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Bellator releases 13 fighters including former title challenger, former WSOF champ

Bellator trimmed their roster considerably over the weekend, and a couple of the releases were surprising.

MMA: Bellator 181-Salter vs Grove Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

With all the recent signings that have come over from the UFC, it seems that Bellator wanted to trim the fat a bit in regards to their roster to make room for them. The promotion apparently released 13 fighters over the weekend, many of which held prominent roles in the Viacom-owned organization at one time or another.

MMA insider Jason Floyd has the whole list:

The biggest names on that list are probably Grove, Karakhanyan, Gonzalez, and Carmont. But here’s a brief look at how all 13 fared in Bellator:

Kendall Grove (23-18, 1 NC) - Went 4-5 in nine Bellator fights. Challenged for the middleweight title in 2015, but was stopped by Brandon Halsey in the fourth round. Had lost three bouts in a row, last dropping a split decision to A.J. Matthews in January.

Georgi Karakhanyan (28-8-1) - Came into Bellator in early 2015 after dropping the WSOF featherweight title. He went 4-4 in eight bouts, with his last fight being a decision loss to Henry Corrales in January.

Fernando Gonzalez (27-15) - He had been with Bellator since 2014 and had posted a very good record at 7-2, but had trouble making weight. He missed the welterweight mark four times in nine fights, and tested positive for marijuana after another bout. His last bout was a 180-pound catchweight loss to Lorenz Larkin in January.

Francis Carmont (25-12) - 3-2 in five Bellator fights. Last fight was a loss to Linton Vassell in late 2016.

L.C. Davis (23-8) - After winning his first three fights in the promotion, he dropped bouts to Joe Warren and Marcos Galvao. He hadn’t fought since late 2016.

Steve Garcia (7-2) - Just 25 years old; spent most of his career with Bellator. Went 5-2, but dropped two out of his last three including a decision loss to Joe Warren in July.

Steve Kozola (8-2) - Won three out of five Bellator fights, but dropped the last two. Was knocked out in 57 seconds by Jake Smith in January.

Kevin Casey (9-6, 2 NC) - Fought just twice for Bellator. Went to a draw with Keith Berry, then dropped a TKO loss to Chris Honeycutt in August.

Francisco France (13-5-1) - Three fights in the promotion, went 1-2. Was knocked out in the last two.

Mike Rhodes (10-5) - Missed weight for his Bellator debut and the fight was scratched. Ended up fighting Rafael Lovato Jr. in July and was submitted in under two minutes.

Philipe Lins (10-3) - Six Bellator fights, went 3-3. Dropped three out of the last four, all by stoppage (one was via injury).

Ben Reiter (17-2) - Came into Bellator undefeated at 14-0 and won his first two bouts. He was then submitted by Kiko France before rebounding with a win over A.J. Matthews. In his last fight, he dropped a decision to Christ Honeycutt in December 2016.

Alexis Dufresne - Defeated Marloes Coenen in her promotional debut, but lost to Gabrielle Holloway in her second bout. After having weight issues in the UFC, she missed weight for the Coenen fight (on short notice) in a bout that was going to be for a title, and then missed again for a Bellator 189 fight that ended up getting scrapped.