Bellator is adding a promising talent to its bantamweight ranks.
MMA Fighting confirmed with people with knowledge of the news that former UFC fighter Brett Johns has joined Bellator, following an initial report by ESPN. The signing is not official yet, but Johns and the promotion have agreed to terms.
In seven appearances for the UFC, Johns (17-2) showed hints of being a future title contender. He won his first three UFC fights to improve his pro start to 15-0 before dropping consecutive decisions to top-ranked bantamweights Aljamain Sterling and Pedro Munhoz. The 28-year-old Welshman closed out his previous contract with wins over Montel Jackson and Tony Gravely.
Johns’ contract with Bellator is reportedly a multi-year deal.
On Instagram, Johns thanked the UFC and Dana White for giving him an opportunity and explained why he chose to part ways with the organization. He did not formally announce a Bellator signing.
“I have decided to take a different road in my career, as fighters our health is put on the line every time we sign on the dotted line and I’m okay with that,” Johns wrote. “But I’m here to get paid what I believe Is fair.
“My last bout was the final on my second contract with the UFC. I accepted a bout for November 7 in Las Vegas against a tough (15-1) opponent. If you’ve followed my career you’ll know I’ll fight any man on the planet. But we couldn’t agree on a figure that was right for both parties on the new contract. Seven fights, five wins and two losses to the top guys in the division, once ranked 13th, second calf slicer in the UFC’s history and currently on a two-fight win streak to up-and-coming prospects is valued differently between us.
“And that’s just business nothing personal it’s never personal in my eyes, I wish the UFC all the best in the future.”