Former UFC heavyweight champion Ricco Rodriguez has not signed a contract to fight for Bellator Fighting Championships’ upcoming season.

“Suave” made the announcement during an appearance on MMA Weekly radio on Friday:

“To be honest with you, I signed the Bellator contract and [we are] just waiting to get permission from MTV. Everyone wants me to do something, but they’re just concerned with my past, if I’m going to be hard to work with,” Rodriguez said. “It’s a great opportunity for Bellator. I would love to fight in that competition. It’s going to be great exposure. I just think Bellator’s going to blow up on the scene.”

Sherdog.com has learned from a source close to the promotion that Rodriguez has not signed with Bellator, therefore rendering rumors of Rodriguez's possible participation in the upcoming fourth-season light heavyweight tournament unlikely. According to the source, eight competitors plus an alternate are greenlit to compete in the tournament, and Rodriguez is not among them.

Following that lead, Sherdog.com then contacted another source close to the situation, who asserted that Rodriguez had simply jumped the gun on his announcement and that a verbal agreement was made between the parties pending approval from MTV. Bellator’s season four events will air live on MTV2.

Sherdog.com's source close to the promotion stated that only casual talks have taken place recently between Rodriguez and Bellator.

Rodriguez’s manager, Ken Pavia, issued this statement when contacted for comment:

“Ricco is in continuing negotiations with Bellator while hoping they will be able to make the deal. We believe there is mutual interest. It is Ricco's sincere desire to not only compete in Bellator, but hopefully end his career in Bellator.”

Formerly the UFC's top heavyweight, Rodriguez was once a dominant force in the division, racking up wins over such notables as Randy Couture, Pete Williams and Andrei Arlovski before losing the UFC title in his first defense to Tim Sylvia in 2003. A black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, the 33-year-old has submitted nearly half of his career victims. Rodriguez has struggled with his weight in recent years and also made an appearance on reality show “Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.”

Rodriguez was last seen in the ring at Israel FC: Genesis, where he attempted to cut to light heavyweight for a bout against Spaniard Daniel Tabera. The natural heavyweight could reportedly only make it down to 215 pounds, however, and the bout was contested at that catchweight. Rodriguez has won his last 10 contests, finishing eight fights by knockout or submission.

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

WSOF Signs UFC and Bellator Veteran Paul Bradley

  • 9 days ago
  • 6 views

World Series of Fighting announced on Thursday that it has signed UFC and Bellator veteran Paul Bradley. read news >>

Bellator 158: London Weigh-in Results and Video

  • 8 days ago
  • 105 views

The official weigh-ins for “Bellator 158: London” took place on Friday in front of a packed house at the Café de Paris in Leicester Square. read news >>

Douglas Lima Looking to Finish Paul Daley in Bellator 158 Main Event

  • 8 days ago
  • 22 views

Douglas Lima stepped in for an injured Josh Koscheck to face Paul Daley in the Bellator 158 main event and plans on finishing the Englishman in London. read news >>

Oli Thompson Ready for ‘Huge Opportunity’ Against Matt Mitrione at Bellator 158

  • 8 days ago
  • 14 views

Heavyweight Oli Thompson knows he faces a big challenge at Bellator 158 in London on July 15 when he faces UFC veteran Matt Mitrione at the O2 Arena. read news >>

Bellator 158 Results: Winners, Scorecards from Daley vs. Lima Card

  • 6 days ago
  • 1265 views

On Saturday at the O2 Arena in London, Douglas Lima took down Paul Daley via unanimous decision in the main event at Bellator 158, but Michael "Venom" Page stole the show with a knockout over Evangel read news >>

Bellator 158 Results: Douglas Lima Gets Unanimous Decision Over Paul Daley

  • 6 days ago
  • 337 views

Douglas Lima went through a successful three-round headliner, picking up a decision over Paul Daley in the main event at Bellator 158 in London this weekend. read news >>

Patricio ‘Pitbull’ Freire Faces Benson Henderson in Top-Contender Bout at Bellator 160

  • 6 days ago
  • 7 views

Patricio Pitbull is actively seeking revenge for his brother Patricky after Bellator’s new 155-pound kingpin Michael Chandler brutally finished the elder Freire. read news >>

Evangelista Cyborg Suffers Fractured Skull from Michael Page’s Flying Knee

  • 6 days ago
  • 1224 views

Evangelista "Cyborg" Santos not only lost his Bellator 158 bout to Michael Page on Saturday, he also suffered a fractured skull that will require surgery. read news >>

Michael Page: What Should the Future Hold for Bellator's British Sensation?

  • 5 days ago
  • 68 views

MMA fans didn't need another reminder, but Michael "Venom" Page gave them one anyway. On Saturday, the 29-year-old Page advanced his pro record to 11-0 with a sensational flying-knee knockout of Evan read news >>

Joe Taimanglo Plans to Secure His Place as 135-Pound Contender at Bellator 159

  • 4 days ago
  • 6 views

Joe Taimanglo looks for his fourth straight win when he takes on undefeated prospect Darrion Caldwell in a 135-pound main event at Bellator 159 on July 22. read news >>