Former Bellator title challenger and New England MMA veteran Brennan Ward reportedly retired Monday. In a report by MMAJunkie, Bellator officials stated the fighter had informed the organization of his intent to retire. Ward was set to compete at the upcoming Bellator 207 until withdrawing due to an undisclosed injury.
Brennan Ward to Retire
The withdrawal was his second consecutive due to injury. Nearly one year earlier, Ward withdrew from Bellator 185. The New England fighter last competed 382 days ago at Bellator 182.
Coupled with the long layoff was a rough stretch for Ward. A loss to Evangelista Santos at Bellator 153, ended a four-fight win streak. A streak that saw Ward defeat the likes of Curtis Millender and Ken Hasegawa. Following the loss to ‘Cyborg’, he defeated Saad Awad by 1st round KO. Unfortunately, his successes did not translate as the final two bouts of his career ended by a pair of stoppage losses.
Brennan Ward made his professional debut with the USFL in 2008. At UFSL 2, Ward defeated Mike Manna by TKO in the opening round of the contest. It took four years for the fighter to find himself back in the cage.
His return came at CES 9. There he defeated Josh Mellen by TKO. Ward went on to compete twice more for the CES promotion. The Connecticut native went 3-0 during his time with the organization.
From there, Ward made his debut with Bellator. He appeared on the undercard of Bellator 81. It did not take long for Ward to make an impression. He defeated Sam McCoy by TKO with just under three minutes left in the opening round.
Ward accumulated a 5-1 record with Bellator before challenging for the middleweight title. Consecutive stoppage victories over Justin Torrey, Joe Pacheco, and Mikkel Parlo made Ward the Bellator Season 9 Middleweight Tournament Winner.
Middleweight Title Challenge
At Bellator 114 he took on the division champion, Alexander Shlemenko. Ward won the opening round after capturing the back of the champion twice.
The second round opened with Shlemenko finding his range and landing a variety of strikes. A little less than one minute in the champ landed a partially blocked head-kick which made work for a takedown immediately. Off of the attempt, Shlemenko sunk in a deep standing guillotine. Ward eventually tapped to the submission sealing the third consecutive defense of Bellator’s middleweight title.
The Connecticut fighter went on to fight 15 times under the Bellator banner. He held a record of 9-6.
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