The latest sweep of UFC roster cuts hasn't come down to their online active fighter lists, but Sherdog has the inside scoop. Reports are in that the UFC has cut seven fighters, Sherdog reported six of those, including Efrain Escudero, Clint Hester, Willie Gates, Dominic Waters, Yan Cabral, and Filip Pejic. They also reported the already public release of Robert Whiteford.
Additionally, TUF Latin America vet Masio Fullen has been released from the UFC. He posted the update a while back on Facebook, and it has since flown under the radar.
There aren't much in the way of surprises here, excepting perhaps Escudero, for whom it seemed that his long history in and out of the promotion might grant him a little more leeway. But after a 2-3 stretch including back to back losses to Leandro Silva and Kevin Lee it seems he's back on the outside, and perhaps for the last time. Now 30 and with 10 years of fighting under his belt, it may be harder than ever to put together a regional win streak for a 4th shot under the Zuffa banner.
While it's not surprising, given his recent run of form, it's certainly a little unfortunate to see Clint Hester go after his failed bid to restart as a LHW. Hester rolled out to a 4-0 start in the UFC before dropping his next three bouts all by finish. Given his athletic abilities and the general lack of talent at 185 and 205, I wouldn't be shocked to see him return.
Otherwise, Gates, Waters, Cabral, and Pejic all failed to find form in the short UFC stints. Of all of them, Pejic may have the shortest route to a return. He's only 23 and, rare as it is, only got one fight in under Zuffa before being released. That seems like exactly the kind of recipe for him to get a couple regional wins and return to the promotion the next time they need a bantamweight for a European card.