Forbes magazine: Alistair Overeem And Other Ranked UFC Fighters Most Likely To Follow Benson Henderson to Bellator

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Forbes magazine: Alistair Overeem And Other Ranked UFC Fighters Most Likely To Follow Benson Henderson to Bellator

Post by Longtime Fan on Fri Feb 05, 2016 4:54 pm



Bellator MMA is the first of which starting to make a serious push, most recently poaching former UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson from Dana White and co. on Monday. The Henderson deal was historic, as no former UFC champion had switched to Bellator while still in the prime of his or her career.



Alistair Overeem leads a group of big-name UFC fighters that could make the jump to Bellator in 2016 and beyond. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

Two days later, Bellator President Scott Coker inked Sergei Kharitinov, one of the hottest free agents on the market and a man who has defeated current UFC heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum


Coker, the former head of Strikeforce — the last major MMA organization acquired by the UFC — has vowed to stock his roster with more big names as the year progresses, and he should not find too much trouble given Bellator’s mass media backing (owned by Viacom) and sponsorship incentives (no uniform deal).

But which current UFC fighters are most likely to follow in Henderson’s footsteps?

Free Agents


Alistair Overeem (#2 UFC HW): The former Strikeforce and Dream heavyweight champion could be in line for a title shot in the UFC, but rumors are swirling that Coker’s contract offer could be much more lucrative than White’s. Pair that with Overeem’s marketability — in other words, his ability to draw big-money sponsors that the UFC’s Reebok deal does not allow for — and potential to be billed as the face of Bellator, and a deal from his former boss could be too good to turn down. Of course, the UFC holds matching rights over the free-agent Dutch kickboxer, and White could break the bank to reward Reem’s recent climb up the rankings (and to save face).



Aljamain Sterling takes a moment against Takeya Mizugaki before their bantamweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at Prudential Center on April 18, 2015 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Alex Trautwig/Getty Images)

Aljamain Sterling (#5 UFC BW): Aljo is an interesting case. The unbeaten 26-year-old is clearly a future title threat in a shallow bantamweight division, but he doesn’t have the name recognition to guarantee himself a big contract just yet. He is certainly in line for a significant pay bump from his current $14,000/$14,000 split (show/win), but Bellator will need to go much higher than that — perhaps into the six figures per fight — to keep the UFC from matching on the young prospect.

Sarah Kaufman (#10 UFC WBW): The top-10 female bantamweight literally had to beg the UFC for a fight after losing to Alexis Davis in 2015, and when she got it, she was upset by underdog Valentina Shevchenko in what was essentially her third loss in four fights (one was changed to a no contest due to a questionable drug test). Considering Kaufman fought Ronda Rousey for the Strikeforce title just a few years ago, and the fact that she could cut to 125 pounds — Bellator plans to open a flyweight division in 2016 — reuniting with Coker makes a lot of sense.

Matt Mitrione (#11 HW): Though his last lost was more bad luck that anything — Mitrione was on the receiving end of multiple illegal eye pokes — the former NFL defensive tackle is now unlikely to be anything more than a gatekeeper in the UFC at age 38. Bellator appears to be prepping for a big heavyweight push with the potential return of champion Vitaly Minakov, signing of Kharitinov and targeting of Overeem, making an outspoken fighter like Mitrione an enticing add.

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Re: Forbes magazine: Alistair Overeem And Other Ranked UFC Fighters Most Likely To Follow Benson Henderson to Bellator

Post by CDF47 on Fri Feb 05, 2016 6:16 pm

Reem would be a huge pickup if Bellator could get him since he holds a win over Werdum and just beat their top contender JDS and finished him. I think Reem will be real tough for the UFC to let go. Reem is in a great negotiating position.

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Re: Forbes magazine: Alistair Overeem And Other Ranked UFC Fighters Most Likely To Follow Benson Henderson to Bellator

Post by fka on Fri Feb 05, 2016 10:36 pm

If they sign reem they would have 2 guys who beat the UFC HW Champ lol.

Lets hope its overeem who gets announced tonight.

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Re: Forbes magazine: Alistair Overeem And Other Ranked UFC Fighters Most Likely To Follow Benson Henderson to Bellator

Post by InfinityLens on Mon May 02, 2016 7:29 pm

Ok so I know all of these except Kaufman panned out. Anybody have news?

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