Suddenly, Bellator is without a heavyweight champ.
Cole Konrad, a two-time NCAA wrestling champ who transitioned to MMA and dominated the competition in the tournament-based promotion, is for now retiring from the sport.
Plans to find a new champion are unclear at the moment. The news first was reported by Twincities.com and subsequently confirmed to MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com
) by a source close to the promotion.
The Twincities.com report said Konrad, 28, is leaving fighting to become a financial trader at a Minnesota-based firm that supplies ingredients to the feed, pet food, food processing and chemical industries. Konrad will specialize in trading milk products.
Bellator officials declined comment on Konrad's retirement.
Konrad (9-0 MMA, 7-0 BFC), who won his NCAA titles while at the University of Minnesota, made his MMA debut in 2010 and earned two wins before signing with Bellator. He went on to fight in the promotion's inaugural heavyweight tournament and swept the field to become the Bellator heavyweight champion.
He defended his title in March with a 60-second submission win over Eric Prindle.