Bellator was hit with a bombshell recently, as the only heavyweight champion the promotion has ever had, Cole Konrad, decided to retire from MMA. Konrad won the belt in the inaugural tournament and finished his career with a perfect 9-0 record, including seven Bellator wins.
“This decision was been on my mind for a while, and the time was finally right to make the move,” Konrad said. “I wrestled my whole life and it was one of the only things I ever knew. When my college career was over, MMA seemed like the natural progression, but it was never really my passion. I thoroughly enjoyed my time inside the Bellator cage, but having the consistency and stability of going to the office every day is something that just made sense to me.”
Konrad will work as an agricultural commodities trader, specializing in dairy products, in Minnesota. He was a former two-time NCAA wrestling champion at the University of Minnesota and a member of Team DeathClutch, training with ex-UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar on a regular basis.
“There are very few fighters in MMA who can completely control a fight like Cole Konrad could,” said Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney. “I wish Cole, his wife and family the very, very best as he moves into this new stage of his life. Cole was a great Bellator champion.”
Rebney added that they will work quickly within the promotion to determine how a new champion will be crowned.