And Now He’s Retired: Bellator HW Champ Cole Konrad(?!)

Cole Konrad

(Believe it or not, Columbia Pictures saw this coming some 8 months ago, and chose Kevin James to star in a movie about Konrad’s life.) 

Maybe it’s just me, Potato Nation, but recent events have led me to believe that I have stepped into some sort of alternate reality where up is green, foot is west, and Joe Silva apparently never existed. So maybe I should just take the confounding news that current Bellator heavyweight champion and undefeated powerhouse Cole Konrad is retiring from MMA to obtain a position as a financial trader specializing in milk products as sign that my suspicions are correct. Seriously, I feel like I’m taking crazy pills.

MMAJunkie has the scoop:

The report said Konrad, 28, is leaving fighting to become a financial trader at a Minnesota-based firm that supplies ingredients to the feed, pet food, food processing and chemical industries. Konrad will specialize in trading milk products. 

Plans to find a new champion are unclear at the moment. The news first was reported and subsequently confirmed to ( by a source close to the promotion. 

Of all the reasons for retirement we have heard MMA fighters give…this is a new one.

Granted, it’s not exactly like Cole has been fighting enough lately to reel in a ton of money — he’s fought just twice since the start of 2011 — but considering how far he has managed to come in the sport despite being a professional for less than two years, you can’t help but feel that he is blowing a huge opportunity here.

Apparently there is a lot of money to be made in milk these days, especially in the line of work Konrad has chosen, but I just get creeped out by the kind of crowd it draws. Best of luck to Konrad, though.

Konrad now joins Jorgen Kruth as the second flabbergasting retirement in as many weeks to happen in the world of MMA, and will end his career (for now, at least) with a perfect record of 9-0.

Although Bellator officials have declined to comment on Konrad’s decision, you have to imagine that the finals of this season’s heavyweight tournament — which is set to kick off on October 5th at Bellator LXXV and features a rematch between Eric Prindle and Thiago Santos that will totally happen this time, for reals — will now determine the new champion of the division.

Then again, we’ll probably hear word that three of the four quarterfinalists have been forced to withdraw from the event due to injury any minute now…

-J. Jones