After two years of complete dominance inside the Bellator cage, the King is hanging up his crown as Bellator Heavyweight Champion Cole Konrad has officially retired from MMA. While the announcement was a shock to many, Konrad knew this decision was coming sooner than later.
"This decision has been on my mind for a while, and the time was finally right to make the move," Konrad said. "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."
Konrad will now begin his new career as an agricultural commodities trader, specializing in dairy products. The Konrad family has been involved in agricultural trading for generations, so the fit seemed natural. As Konrad prepares for his new journey, his time in Bellator isn't something he'll soon forget, and at only 28 years old, Konrad knows he has a long future ahead of him.
"I can't say enough good things about my time with Bellator," Konrad said. "I enjoyed every second of my time in the cage, and having a boss like Bjorn 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."
Wrestling since the age of four, Konrad became one of the most decorated wrestlers in Big Ten history. As a 2x NCAA Division I National Wrestling Champion, 4x Collegiate All-American and 3x Big-Ten Conference Champion, Konrad carried his mat dominance to the cage and retires undefeated in his MMA career at a perfect 9-0, including victories over Eric Prindle, Paul Buentello, and Neil Grove.
"There are very few fighters in MMA who can completely control a fight like Cole Konrad could," said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. "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."
For more information, visit Bellator.com, follow Bellator on Twitter @BellatorMMA, follow Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney @BjornRebney and check out Bellator on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Bellator