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

Bellator MMA Inks UFC Vet Melvin Guillard to Multi-Fight Contract

  • 21 days ago
  • 2 views

Bellator MMA officials announced on Monday that they have signed Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard (32-14-2) to a multi-year, multi-fight contract. read news >>

K-1 GP heavyweight champion, Ewerton Teixeira, signs with Bellator

  • 19 days ago
  • 0 views

Brazilian K-1 Japan champion, Ewerton Teixeira has a signed a contract with Bellator. Teixeira is 33 years old and undefeated in MMA. There is a new fighter in Bellator's heavyweight division. A form read news >>

Blackzilian's top heavyweight prospect just signed with Bellator. What is the UFC missing?

  • 27 days ago
  • 30 views

Top Blackzilian heavyweight prospect Lorenzo Hood has signed a four-fight deal with Bellator instead of the UFC and is shooting for a mid-summer debut. Lorenzo "The Samoan Silverback" Hood, a 6'3, 26 read news >>

Bellator tourney winner 'Frodo' Khasbulaev signs with WSOF, promotion seeks opponent

  • 25 days ago
  • 1 views

Bellator MMA Season 8 featherweight tournament winner Magomedrasul Khasbulaev has signed a multi-fight deal with WSOF, and the promotion is now seeking an opponent to face him at June’s WSOF 21 event read news >>

Veteran slugger Melvin Guillard signs with Bellator

  • 21 days ago
  • 2 views

Veteran lightweight slugger Melvin Guillard, who’s recently competed for the UFC and WSOF, has signed with Bellator MMA.Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, WSOF read news >>

Melvin Guillard signs multi-year, multi-fight contract with Bellator

  • 21 days ago
  • 0 views

Melvin Guillard has found a new home. Four days after being granted a release from World Series of Fighting, "The Young Assassin" has inked a multi-year, multi-fight contract with Bellator, the promo read news >>

Lightweight Melvin Guillard signs with Bellator

  • 20 days ago
  • 1 views

Melvin Guillard's rocky World Series of Fighting tenure is now in the past as the lightweight has signed with Bellator. The next chapter in Melvin Guillard's up-and-down career will take place inside read news >>

Patricky Freire calls out Melvin Guillard, but says Bellator isn’t interested for now

  • 14 days ago
  • 1 views

As soon as former UFC star Melvin Guillard signed with Bellator, long-time Bellator veteran Patricky Freire went on Twitter to call him out. It looks like the promotion isn’t interested in the match- read news >>

Daniel Weichel replaces injured Georgi Karakhanyan, meets champion ‘Pitbull’ Freire at Bellator 138

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

Patricio Freire has a new opponent for Bellator 138. Georgi Karakhanyan, slated to meet the featherweight champion on June 19, has suffered a torn ACL and is out of the Bellator 138 co-main event. So read news >>