promotion “the worst organization” and threatened legal action in an interview with “The MMA Hour,” PFL Head of Fighter Operations Mike Kogan released a statement on social media announcing the roster move.

“Bellator has released Gegard Mousasi from his agreement,” Kogan wrote. “We wish him all the best fighting in his next chapter.”

While Mousasi has yet to comment publicly on the situation, his manager Nima Safapour, of Moments Management, referred to the release as “alleged” and disputed PFL’s “fighter first” mantra.

“We will not comment on the merits of the alleged release at this time for obvious reasons,” Safapour said in a written statement provided to MMA Junkie. “However, we believe there is a greater lesson here that our community should pay close attention to. For an organization that repeatedly claims to be ‘fighter first,’ we now truly see how PFL treats their fighters, especially their legends.”

Mousasi, 38, has not competed since May 2023, when he lost to Fabian Edwards. Following the PFL-Bellator merger in late 2023, Mousasi has aired growing frustration with the promotion.

In an April interview with MMA Junkie, Mousasi claimed PFL was not offering him fights and had asked him to take a pay cut, something former Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima also recently complained of publicly.

Both PFL president Ray Sefo and PFL co-owner Donn Davis disputed Mousasi’s claim. In April, Sefo told reporters, including MMA Junkie, the promotion offered Mousasi, through Safapour, a fight up a weight class at 205 pounds, but it was turned down.

It’s unclear where Mousasi’s next stop is from here. He’s 40 years of age and on a two-fight skid. He fought in the UFC from April 2013 to April 2017 with a 9-3 record with the promotion before he joined Bellator as a free agent. Mousasi went 7-3 under the Bellator banner with two reigns as middleweight champion.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie