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Report: TUF winner Brad Katona released from UFC, multiple others likely out as well

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One of the last ‘ultimate fighters’ appears to have recently received his walking papers, along with Ben Saunders, Brandon Davis, Lucie Pudilova, and more than half a dozen others.

UFC Fight Night: Weigh-Ins Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The summer of 2019 was a boon for fighters looking to find their way into the world’s largest MMA promotion. The UFC handed out somewhere in the neighborhood of half a hundred contracts over just a few months—largely to winners from Dana White’s Contender Series. As a result, The UFC signings for the rest of the year fell off a cliff.

And, now that 2020 is in swing, it appears the other shoe is dropping. The UFC recently pushed a large number of fighters into the “released/not fighting” sections of their online website. Some of those were well known cuts: fighters like Curtis Millender, Thiago Alves, and David Branch. But, more than a dozen appear to be previously unreported.

Chief among them, Brad Katona. The Canadian training out of SBG Ireland was one of the final winners of the recently shelved Ultimate Fighter series. He started his UFC career with victories over Jay Cucciniello & Matthew Lopez before dropping back to back bouts. TSN reporter Aaron Bronsteter confirmed the Katona’s release on Twitter.

Along with Katona, Lucie Pudilova, Brandon Davis, Daniel Spitz, Darko Stosic, Hector Aldana, Luke Jumeau, Ben Saunders, Salim Touahri, Martin Bravo, Polo Reyes, Carlos Huachin, and Grigory Popov have been shunted off the UFC’s active roster. It is entirely possible that some of that has been done by mistake, or could be indicative of other factors than a simple release from the fighters’ contract. However, Brandon Davis has also taken to Twitter to announce his release since these cuts were first reported. MMA Junkie has also confirmed the releases of Spitz, Saunders, and Popov.

For the past several years the UFC has seemed to focus largely on talent acquisition and retention, rather than the more cutthroat roster management they became infamous for in the past. But, it could be that with the seemingly growing success of DWCS, more regular roster cuts could be on the horizon.