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Matt Mitrione among 3 fighters to part ways with Bellator after latest event

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Matt Mitrione
Matt Mitrione
Esther Lin

Veteran MMA heavyweight Matt Mitrione has been released from contract following his fifth straight setback in the Bellator cage.

A promotion official confirmed to MMA Fighting Mitrione’s exit, which was among three roster moves following Bellator 262 this past Friday at Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.

Two other fighters to part ways with the promotion after Bellator 262 were Ronny Markes and Adil Benjilany.

Mitrione submitted to strikes from Tyrell Fortune at the 1:45 mark of the opening round of their co-main event fight. Mitrione complained of a clash of heads immediately prior to a flurry of strikes that produced the finish.

The finish marked the third consecutive stoppage loss for Mitrione, who dropped fights to Timothy Johnson and Sergei Kharitonov in his previous two outings. A decision loss to former two-division champ Ryan Bader and a no-contest due to a groin strike from Kharitonov started Mitrione’s slide.

After signing with Bellator in 2016, Mitrione rattled off four straight wins, including a highlight-reel knockout of Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator NYC. A former NFL player, he started in his career in the UFC after appearing on The Ultimate Fighter 10 and delivered wins over Kimbo Slice and current interim UFC title challenger Derrick Lewis before a two-fight skid led to his departure.

Markes, likewise, was released by Bellator after being knocked out in 69 seconds by his sometime training partner Said Sowma. It was his second straight Bellator loss and fourth setback in five fights after a stint in the PFL.

Adil Benjilany, meanwhile, earned a decision win over Johnny Soto to improve his Bellator record to 3-2. The fight marked the final bout of his Bellator deal, Benjilany’s manager Ali Abdelaziz told MMA Fighting.