Bellator tried to sign Jungle Fight bantamweight champion Jonas Bilharinho, but the undefeated prospect wasn’t interested in the offer.
Sources close to the situation told MMAFighting.com that "Speed", who became the 135-pound champion in March with a split decision victory over previously unbeaten Mario Israel (9-1), decided to decline the offer and wait for an opportunity in the UFC.
"That’s right," Bilharinho confirmed to MMAFighting.com. "I declined (the offer) for two reasons. I have a fight coming up at Jungle Fight and I know how important that is for the promotion. I respect Wallid Ismail and I would never do something like that to him. Secondly, everybody knows that I always wanted to go to the UFC, so I’m really waiting for an offer from them."
"It was a good offer (from Bellator)," he continued. "If the UFC doesn’t call me before 2015, who knows?"
Bilharinho (5-0-1) fought to a draw in his MMA debut in 2011, but defeated his next four opponents via knockout or submission. The Team Nogueira prospect went the distance for the first time in his professional career against Israel. He’s expected to put his Jungle Fight title on the line in August.
"I wasn’t at my best shape in my last fight, and I hurt my foot in the first round so I couldn’t use my best weapon," he said. "I will be better next time and I won’t let this happen again."