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UFC releases five more fighters, including Chico Camus and Kevin Souza

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A not so happy holidays to the UFC fighters who are finding themselves looking for a new promotion to start 2016.

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The world of prize fighting can be a hard, cold place. And nowhere is that more readily apparent than when it comes time for another round of UFC roster trimming. The world's largest fight promotion appears to be taking the ax to their collected talent once again with a reported five more fighters seeing the chopping block alongside the already reported Fabio MaldonadoMMAFighting has learned that Bubba Bush, Mickael Lebout, Kevin Souza, Chico Camus, and Ericka Almeida have all been released from their UFC contracts.

The most notable of this new batch is Chico Camus. A flyweight, competing out of the Rufousport gym, Camus has been a steadily improving action fighter for the UFC. While this hasn't been reflected in his mixed fight results, going 3-4 (1 NC) over 3 years with the promotion, he's most recently put on strong performances in losses to top flyweight contenders Kyoji Horiguchi and Henry Cejudo. In an already thin division like flyweight, it's hard to imagine there isn't space for a top 10 action fighter like Camus, especially as he enters the prime of his career. I wouldn't be surprised to see him back in the UFC if they need someone on short notice.

However, the most surprising name on this list of cuts comes in the form of Brazilian featherweight Edimilson "Kevin" Souza. The 31 year old Souza entered the UFC on a seven fight win streak with the Jungle Fight title around his waist. He rattled off three straight wins to start his UFC career, including knockouts of Mark Eddiva and Katsunori Kikuno. Most recently, he lost a fun back-and-forth fight against Chas Skelly, to drop his overall UFC record to 3-1. Souza told MMAFighting that he wasn't directly informed of his release by the UFC:

"USADA emailed me saying I don't need to inform my whereabouts because I wasn't listed as a UFC fighter anymore," Souza said.

Releases of women's strawweight Ericka Almeida, middleweight Bubba Bush, and lightweight Mickael Lebout are less notable (and not terribly unexpected) although I wouldn't be surprised if any or all of them made their way back to the promotion at some point in the future.

Also worth noting is the release of Vernon Ramos off his TUF LA 2 Finale loss, which is pretty normal for TUF fighters that fail to win their first fight in the UFC off of their Ultimate Fighter season.