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

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

    Cole Konrad explains why he left 'dead-end' career in MMA behind
    By Tim Burke on Mar 26 2013, 7:30p

    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.

    Cole Konrad explains why he left 'dead-end' career in MMA behind - Bloody Elbow
    I appreciated his candid-ness and it kinda gives you some insight into what being a BFC champion is all about if that's the money he was making due to the infrequency of him fighting.

    I still think he could've and still can if he so cared to, had a helluva career if he'd went to a camp that'd really improve his overall game(so, not DeathClutch lol), because he was a motherfucking beastly wrestler and while a tad dull and not aesthetically pleasing in the same way JDS or Brock are with mountains of muscles, I think he could've developed ALOT as far as striking and subs go, dropped some body fat and become a force to be reckoned with in the UFC HW division.

    I enjoyed this read, thought I'd share.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fedorlei Gomipierre View Post
    I appreciated his candid-ness and it kinda gives you some insight into what being a BFC champion is all about if that's the money he was making due to the infrequency of him fighting.

    I still think he could've and still can if he so cared to, had a helluva career if he'd went to a camp that'd really improve his overall game(so, not DeathClutch lol), because he was a motherfucking beastly wrestler and while a tad dull and not aesthetically pleasing in the same way JDS or Brock are with mountains of muscles, I think he could've developed ALOT as far as striking and subs go, dropped some body fat and become a force to be reckoned with in the UFC HW division.

    I enjoyed this read, thought I'd share.
    Have to agree here. Konrad is a beastly of a wrestler. He needs to train with big guys who can give him something of challenge. A camp like AKA with guys like Cain, Cormier and Duffee would be good for him, but should he sign with UFC, it would create the whole teammate fiasco.

    I hope one day he makes his way back to MMA, and I hope the UFC takes notice (hopefully Brock even puts in a good word for him). He would be another welcome addition the HW division.

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    AKA was the first camp that came to mind, however you'd have to think that with Cain, Cormier and Duffee all there, there might not be too much room at the top, that's alot of HWs to fight in one division, but damn he could really gain some great seasoning.

    I was actually thinking a guy like Trevor Wittman in Colorado, Roofus or even Bang Ludwig and the Alpha Male guys, who could optimize Cole's overall game if he ever wanted back in.

    As you said, I think Brock would put in the word of him, I mean christ, Tuchcherer got a few fights in the UFC, however this is all fantasy talk given that he's still contractually obligated to BFC(which I think was one of the reasons he retired if you read between the lines on the money issues)

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    This is the cost of "money fights" being made. Super talented guys leaving/avoiding mma because they can't/don't want to trash talk their way to a title shot/huge pay check. A guy should never leave a SPORT because he isn't good at running his mouth.
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    He was the Bellator HW champ getting paid like a gatekeeper and hardly ever getting a fight. If he were not bound by contract and price matching he could have gone to the UFC for more money and at the very least he would know that the ufc could get him 3 fights a year. Sonnen style marketing had yet to enter the equation. Come on now shit on Bellator its only fair.

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    Got to respect a man that picks a more suitable and stable way to provide money for his family. Much respect to Mr. Conrad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mmawolverine View Post
    He was the Bellator HW champ getting paid like a gatekeeper and hardly ever getting a fight. If he were not bound by contract and price matching he could have gone to the UFC for more money and at the very least he would know that the ufc could get him 3 fights a year. Sonnen style marketing had yet to enter the equation. Come on now shit on Bellator its only fair.
    That's not the way I read it. To me it sounded like he was looking at the future, and he knew that he didn't have the trash talking skills to make it "big". I will never shit on an organization that has a tournament to decide who fights for the title.
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Donosaur View Post
    That's not the way I read it. To me it sounded like he was looking at the future, and he knew that he didn't have the trash talking skills to make it "big". I will never shit on an organization that has a tournament to decide who fights for the title.
    He does mention the main point being that he wanted to provide for his family the best he can. Had Bellator been getting him consistent fights 3 times a year at 30k plus sponsorship money etc.. he'd probably been able to consider MMA as a more viable option for providing for his family well.

    Having a tournament for deciding who gets a title fight is great and all, but they do deserve criticism for not keeping contracted fighters busy.

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    Bellator would of let him fight in other org if he wanted to. He saw the writing on the wall and knew he was never going to be a top HW with monsters like Brock,JDS,Cain and AO around.
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    He definitely has a good head on his shoulders and also seems to have his heart in the right place. I just dont see any evidence that his attitude had or would hold him back. I think Bellator held him back. Had he stuck with it a little longer maybe he'd get what he wanted with the Viacom/SpukeTV deal. Meanwhile, the UFC heavyweights dont do a lot of talking. Other than Mir and meathead everyone mostly minds their business. The top of the UFC hw division is governed by talent not charisma.
    Last edited by mmawolverine; 03-28-2013 at 07:48 AM.

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