Cole Konrad explains why he left 'dead-end' career in MMA behind

Bellator

Cole Konrad walked away from MMA, despite an undefeated record and a Bellator title around his waist. He explains why in his first post-retirement interview.

It's not very often that you see someone walk away from MMA when they're holding a championship belt and an undefeated record. But that's exactly what Cole Konrad did. The Bellator heavyweight champion gave up the sport to take a job as a commodities broker, and he explained why he made the decision to MMA Fighting:

"I always knew it in the back of my mind," he told MMA Fighting in his first interview since retiring. "I did it because I was having fun. I think when it changed was when I got married. Perspective changed. We wanted to start a family and my job is to provide for them the best I can. I just reevaluated things and fighting wasn't my best opportunity to take care of them to the best of my ability."

He had only fought once a year over the last two years due to Bellator's lack of heavyweights at the time, and made about $30,000 according to the article. He also understood that while some guys have a look or a personality that draws money, he wasn't anything like former training partner Brock Lesnar:

"There's great money there for top guys, but I don't look like Brock and I don't have that same personality," he said. "I'm not outspoken. My interviews are usually clean cut. My personality isn’t the type that would necessarily warrant that big paycheck. In my mind, I think that's just as important as being a good fighter, and I've seen it time and time again. I knew in the back of my mind, that's not me. I don't look that way, I don't act that way. I have two of the three [factors for success] holding me back. No excuses. In fighting, I eventually could have worked my way up there and done well but it wasn't going to be an overnight thing, that's for sure."

He says he has no regrets about his wrestling or MMA career though, and he's fine with walking away. Personally, I applaud him for not being naive enough to think that talent is all that matters in MMA anymore. It's the sad reality of a sport that's increasingly becoming more about entertainment than athletics. And if he feels he can make more money and have a better life by doing something else, kudos to him for jumping at the opportunity.

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