Bellator MMA is cleaning house.
First reported by MMA journalist Jason Floyd, 30 fighters are no longer under contract with the promotion. Among the list is former UFC champion Frank Mir, “The Ultimate Fighter” season 10 winner Roy Nelson and former two-time Bellator featherweight champion Pat Curran.
It is unclear which fighters have been released and who has reached the end of their current contract. Some even retired from the sport all together.
Mir is one of the more notable names, although his stint with Bellator was short. He picked up his first promotional win by beating Roy Nelson via unanimous decision at Bellator 231 in October 2019. The victory came after back-to-back losses to Fedor Emelianenko and Jay Ayala in 2018.
Nelson found little success under the Bellator banner at 1-5. In his promotional debut, he earned a unanimous decision over Ayala at Bellator 183 in September 2017.
“Big Country” dropped his next five-straight bouts. He most recently suffered a unanimous decision loss to Valentin Moldavsky at Bellator 244 this past August.
Curran, a 19-time Bellator veteran, is retiring from the sport. Curran captured the 145-pound title by defeating Joe Warren via third-round TKO at Bellator 60 in March 2012.
He defended the belt twice before losing it to Daniel Straus via unanimous decision at Bellator 106 in November 2013. He reclaimed the title by submitting Straus in the fifth round at Bellator 112 in March 2014.
He then lost the title to the current champion, Patricio “Pitbull” Freire via unanimous decision at Bellator 123 in September 2014.
More Bellator MMA champions
Former Bellator champions Rafael Lovato Jr., Rafael Carvahlo and Warren are also on the list.
Like Curran, Lovato is also retiring. He told the promotion he was calling it a career after being diagnosed with a brain-related health condition this past January.
He captured Bellator gold with a majority decision victory over Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 223 in June 2019.
Also returning is former UFC welterweight title challenger Jon Fitch.
Rafael Carvahlo captured the middleweight title by finishing Brandon Halsey by second-round TKO at Bellator 144 in October 2015. He defended the belt successfully three times before losing to Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 200 in May 2018.
Warren held the featherweight and bantamweight titles on two separate occasions for the promotion. Dubbed “The Baddest Man on the Planet,” Warren made 20 appearances inside the Bellator cage.
Other fighters released by Bellator include: Ricky Bandejas, Derek Campos, Joe Schilling, David Rickels, Mike Kimbel, Shawn Bunch, Chris Lencioni, AJ Agazarm, Rudy Schaffroth, Kristina Williams, Haim Gozali, Vinicius Zani, Manny Vasquez, Adel Altamimi, Adil Benjilany, Daniel Crawford, Jeremiah Labiano, Salim Mukhidinov, Mihali Nica, Richard Kiely, Ion Pascu, Mateusz Piskorz, Tuco Tokkos and Hatice Ozyurt.
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.