To be fair, the UFC’s roster trimming habits have gotten a lot less harsh in recent years. It wasn’t that long ago that any fighter with two losses in a row could essentially consider themselves out of a job with the world’s largest MMA promotion. Fans and media would regularly speculate on which fighters were facing their last bout in the Octagon before each and every event.
In the years following the announcement of a class action lawsuit against the UFC by former fighters, and coupled with an ever increasing mindset of complete market saturation and domination, that culture of brutal fighter cuts has started to change. Still, as Dana White recently reminded reporters following his latest Contender Series event – and the fresh crop of new UFC signings that came with it – the realities of UFC roster management are even yet very much in play.
“Yeah, no. It’s all a numbers game,” White responded when asked if the new crop of UFC signings would, in effect, mean that other fighters on the roster would be getting released. “I mean, we have to give everybody three fights a year. So, you can only have so many people under contract. Yeah.”
“This is the fourth season, we’ve done four seasons of this show. I mean, this is how it works,” White reiterated when asked if fighters currently on the roster should be concerned that cuts are incoming. “It’s been like this for 20 years. Every once in a while, you’ll see a huge cut. We’ll go through and, you know, there’ll be 14-15 guys cut in a week. Stuff like that. That’s just the nature of the beast.”
Over the past month, notable cuts to the UFC roster include Corey Anderson (who actually asked for and was granted his release from the promotion), Bethe Correia, Evan Dunham, Max Rohskopf, Roman Bogatov, Ray Borg, and Eric Spicely. Other fighters like Paige VanZant and Fabricio Werdum have recently chosen to fight out there contracts and test free agency. The UFC also quietly removed Callan Potter and Nad Narimani from their website lists of active fighters. And while all that represents a definite uptick in cuts from the first half of 2020, it sounds likely that there will be a lot more coming in the near future.