As the new Bellator management led by former Strikeforce President Scott Coker slowly implements their vision for the organization, incremental changes are taking place. The most recent is the release of thirteen fighters, including a former champion and several tournament champions. The news was confirmed to MMA Fighting by Bellator officials.
While most of the names involve fighters who had limited, largely unsuccessful runs in Bellator, the list crosses into fighters considered to be Bellator staples.
The official list of released fighters is as follows:
Attila Vegh, light heavyweight, won a 2012 tournament and was the Bellator light heavyweight champion before losing his title to Emanuel Newton in March of this year.
Des Green, featherweight, fought five times under the Bellator banner in two tournaments and was a finalist in the season 10 featherweight tournament.
Shahbulat Shamhalaev, featherweight, fought five times under the Bellator banner and won the season 7 tournament. He lost in the title opportunity he gained via first-round submission to Pat Curran in April of 2013.
Bryan Baker, competed in Bellator since 2009 and in four tournaments.
Mighty Mo Siglia, heavyweight
Mark Godbeer, heavyweight
Justin Torrey, middleweight
Egidijus Valavicius, light heavyweight
Sergio Junior, welterweight
Rodney Wallace, light heavyweight
Ron Sparks, heavyweight
Patrick Cenoble, lightweight
Austen Heidlage, light heavyweight
No reason was specificed for their release.