The future of the European Bellator series has been thrown into doubt today after MMA Junkie earlier reported that fifteen fighters had parted ways with the promotion, including twelve European based fighters.
With three US fighters in Zach Freeman, AJ Matthews and UFC veteran Bobby Voelker parting ways, the remaining twelve are all European fighters with Will Fleury, Justin Burlinson, Mandy Böhm, Yannick Bahati, Claudio Conti, Ruben Crawford, Constantin Gnusariev, Malin Hermansson, Jade Jorand, Karl Moore, Pietro Penini and Giorgio Pietrini no longer with the promotion.
Although it hasn’t been specified whether or not contracts have expired/been terminated etc. the departure of the European fighters does put a question mark next to Bellator’s intentions to continue in the European market.
Whether it’s a temporary measure due to the coronavirus pandemic, a simple case of contracts running out or Bellator changing tack in Europe remains to be seen but regardless of any outcome, UK/European fighters will continue to make their presence felt on future Bellator events but just maybe not to the same extent that we’ve seen since the European series first debuted with Bellator Newcastle in February 2019