Bellator MMA appears to be in the process of trimming its roster considerably.
Roy Nelson, Frank Mir and Joe Warren are among 31 fighters that are not currently under contract with the California-based promotion. It is currently unclear which of those fighters have been released by Bellator and which simply haven’t had their contracts renewed. Three athletes — Rafael Lovato Jr., Jon Fitch and Pat Curran — informed the organization that they have retired.
MMA journalist Jason Floyd was first to report the news, and it has since been confirmed by multiple outlets.
Nelson signed with Bellator in 2017 and after defeating Javy Ayala in his promotional debut, lost his next five bouts with the promotion. The 44-year-old known as “Big Country” last appeared at Bellator 244 on Aug. 21, where he dropped a unanimous verdict to Valentin Moldavsky.
Mir, a former UFC heavyweight champion, went 1-2 in Bellator competition and is coming off a triumph over Nelson in his last outing in October 2019. The 41-year-old Las Vegas resident began his tenure with KO/TKO defeats to Fedor Emelianenko and Javy Ayala. Mir recently revealed that he planned to test the free agent market after fulfilling the final fight on his Bellator deal, but now it appears that he is free to go where he pleases immediately.
A former featherweight and bantamweight title holder, Warren hasn’t competed under the Bellator banner since a TKO loss to Shawn Bunch in November 2018. The 43-year-old had won just three of eight promotional appearances dating back to 2015.
Other notable names no longer under contract include former middleweight champ Rafael Carvalho, prospect Ricky Bandejas, promotional stalwart David Rickels and kickboxing standout Joe Schilling.
Bellator Fighters No Longer Under Contract:
Rafael Lovato Jr.