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Bellator releases five fighters, including former champion

Bellator MMA has released five fighters from their roster, some of which have performed pretty well in the organization. Even a former champion made the list.

Justin Ford-USA TODAY Sports

While the UFC has been in the news for the large number of fighters they've released lately (or are rumored to be releasing), it's Bellator's roster trimming that's in the news today. The Viacom-owned organization cut five fighters from their roster, one of which held a title in the organization. Jason Floyd of The MMA Report fills us in via Twitter:

27-year-old Volkov (24-6, 6-3 Bellator) won the vacant Bellator heavyweight title in 2012 after winning a HW tourney. He lost the belt in his first title defense (a year later) to Vitaly Minakov at Bellator 108. He won another tournament in 2014, defeating Blagoi Ivanov in the final, but never got another title shot. He lost two fights in a row to Tony Johnson and Cheick Kongo earlier this year, leading to his release.

Sarnavskiy (31-3, 5-3 Bellator), still just 26 years old, was a tourney finalist in 2013. He came up short to current champ Will Brooks in that one. He had bounced back and forth between Russia and Bellator since then. His last Bellator fight was a submission loss to Marcin Held in April.

Guerrero (20-4, 2-3 Bellator) is another young fighter at 25. He has alternated wins and losses in his last four Bellator fights, most recently dropping a split decision to John Teixeira in April.

Muticelli (7-3, 1 NC, 5-1, 1 NC Bellator) hasn't competed for the promotion since September 2014, taking one fight outside the organization in the meantime. His one notable fight was a 22-second KO loss to current LHW champ Liam McGeary.

Duarte (10-4, 0-2 Bellator) fought once in the early days of Bellator, and was brought back after a brief Strikeforce run. His one fight saw him get stopped by Saad Awad in July 2014.