Bellator Confirms Retirement of Heavyweight Champion Cole Konrad
Posted by Jeffrey Harris on 09.13.2012
Konrad is retiring from MMA...
Earlier this week, news broke that Cole Konrad, the undefeated MMA fighter and heavyweight champion of Bellator Fighting Championships, was retiring from the sport and moving into the dairy industry.
Bellator confirmed today in an official press release that Cole Konrad is leaving the sport and entering his family's agriculture commodities trader business and will specialize in dairy products.
Konrad stated, "This decision has been on my mind for a while, and the time was finally right to make the move." Konrad was a former NCAA Division I national collegiate wrestling champion. He wrestled for the University of Minnesota and became national champion in 2006 and 2007. Conrad was undefeated in MMA with a 9-0 record overall and was 7-0 in Bellator having won their inaugural heavyweight tournament and championship.
Konrad made the decision having realized MMA was not his passion after finishing college as a successful amateur wrestler: "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."
Regarding his tenure in Bellator, Konrad stated: "I can't say enough good things about my time with Bellator. I enjoyed every second of my time in the cage, and having a boss like Bjorn (Rebney) was a pleasure. Bellator does things the right way, and if I ever find myself back in the cage, there is no doubt in my mind it will be with Bellator."
Rebney praised Konrad and said the opening up of the heavyweight belt means he and matchmaker Sam Caplan will come up with a plan to fill the title. The promotion's Season 7 heavyweight tournament begins on Oct. 5 at Bellator 75 in Hammond, Ind.
Bellator will now be holding a new heavyweight tournament this season to crown a new champion. The opening round of the tournament will begin at Bellator 75 in Hammond, Indiana on October 5. According to Bellator CEO, Bjorn Rebney: "There are very few fighters in MMA who can completely control a fight like Cole Konrad could. Cole's a very smart and gifted individual who will continue achieving excellence in everything he does. 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, and now Sam and I will determine exactly how and when the new Bellator heavyweight champion will be crowned."