Last week, 6 fighters were told of their release from the UFC, in what is reportedly the beginning of a massive roster culling, with approximately 50 fighters expected to be cut. Today, more than a dozen more fighters saw their UFC tenures end. UFCFIGHTERSINFO's special script ran through the UFC's fighter database and confirmed the following names are gone from the roster.
Report: UFC plans to release 50 fighters
In addition to the release of TUF 19 winner Eddie Gordon, several more fighters received word of their removal from the UFC roster. A report from a Swedish MMA site suggests dozens more will soon face the same fate.
Heading into today, the following fighters had already announced their release a few days ago:
Matt Van Buren
Brimage is the only fighter whose name isn't in this update, which suggests there are more cuts to come.
Palelei (22-5) is the biggest surprise on the list, as "The Hulk" had managed a 4-2 record in his return to the UFC after an 0-1 stint back in 2007. He suffered a TKO loss to Antonio Silva at UFC 190, and two fights prior he had dropped a decision to Jared Rosholt. Otherwise, he'd scored KO/TKO finishes in all of his wins, including over Pat Barry.
The three fighters who had confirmed their cuts on Monday before the UFCFIGHTERSINFO update were Waldburger, Michaud, and Trevino, who each made statements on social media:
Just letting my fans know that I've been cut from UFC for the time being due to being an inactive fighter. (Injuries and family matters)— TJ Waldburger (@TJWaldburger) October 19, 2015
First goal is to heal up and get back to training. My family is relocating to the Dallas area to be with my brother who is battling cancer.— TJ Waldburger (@TJWaldburger) October 19, 2015
Waldburger (16-9) suffered back-to-back brutal KO losses against Adlan Amagov and Mike Pyle, with the latter coming at UFC 170 in February 2014. The 27-year-old Texas native leaves with a 4-3 record inside the Octagon, but all of his defeats were by KO/TKO. Waldburger passed out while cutting weight for a scheduled February 2015 bout with Wendell Oliveira, then later pulled out of the rescheduled May date for undisclosed reasons.
Bad news everyone. Over the weekend I was informed that I was released from the UFC. There's a short statement here https://t.co/omS0b1783L— David Michaud (@bulldawgUFC) October 19, 2015
Michaud (8-2) went 1-2 in the UFC, most recently losing by rear-naked choke to lightweight prospect Olivier Aubin-Mercier. Trevino (12-2) won his UFC debut against Renee Forte before suffering consecutive losses to Johnny Case and Sage Northcutt. The Northcutt fight featured a quartet of failures on his part: Missing weight by 5 lbs, getting knocked out in under a minute, pushing referee Herb Dean after the fight, then failing his drug test for marijuana.
We'll continue to monitor the ongoing UFC roster changes as the week progresses, and have a comprehensive list of fighters who have been released by the UFC within the past few days.
UPDATE at 8:27 PM ET: Soa Palelei announced his retirement from MMA, which explains his removal from the roster.
Soa "The Hulk" announces retirement... Read: https://t.co/Kh7abZowUO— Soa The Hulk Palelei (@soathehulk) October 20, 2015
I want to take an opportunity to officially announce my retirement from the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Thank you to the UFC, Dana White, Lorenzo Fertitta and Joe Silva for giving me a second chance to fight for the organization. I've had a great time, but feel it's time to focus on my family and other career interests. After several months of thought and discussion with my family and my team, we realize our future includes many things in MMA, but active competition in the sport is no longer one of them. This isn't goodbye, as I will still be very much involved in the sport but just not as a fighter. I want to help further MMA around the world and give my contribution to the sport. I know that I have, and will continue to contribute much to the growth of our sport outside of the Octagon. Stay tuned guys as there is still so much more to come from "The Hulk" #WatchThisSpace #MuchLove