Undefeated heavyweight Cole Konrad has vacated the Bellator heavyweight championship and retired from fighting. The former University of Minnesota wrestler has has accepted a job as a commodities trader specializing in milk products, in what was presumably his dream ever since he saw Mike Tyson correctly predict the collapse of the gouda market as a child. Either that, or it is a vote of little confidence in the future of America’s most non-Zuffa MMA promotion.
Konrad went 7-0 in Bellator and was the organization’s first heavyweight champion. He spoke highly of president Bjorn Rebney in a statement that also expressed an oddly noncommittal attitude toward fighting in general:
“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.”
In the wake of this terrifying display of long-range thinking, executives were ambiguous about how the next champion would be determined. The Bellator season seven heavyweight tournament is scheduled to begin October 5, but Rebney’s response to Konrad’s retirement suggests things may not be so simple:
“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 [Bellator matchmaker] Sam [Caplan] and I will determine exactly how and when the new Bellator heavyweight champion will be crowned.”
If Rebney is not certain a new champion will be crowned at the end of this season’s tournament, he may be anticipating a high-profile acquisition from outside Bellator’s current roster. As of press time, the availability of both Tim Sylvia and a big sandwich is unknown.