First let me say that in opening this role it was in no way our intention to minimize anyone's achievements or nerf anyone's fun.
That said, I don't know that the term gladiator can truly be applied to a free person.
I would suggest that a different term is used. Even if that term is simply to qualify by saying "free-gladiator".
The thing is that a "free-gladiator" is not a gladiator.
The differences here are that gladiators are always slaves.
Gladiator is the sum total of what a gladiator is. It is not a part time gig.
Again, ruining fun was not the intention here. If there is anything that we can do (within the spirit and world view of the game) to ease this transition, please send a request and let us know.