Ricco Rodriguez not signed on for the Bellator Light Heavyweight tournamentPosted on February 19, 2011, 05:15 PM by Joey Santosus
Contrary to recent reports, former UFC Heavyweight champ Ricco Rodriguez has not inked a deal with Bellator Fighting Championships.
The news broke after the veteran indicated during an interview with MMAWeekly.com that he had signed a contract with the promotion and was looking forward to participating in their Light Heavyweight tournament.
"To be honest with you, I signed the Bellator contract and 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. 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," Rodriguez said.
However, Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney has since denied the claims, explaining that while he is impressed with the recent "rebirth" of Rodriguez's career, no deal has been finalized at this time.
Speaking to Sherdog.com, Rodriguez's manager, Ken Pavia, had this to say on the matter:
“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.”
In the meantime, Rodriguez, who is currently enjoying a ten fight win streak dating back to July of 2009, will focus on his upcoming bout with fellow UFC vet James McSweeney. The Heavyweight clash will be featured as part of the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts' BAMMA 5 event, which is set for February 26th from the the MEN Arena in Manchester, England.