As soon as an event is over, it's inevitable that a few fighters will have fought for the last time with the promotion. Sometimes exactly which fighter ends up being on the outside is a bit of a surprise (unless you're the omnipotent Tim Burke), sometimes the predictions feel easy. Whatever the means or the method, it would appear that another six fighters have made their exit from the world's largest MMA promotion: Eddie Mendez, Roger Hollett, Anthony Smith, Nah-Shon Burrell, Karlos Vemola, and Leandro Silva.
It's not the most surprising list in the world, all are fairly low profile fighters coming off a loss, but there are a couple of releases that seem a trifle abrupt. Over the course of his Zuffa career, Nah-Shon Burrell is 4-2, and while his wins may be short on name power, his UFC debut was an entertaining victory over Yuri Villefort. He did miss weight, badly, in that fight and struggled to make it in his most recent loss to Stephen Thompson, but at only 23 it seems like early days to cut a fighter loose altogether. No doubt a few strong performances on the regional circuit will see him back in the UFC, but it's a harsh lesson nonetheless.
While I realize that TUF alumni usually only get one chance to prove their mettle in the octagon, it appeared that Leandro Silva was not getting the TUF treatment. Stepping in on short notice to fight Ildemar Alcantara, at a weight class above his preference, is usually the kind of act that will grant a fighter a stay of execution for a less than stellar performance. However, following an especially listless debut at UFC on Fuel 10, it would appear that "Buscape" has been shown the door as well. He's definitely better suited to lightweight, and I wouldn't be surprised to see him pop up again as a short notice replacement for a future Brazilian UFC card.
For the other fighters involved it's hard not to feel sympathetic for anyone suddenly out of a job, but in the world of athletics, where performance is everything, it's also difficult to see what these fighters had to offer the promotion going forward. Perhaps seeing the outside of the UFC will help them revitalize their careers and return better, more well rounded fighters. If nothing else I hope they find a lucrative market for their skills.
No official announcements have been made, but we will be sure to keep you updated if and when confirmation is made available.
*Note: UFC.com appears to have some caching issues, so some of these changes may not be immediately apparent.
UPDATE: Since the writing of this article Nah-Shon Burrell has confirmed his release from the promotion stating that Joe Silva contacted him personally and that his relationship with the UFC was entirely respectful and positive. He also stated that he hopes to make a quick return to the promotion.