Former middleweight champion Brandon Halsey and former light heavyweight champ Emanuel Newton have left the Bellator building, so to speak.
The news of Newton and Halsey’s release from the promotion was confirmed by Jason Floyd of The MMA Report, making them the third former champ to jump ship this year alone.
“It’s what I wanted and think it will be better for me in the long run,” Halsey told FightLine.
Both Halsey and Newton follow fellow former Bellator champ Will Brooks, who left the promotion with the belt still around his waist.
Halsey went a perfect 9-0 before stumbling in his last two outings. The former 185 pound champ won the title in an incredible 35-second submission over highly-touted Russian sambo specialist Alexander Shlemenko back in 2014.
However, Hasley was stripped of the belt after failing to make weight against Kendall Grove in his first title defense. Although he won that fight, Hasley dropped his next two fights, losing by body kick TKO to Rafael Carvalho in 2015 and most recently by submission to John Salter in June.
Meanwhile, Emanuel Newton took the 205 pound strap from Attila Vegh in 2014 and managed to defend the belt twice before relinquishing it to current champ Liam McGeary.
Newton fought twice outside of Bellator before being officially released, going 1-1 in those two bouts.
No word yet on where the two former Bellator kingpins will sign.
Would you like to see Newton and Halsey sign with the UFC? How do you think they would fare in their divisions? Sound off in the comments section, PENN Nation!