Sam Sicilia is the latest UFC veteran to sign with rival organization Bellator MMA.
Sam Sicilia is headed to Bellator.
The featherweight veteran, who completed his UFC contract and became a free agent at UFC Fight Night 105 with a one-sided loss to Gavin Tucker, signed a multi-fight deal with the Viacom-backed organization, MMAjunkie.com reported Wednesday.
Sicilia (15-8), who trains at Sikjitsu in Spokane, WA, ended his 12-fight stint in the Octagon riding a three-fight skid. Sicilia is coming off losses to Tucker, Gabriel Benitez and Doo Ho Choi, and hasn’t won since July 2015. After a stint on The Ultimate Fighter 15, he finished in the UFC 5-7 overall.
Happy to follow in the footsteps of several former UFC fighters, including Ryan Bader, Lorenz Larkin, Benson Henderson, and Phil Davis, Sicilia doesn’t look at signing with Bellator as a step backwards.
“It’s a different company, but you still get a shot at beating the big guys and being in the big fights. A lot of guys are moving there. It just feels like a good fit to be around. It’s still the big fight. That’s the biggest thing for me: it’s still on the big stage.”
The 31-year-old said fans should expect the best Sicilia ever in his Bellator run.
“I’ve just been staying in the gym, and I really feel like now I’m ready to compete at the highest level,” Sicilia said. “I won’t be a guy that just simply exists in Bellator and go back to the win-lose-win-lose. I’m ready now to put it all together and get this winning streak going.”
Sicilia hopes to make his Bellator debut before the end of 2017.