One of Bellator’s most entertaining fighters is apparently ending his career at just 30 years old.
MMAjunkie reported that Brennan Ward has informed Bellator that he will retire after withdrawing from his Bellator 207 matchup against Andre Fialho. Ward has not fought since August 2017, having previously pulled out of a showdown with David Rickels last October.
Ward (14-6) spent all but five fights of his career under the Bellator MMA banner. The Connecticut native went the distance only once out of twenty professional fights, and won the season nine middleweight tournament, earning him a title shot against then-champion Alexander Shlemenko. Ward wound up losing that fight by submission.
After his unsuccessful title shot, Ward was brutally KO’d by Tamdan McCrory, then rattled off four straight wins, including a rear-naked choke finish of current UFC welterweight Curtis Millender, as well as another RNC vs. Ken Hasegawa in Rizin FF. His streak was snapped by Evangelista Santos in a stunning 30-second heel hook. Ward then knocked out Saad Awad in November 2016, only to be KO’d himself by a Paul Daley flying knee two months later. His final fight was a guillotine choke defeat vs. Fernando Gonzalez.
Ward has not made any public comment about his decision to retire. If this is the end for him, he’ll leave with a final Bellator mark is 9-6, and the third-most finishes in the promotion’s history, behind Patricio Freire (10) and Michael Chandler (11).