According to a report on ProMMAInsider.com Wednesday, the UFC has released multiple fighters from their contracts, significantly paring their roster. Releases are typical following each event, but this was a particularly large number let go.
Following the tweet last night from Jacob Volkmann saying that he had been released by the UFC comes news that the largest promotion in MMA has actually trimmed the roster by 16 fighters.
Besides Volkmann, Jon Fitch, Wagner Prado, Mike Russow, Vladimir Matyushenko, Che Mills, Jay Hieron, Terry Etim, Paul Sass, Jorge Santiago, Mike Stumpf, Simeon Thoreson, C.J. Keith, Motonobu Tezuka, Josh Grispi and Ulysses Gomez were also given their walking papers.
Each fighter released had lost at least their last fight, many more than one. Many of the releases came as no surprise. However, a couple definitely are head-scratchers.
The biggest surprise has to be Jon Fitch who is 24-5 as a pro, and an impressive 14-3 inside the UFC. Despite the record, however, Jon Fitch has long been the poster child for boring fighting. Dana White has frequently voiced his displeasure with the "lay and pray" style Fitch employs. Despite his effectiveness, his fights often fail to entertain the fans.
This release is not the first for Fitch at the hands of the UFC. In 2008, he was released for less than 24 hours following his unwillingness to sign a lifetime agreement on his likeness. The dispute was quickly resolved and Fitch was welcomed back. He leaves this time having won the second most wins by decision in UFC history.
Many of the released fighters could end up back in the UFC if they are able to run off a couple more victories outside of the promotion. However, for a few like Vladamir Matyushenko, the release likely signifies the end of their time as a fighter in an elite MMA organization.