Bellator has parted ways with heavyweights Tony Johnson and Bobby Brents as the promotion has released both fights from their contracts.

The release of both fighters was confirmed to The MMA Report on Monday evening.

Johnson (10-3) is coming off a majority decision lost against Cheick Kongo at Bellator 161 in September and the defeat snapped a three fight winning streak. Brents (17-6, 1NC) was signed by Bellator earlier this year after winning the Shamrock FC heavyweight title and lost his promotional debut in October against Chase Gormley.

8 Responses


    This is straight garbage by Bellator to cut Tony Johnson for going 3-1 in the Bellator cage with one of those wins being over Derrick Lewis of UFC fame of late. I guess all Tony Johnson had to do was go undefeated in Bellator (sarcasm). And Bellator operated in very bad faith with Shamrock FC and it’s champion fighters by stipulating that IF SHAMROCK FC CHAMPIONS DEFEND THEIR TITLE AT LEAST ONCE THEY WOULD WIN/EARN/BE REWARDED A FOUR FIGHT CONTRACT WITH BELLATOR. This is why MMA FIGHTERS NEED A UNION TO BE PROTECTED FROM SHADY PRACTICES LIKE WHAT BELLATOR HAS PULLED WITH THE RELEASING OF TONY JOHNSON AND BOBBY BRENTS. Tony Johnson brother recently committed suicide and he went into that fight versus Cheick Kongo with a very heavy heart and we all know he was emotionally distracted and not fully into that fight and he still put up a good showing. And his reward is to be cut after losing exactly ONCE in the Bellator cage. And Bobby Brents, at 34 years of age, finally got a contract with a major MMA organization and he finally got to the point where he could breath easier and count on making some decent money with a four fight contract only to see Bellator operate in bad taste by reneging on that Four Fight Contract. This is low to this to a person’s livelihood.

    • Jason Floyd

      For me, I am not surprised by Bellator releasing Tony Johnson. He has a fighting style that is not going to draw an audience to the Bellator product on Spike.


    Jason Floyd, I get that Tony Johnson’s fighting style is a grinding fighting style and not exciting television, but this is MMA and MMA has many different styles. And Bellator needs to be fully aware of that. Football has pro style, spread offense, option offense, and others, and MMA is no different with the different fighting styles. Tony Johnson simply put was one of the best that Bellator had to offer and Bellator took his livelihood away after one loss and after what he went through with his brother recently committing suicide. So much for putting FIGHTERS FIRST. MMA fighters need protection from business practices like this.

    • Jason Floyd

      The release of Tony Johnson will be one of the main topics on this week’s The MMA Report Podcast, which I am recording later today and I will be mentioning your comments.

      • RODNEY P

        Thank you because look at the shady business practices Bellator pulled with Bobby Brents and Shamrock FC. The deal is for any Shamrock FC Champion who defends their title at least once, that Shamrock FC Champion earns a Four Fight Contract with Bellator. Bellator gave Bobby Brents exactly one fight. Talk about over promise and under deliver, Bellator really misrepresented themselves and operated in totally bad faith. Bobby Brents is, I think, 34 years old, and he finally made it to a major MMA promotion where he could finally make some decent money for himself and his family. And for Bellator to operate in this manner is deplorable. Fighters need protection from these type of business dealings. I like Bellator, but it doesn’t mean I am going to let myself be blind to what is shady business practices by Bellator when dealing with Tony Johnson and Bobby Brents.

  3. Hardcore MMA Fan

    What really doesn’t make sense is that they still have Rudy Bears, Cyborg Santos, and Joey Beltran under contract.

  4. Hardcore MMA Fan

    I wanted to see Bobby Lashley’s next fight be against Bobby Brents. But obviously that won’t happen now. Btw have you heard anything on Lashley’s next fight? Will he headline Bellator 171?


    Bobby Brents and Tony Johnson both wanted to fight Matt Mitrione. Bobby Brents wanted to fight him because both are from the same Midwest area and he thought it would be a big fight for fans in that area to see to local guys battling it out in the Bellator cage. And Tony Johnson called Matt Mitrione out right after he signed with Bellator and Matt Mitrione responded by calling Tony Johnson basically a lay and pray MMA fighter. But we as fans won’t get to see any Tony Johnson and Bobby Brents matching up with any fighters in the Bellator cage. But hey, we get to see boring Satoshi Ishii, who really has no fighting style and we get to see King Mo masquerading as a heavyweight and do his usual takedowns and really nothing else because he has yet to get a submission in his MMA career as well. Although King Mo mouth can sell a fight, his fights are often not very exciting.