Gegard Mousasi's manager responds to PFL president Ray Sefo: 'They're not making a meaningful effort'


Gegard Mousasi and his team feel they are not a priority for the PFL.

Since the promotion acquired Bellator, the former champ Mousasi has not been booked for a fight. His last appearance was 11 months ago, which has caused frustration to build.

According to PFL president Ray Sefo, Mousasi has been offered at least one fight, and is unsure when communication broke down between both sides. However, Mousasi turned down the fight, because the fighter and his team did not consider it a “real offer” because it was at a higher weight class on six week’s notice.

Mousasi’s manager, Nima Safapour, told MMA Junkie they have been willing to work out terms for a return to action, but believe the promotion has put Mousasi on the backburner.

“Let me start off by saying I like Ray Sefo, and have always considered him a good friend. Sincerely,” Safapour told MMA Junkie. “With that being said, since when is offering fights outside a fighter’s weight category a real offer? Jon Jones spent one year bulking up to fight at HW. However, Gegard should assume that the only way he can get a fight is by going up a weight class on 6 weeks notice? A real offer is offering a fight to someone in their actual weight division.

“We asked for Ray Cooper and they told us he was not available. And then a few weeks later they booked Ray on the same event we asked to fight him on. So in reality, it feels that it’s not a priority and they’re not making a meaningful effort. And when fighters fall off of a card, the guys that we asked to fight (and were told were unavailable) get the call, but we don’t . And it’s not reasonable to marinate any fighter on the sidelines for a year and a half because they would not agree to an unfair weight handicap on short notice.”

Safapour continued:

“Ironically, Gegard is such a gangster that he told them that he would fight at 205 for the PFL season tournament if that would give us more options. At least that would give Gegard a few months to bulk up. Not ideal, but we are willing to do it to compromise and create opportunities for everyone . But we got no response from them.

“It’s very simple: At the beginning of the year, we asked to sit down and to map out how they are going to use Gegard in 2024. If it was a priority for them, they would have done it. When they wanted to schedule a short notice fight for Patricio ‘Pitbull,’ they did so. So it really comes down to if they want to do it or not. So, from an outsider looking in, it surely doesn’t feel like a priority for them at Gegard’s detriment.”

While the two sides have been going back-and-forth in the media, Safapour says it would make no difference if everything was kept behind closed doors, because the conversations about Mousasi, 38, have been the same.

“If they intend on using Gegard, then why don’t they ever say his name publicly especially when they’re promoting their upcoming events in Riyadh for their pay-per-view?” Safapour said. “I can only base my assumptions off of their actions. And at this point, unfortunately, their actions sound very different than what they’re saying to us behind closed doors and publicly.

“No one who understands the sport can deny that Gegard is one of the best middleweights of all time. He has earned his right to fight, and he has a binding contract with Bellator. I hope they can turn it around and behave reasonably and ethically because Gegard can make a fantastic contribution to the platform, which is all he’s ever wanted to do.”

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