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Bellator heavyweight champion Cole Konrad retires from MMA

Bellator has lost another champion, though unlike Hector Lombard this one didn’t leave for another MMA promotion. Cole Konrad, the Bellator heavyweight title-holder and also the only fighter to ever hold the belt  has decided to leave the sport to become a financial trader at a Minnesota-based firm called North Central Trading.

The former University of Minnesota two-time NCAA wrestling champion won all seven of his Bellator fights, including a submission victory over Eric Prindle earlier this year. He was 9-0 in his professional career.

Konrad was a frequent training partner alongside former UFC heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar at Team DeathClutch in Minnesota.

The website first reported the retirement for Konrad. North Central Trading supplies ingredients to feed, pet food, food processing and chemical industries. He will specialize in trading milk products.

Bellator has yet to make an official announcement concerning the now-vacant title.


  • MCM says:

    Shame to lose such and entertaining fighter and dynamic figure in the MMA world. I’m sure he’ll be sorely mis *yawn* sed by all the fans. Good luck trading milk.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3

  • Lord Faust says:

    My only regret is that we never saw him truly tested.

    This definitely reflects badly on Bellator. They now have a boring champion (Askren), a light heavyweight champion who lost a non-title fight, another champ who got KO’ed in another promotion a couple weeks ago, a couple vacant belts, and Michael Chandler. I don’t care how you cut it, that stings.

    And now the heavyweight champion, who has fought all of twice in almost 2 years, would rather sell milk-based investments. Seriously, words fail me here.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  • Richard Stabone says:


    He didn’t face stiff competition, but he mopped the floor with the mid-tier guys put in front of him. And with elite wrestling credentials, improving BJJ, and being 5 years younger than a guy like Cormier, I was hoping to see how far he could have gone.

    Given the level of fighters/depth in the HW division, I think he could have handled most of the guys on the way to the top-10, and from there it would have been interesting to see how he fared against the legit big boys. He could have been the Fitch of the HW division.

    Bellator probably didn’t help matters, but if he was torn between fighting and a regular gig in the business world, it’s probably best he got out now rather than stick around with a half-assed approach.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2

  • Spoken says:

    I wonder if this would have happened if Bellator had kept him, or any of their champions for that matter, busier and better paid. I don’t know how much bellator pays, but it can’t be much for guys who are lucky to fight for their promotion more than once or twice a year. That would also explain why Lombard left and why their fighters risk stepping to other promotions or into not-title fights that could wreck their credibility as champions. I love the tourney format but they either gotta hold more far more frequent tournaments or simply have tournament champions that just get #1 seed in the next one rather than sit and wait through a tourney for a challenger.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Angry Mike says:

    Conrad’s wrestling style worked for him, but it was pretty boring to watch. If that’s as far as he intended to progress, leaving was probably a valid decision. Not enough entertainment value to interest UFC, imo.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0


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