Report: Walt Harris and Mike Rio removed from UFC's active rosters

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

It appears that the ax is starting to fall on UFC fighters after several months of signings.

While it's only been a day since the UFC website accidentally removed and then re-added Alan Belcher and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira from their lists of active fighters, these recent removals are much more in line with classic roster trimming measures. Four fighters appear to have been removed from UFC .com. Of those, two can be anticipated, with Ivan Menjivar recently announcing his release from the UFC and Albert Cheng loosing his TUF finale fight agianst Anying Wang. TUF fighters, outside of the finalists themselves, almost never get a second chance after losing their fight in the season finale. UFCFIGHTERSiNFO listed the changes on Twitter, as they run a ruby script on the UFC's rosters to track updates. The changes themselves will most likely appear on UFC.com within a day.

If these roster adjustments are in fact indicative of cuts (as they often are) Walt Harris, or "The Big Ticket" is a somewhat surprising release, considering that heavyweight prospects are somewhat thin on the ground. He's performed poorly in his two UFC opportunities to this point, dropping a unanimous decision to Jared Rosholt and more recently a knockout loss to Nikita Krylov at UFC on Fox 10. At 30, he's still reasonably young for the heavyweight division and if he can string a few more wins together I wouldn't be surprised to see him make his way back to the UFC.

The second release, Mike Rio, was less surprising. A TUF 15 competitor Rio was something of a surprise when he took an armbar victory over John Cofer at the Ultimate Fighter 16 finale. He's been on a three fight losing streak since then though with two submissions and a TKO and hasn't been competitive in any of those fights. Most recently he was soundly drubbed by Daron Cruickshank at UFC on Fox 10. As a 32 year old lightweight on a 3 fight losing streak, he may have a long road if he hopes to make it back to the UFC.

None of these roster moves are official (excepting Menjivar), so stay tuned as we'll be sure to keep you updated as more information becomes available.

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