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Bellator trims roster, parts ways with 13 fighters

Georgi Karakhanyan (Bellator)
George Karakhanyan is no longer under contract with Bellator.

Thirteen fighters are no longer under contract with Bellator.

The list includes names like Fernando Gonzalez, Kendall Grove, Francis Carmont, Georgi Karakhanyan and Kevin Casey, a Bellator official confirmed to MMA Fighting following a report by Jason Floyd.

The combined record of the 13 athletes in Bellator was 39-31-1. In some cases, contracts expired and the fighters are now free agents.

Check the full list below, and how each fighter did under the Bellator banner.

Alexis Dufresne (6-3, 1-1 in Bellator) joined the promotion after a 0-2 run in the UFC, and scored a first-round submission victory over longtime veteran Marloes Coenen in her debut after missing weight badly for a title fight. Dufresne came back 10 months later and lost to Gabrielle Holloway via second-round TKO. She was scheduled to fight twice after that in 2017, but pulled out of a bout in July due to injury and missed weight again for a bout in December.

Ben Reiter (17-2-1, 3-2 in Bellator) competed for the last time in Bellator in Dec. 2016, losing a decision to Chris Honeycutt. Two of his victories were over AJ Matthews and Benji Radach.

Fernando Gonzalez (27-15, 7-2 in Bellator) recently headlined Bellator 193 against Lorenz Larkin, losing via unanimous decision. The 34-year-old fighter has defeated the likes of Brennan Ward, Curtis Millender and Karo Parysian under the promotion’s banner. His other Bellator loss was a split decision to Michael Page in 2016. Gonzalez also lost a decision to Paul Daley under kickboxing rules at Bellator Dynamite 1 in 2015.

Francis Carmont (25-12, 3-2 in Bellator) hasn’t fought since Nov. 2016, when he lost a decision to Linton Vassell. The UFC veteran suffered his other Bellator defeat by the hands of Phil Davis in the final of one-night light heavyweight tournament in 2015, when he entered as an alternate.

Francisco France (13-5-1, 1-2 in Bellator) successfully debuted in Bellator with a submission finish over Ben Reiter, but lost back-to-back fights to Kendall Grove and Anatoly Tokov, both via second-round stoppage.

Georgi Karakhanyan (27-8-1, 6-6 in Bellator), a former WSOF champion, ended his second run in Bellator with a loss to Henry Corrales in January. The featherweight veteran holds two quick knockout wins over Bubba Jenkins, scoring five of his six Bellator wins by way of stoppage.

Kendall Grove (23-18 with 1 no-contest, 4-5 in Bellator) once challenged Brandon Halsey for the middleweight championship in 2015, losing via fourth-round stoppage, and leaves the promotion on a three-fight losing skid against Alexander Shlemenko, John Salter and AJ Matthews.

Kevin Casey (9-6-2 with 2 no-contests, 0-1-1 in Bellator), another UFC veteran, hasn’t won once under the Bellator banner, losing to Chris Honeycutt after a majority draw with Keith Berry. Casey has only won one of his last eight bouts.

L.C. Davis (23-8, 3-2 in Bellator) had a good start in Bellator, winning three in a row between 2014 and 2015, before losing to former champions Joe Warren and Marcos Galvao in his most recent bouts.

Mike Rhodes (10-5, 0-1 in Bellator) only had one chance in the Bellator cage, losing to jiu-jitsu ace Rafael Lovato Jr. in under two minutes last July. Rhodes, who went 0-3 in the UFC back in 2014, including a decision defeat to current middleweight champion Robert Whittaker, is slated to fight in March at Beatdown 21.

Philipe Lins (10-3, 3-3 in Bellator) was stopped by Kleber Silva and Vadim Nemkov in his last Bellator fights after going 3-1 in the promotion with three stoppage wins.

Steve Garcia (7-2, 5-2 in Bellator) built most of his career inside the promotion’s cage since 2013, losing to ex-champion Joe Warren in his most recent bout in July.

Steve Kozola (8-2, 3-2 in Bellator) knocked out his first three opponents in Bellator, but lost back-to-back against Carrington Banks and Jake Smith.

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