Bellator Lands Konrad, Targets May Debut

By Brian Knapp Mar 1, 2010
Bellator Fighting Championships on Saturday announced it had agreed to a contract with top heavyweight prospect Cole Konrad. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, though the tournament-based promotion has targeted a May debut for its latest signee.

A two-time national wrestling champion at the University of Minnesota, the 6-foot-5, 265-pound Konrad was a gold medalist at the 2005 Pan American Championships and won bronze at the 2006 World University Championships. The 25-year-old Appleton, Wis., native now trains alongside reigning UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar at the Minnesota Martial Arts Academy and has quickly emerged as one of the sport’s most coveted commodities.

“I’m excited to sign with Bellator,” Konrad said in a release. “It’s a great opportunity to fight for a great company, and I’m just really excited for what the future holds.”

Unbeaten in two professional MMA stops, Konrad finished Shine Fights veteran Joel Wyatt by technical knockout in 2:23 at a Matrix Fights on Saturday in Philadelphia. That followed his seamless debut in January, when Konrad needed all of 67 seconds to submit Gary Hamen.

Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney was in attendance, as his latest attraction laid waste to another opponent.

Cole Konrad brings some great characteristics to the table that could make him a force at heavyweight,” Rebney said. “Brock Lesnar’s dominance in the UFC has shown the impact that an elite, world-class wrestler can have in the heavyweight division.”

Rebney believes Konrad could soon develop into one of MMA’s premier big men. He finished his collegiate career with a sterling 115-13 record.

“As a two-time NCAA heavyweight champion who is aggressively rounding out his MMA arsenal, Cole’s potential is unlimited,” Rebney said. “We are happy to be teaming up with him, and, as a company, we are excited with what the future may hold.”
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