Bellator MMA has parted ways with a total of 18 fighters, including former featherweight champion Daniel Straus, light heavyweight king Liam McGeary and once highly-touted prospect Tywan Claxton.
Other notables no longer on the roster include Alessio Sakara, Heather Hardy, Bec Rawlings, Tyree Fortune and John Teixeira. Sherdog.com confirmed the news with a promotion official following an initial report from MMAjunkie.com. Not all fighters mentioned were released by Bellator; some simply didn’t have their contracts renewed or are potentially pursuing other opportunities.
The following athletes are also not on the California-based promotion’s roster: Khonry Gracie, Amanda Bell, Chuck Campbell, Demarques Jackson, Dominic Mazzotta, Olga Rubin, Kirill Sidelnikov, Mike Jasper, Steve MacDonald and Ryan Spillane.
Straus is a two-time 145-pound title holder with Bellator. He initially claimed the belt with a five-round verdict over Pat Curran at Bellator 106 in November 2013 and regain the crown with a decision triumph against Patricio Freire at Bellator 145 in November 2015. He lost three of his last four bouts in the promotion, last competing in a decision loss to Derek Campos as part of the featherweight grand prix in September 2019. Earlier this year, Straus was arrested and charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.
McGeary, 38, captured light heavyweight gold with a decision win over Emanuel Newton at Bellator 134 and defended the title with a submission of Tito Ortiz at Bellator 142. He relinquished the crown to Phil Davis in a lopsided decision loss at Bellator 163, part of a stretch in which the Brit lost four of his last six promotional outings. He hasn’t fought since a loss to Davis in a rematch at Bellator 220 in April 2019.
Claxton has spent his entire nine-bout professional tenure under the Bellator banner. After beginning his career with five consecutive triumphs, the 28-year-old known as “Air” has lost three of his last four outings. Most recently, Claxton dropped a split verdict to Justin Gonzales at Bellator 260 on June 11.
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