There's been a minor war of words as of late between UFC president Dana White and Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. The disagreement centers around Dana's recent comments that Bellator was doing one of the scummiest, dirtiest things you can do by preventing Tyson Nam from signing with other promotions despite reportedly having cut him. Nam knocked out Bellator champion Eduardo Dantas in Brazil, leading to interest in Nam from multiple promotions but Bellator has been exercising their ability to match potential deals to block him from signing elsewhere.
They're doing this despite never giving Nam a fight in the promotion previous to his release.
Dana responded to that on his Twitter account saying the following when asked about the situation and their attempt to match Mo's deal:
not true, we cut king mo and his manager came back to us and asked If WE wanted to match and we said no. Reb is wrong
the right is in the contract but when u cut a guy u dont fuck with him when he is trying to make a living. Bad shit
it's dirty as u can get in the fight biz to do that to a guy
If true, Dana is certainly in the right on not being a hypocrite. He did go on later to say that he has no problems with Rebney and that he's been mostly "a quiet guy doing his thing."
I still think that fighters hold a lot of responsibility for signing a contract like this. There is an obvious power imbalance between the promoters and fighters when it comes to negotiations and you will have to sign a deal that has matching clauses and other undesirable parts when you make the jump to a Strikeforce or UFC level promotion.
But there's no reason to sign such a deal to fight for Bellator. They don't provide a level of exposure that is worth having your career tied up. The UFC finds the vast majority of their new signings on the local scene. You're much better off trying to get wins on the indy scene than get into a bad Bellator deal.
What good did the deal do Nam? He got no Bellator fights out of the deal and only garnered major interest because of a win he got in Brazil.
Stay away from those deals with anyone other than the biggest possible options, fighters.