Bellator cuts lightweight champ Will Brooks, strips heavyweight champ Vitaly Minakov

Bellator MMA now has two vacant titles.

On Saturday, the promotion announced lightweight champion Will Brooks has been effective immediately and heavyweight champion Vitaly Minakov was set to have his title stripped.

Bellator President Scott Coker confirmed the news, first reported by

“It was very simple,” Coker said in a statement to “Will Brooks’ contract is ending, and we made a decision not to renew it. We’re going to give him a full release, so we’re not going to be in the Will Brooks business any longer.”

Brooks and Bellator have been at odds for months, so the release is not much of a surprise. Brooks can now look to resume his professional career elsewhere.

As for Minakov, Coker says he was stripped for lack of activity.

“We’re going to retain Minakov’s rights with the company, but we are going to strip him of the title for lack of participation, basically,” Coker said. “We hope we can work it out, but we’re going to be moving on from Minakov.”

Further details on Bellator’s future plans for the titles is expected to be announced during tonight’s Bellator 154 broadcast on Spike TV.

Who would you like to see fight for the title next? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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