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Maldonado perplexed at UFC cut: 'I helped them many times'

Fabio Maldonado disagrees with his UFC release, discussing what he did wrong and potential future endeavors.

Fabio Maldonado
Fabio Maldonado
Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Still sad about his release from the UFC, Brazilian brawler Fabio Maldonado just can't put together why the company would let him go. As he told Globo Esporte, he first heard the news about a couple of weeks ago and still hoped it wouldn't come true.

"I heard of it about 15 days ago, but I thought it wasn't going to happen. I was thinking some heavyweight was going to get hurt and I would step in. I kind of saw it coming, but I wasn't expecting it. I'm sad, but I'm 35 and I have other activities."

Maldonado understands that as a business, the UFC needs to cut fighters every now and then. But as a company man, he was surprised to find himself on the cut list.

"I wanted to work. I learned from Lyoto Machida that there are no favors in the business world, only signed papers. I don't agree with what they did because I helped them out many times. But the UFC is a company and they need to cut costs."

Already looking ahead in his career, Maldonado revealed he was approached from several international MMA promotions and even boxing ones. And even though being fired hurt him, he says the losses hurt even more.

"I lacked aggressiveness. I should have followed my diet better and on some occasions I overtrained, too. I have proposals from three international promotions and to go back to boxing, too. I will fight my way back to the top and I will be better than I am today. I wasn't sad for being fired, but because I lost my last fight."

A couple of decision losses to Corey Anderson and Quinton Jackson did it for Maldonado in 2015, whose last win was a TKO of Hans Stringer in October of 2014.