Like many fighters under contract to Strikeforce in the last year, Virgil Zwicker sat waiting for months just hoping his phone would ring.
Zwicker wasn't a high-profile fighter in the promotion, nor was he a champion at any point, but he was still sitting with fights on his contract with no idea of when he might compete next.
His last fight was in May 2012, and while he enjoyed working with Strikeforce, the inconsistencies of his schedule led to long periods of inactivity, and his training and preparation suffered because of all of the time off.
Why train five times a week with no bout on the horizon and no idea when the next call might come?
After only fighting two times in the past two years, Zwicker is finally happy to have a new contract in hand after signing a multi-fight deal with Bellator Fighting Championships that will allow him to stay very busy for the rest of 2013.
"I'm excited. The last couple of years it's been inconsistent with Strikeforce and that whole deal with like two fights a year. So I'm pumped up," Zwicker told Bleacher Report on Tuesday. "They're going to give me an opportunity to fight four or five times this year."
Zwicker's last few fights have been painfully inconsistent, which he attributes largely due to his inactivity. He also finally made the move down to light heavyweight, where he will be competing against fighters his own size.
The plan is for Zwicker to debut in Bellator in the fall and hopefully land a spot in the next light heavyweight tournament that will air on Spike TV.
"There's a lot of guys I'd love to get in the ring with," Zwicker said about Bellator's light heavyweight roster. "I've trained with a couple of them; I know they just recently signed my partner and friend Vladimir (Matyushenko). There's a couple of those Russian guys, I would love to get my hands on them. I fit right in the mix with all of them. The tournament style motivates me to keep on, and you never know what's going to happen."
While he has no regrets about his time with Strikeforce, Zwicker is reinvigorated now that he's signed with Bellator and starting a new life with a new promotion.
Bellator is still growing and finding their way in the MMA market, and Zwicker is excited to join a company that showcases hungry competitors still trying to claw their way to the top.
"Everybody's hungry," Zwicker stated when asked why he likes Bellator. "It's like comparing college to the NFL, everybody's hungry and everybody still wants to grow. I want to get in that tournament and make it happen."
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.