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Thomas Almeida among latest round of UFC cuts

The Brazilian bantamweight joins Sarah Alpar, Mike Rodriguez, and Antonio Arroyo among fighters who are making their exit from the world’s largest MMA promotion.

Thomas Almeida charges into the pocket against Sean O’Malley.
Thomas Almeida charges into the pocket against Sean O’Malley.
Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

At one point in time Thomas Almeida was one of the hottest prospects in the bantamweight division. Hitting the Octagon at just 24-years-old with an unbeaten 16-0 record, ‘Thominhas’ had built a reputation for high octane violence.

He quickly ran out four straight UFC victories, with three coming by KO to start his Octagon career, before running headlong into the championship rise of Cody Garbrandt. A quick loss to Garbrandt kicked off a prolonged rough stretch for Almeida, who has won just one of five bouts over the last five years. Following a KO loss to Rob Font in 2018, Almeida revealed that he needed surgery to correct increasing vision problems. Recovery from that surgery, along with the COVID-19 pandemic, kept Almeida on the sidelines until late 2020.

The Brazilian last returned to action against another rising star, in former DWCS alum Sean O’Malley on the main card of UFC 260, earlier this year—suffering his third KO loss in the process.

It’s little surprise then, on the back of four straight defeats, that MMA Fighting has confirmed Almeida’s release from the promotion, following his removal from the UFC website. Almeida is joined by light heavyweight Mike Rodriguez, middleweight Antonio Arroyo, and women’s flyweight fighter Sarah Alpar. All fighters’ exit from the UFC has been confirmed.

After years of inconsistent cuts, however, it appears the promotion is once again regularly releasing fighters after ever event or two. With Alpar, Rodriguez and Arroyo all losing their latest bouts just two weeks ago on UFC Vegas 37. Rodriguez dropped a decision to Tafon Nchukwi to take his Octagon record to 2-5 (1 NC), Alpar lost to Erin Blanchfield to bring her to 0-2, and Arroyo suffered a brutal KO loss to Joaquin Buckley, dropping him to 0-3 in the process. Now it just remains to be seen what will shake out of last week’s UFC 266 fight card.