Notable heavyweight Matt Mitrione has been released from Bellator as part of a roster cut for the second half of 2021.
The news was first reported by sources at MMA Fighting on Monday evening. In addition to Mitrione, Ronny Markes and Adil Benjilany were also released per the report. All three fighters competed on the Bellator 262 card headlined by Juliana Velasquez taking on Denise Kielholtz for the flyweight title. In his latest loss, Mitrione faced the rising blue-chip prospect Tyrell Fortune and tapped to strikes in the end.
Mitrione, 43, started in Bellator red-hot in 2016. In fact, “Meatball” managed to rattle off four victories in a row. Then, the heavyweight encountered a fellow UFC alum in Ryan Bader and lost the bout via unanimous decision. Despite being competitive, the match was mostly controlled by the wrestling abilities of the former double champion Bader.
One of the highest points for Mitrione came in the Bellator Heavyweight Grand Prix when the American was slated to fight the legend Fedor Emelianenko. The two started a striking battle quickly, and in one of the rarest sequences, both fighters knocked each other down, however, it was Mitrione to wake up first and put the finishing touches on “The Last Emperor”.
Father Time caught up to Mitrione, and the fighter endured a string of losses from 2018 to the present. The heavyweight always fought top-tier talent regardless of the promotion he competed in. Though with a string of five losses, the company’s decision wasn’t too surprising. Now it will be interesting to see where Mitrione takes his career next. Fortunately, he has done some broadcasting duties for Bellator before, so perhaps that could be in his future down the line.
What do you make of Bellator’s most recent cuts to their roster, do you agree with all of them?