One of the top welterweight fighters in the sport, former title contender Jon Fitch, has been released by the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the organization confirmed. Along with Fitch, UFC president Dana White told MMA Fighting that 15 other fighters have been released from their contracts.
The released fighters were Wagner Prado, Mike Russow, Jacob Volkmann, Vladimir Matyushenko, Che Mills, Jay Hieron, Terry Etim, Paul Sass, Jorge Santiago, Mike Stumpf, Simeon Thoresen, C.J. Keith, Motonobu Tezuka, Josh Grispi and Ulysses Gomez.
Each fighter was coming off at least one loss.
Here is the full breakdown of the fighters recent performances, via MMA Fighting:
- Jon Fitch (Overall record: 24-5-1, 1 no-contest; 1-2-1 in last four UFC fights)
- Wagner Prado (Overall record: 8-2-1, 1 no-contest; 0-2 with 1 no-contest in last three UFC fights)
- Mike Russow (Overall record: 15-3, 1 no-contest; 0-2 in last two UFC fights)
- Jacob Volkmann (Overall record: 15-4; 1-2 in last three UFC fights)
- Vladimir Matyushenko (Overall record: 26-7; 0-2 in last two UFC fights)
- Che Mills (Overall record: 15-6, 1 no-contest; 1-2 in last three UFC fights)
- Jay Hieron (Overall record: 23-7; 0-2 in last two UFC fights)
- Terry Etim (Overall record: 15-5; 1-3 in last four UFC fights)
- Paul Sass (Overall record: 13-2; 0-2 in last two UFC fights)
- Jorge Santiago (Overall record: 25-11; Was return to UFC)
- Mike Stumpf (Overall record: 11-4; 0-2 in his last two UFC fights)
- Simeon Thoresen (Overall record: 17-4; 0-2 in his last two UFC fights)
- C.J. Keith (Overall record: 8-2; 0-2 in his last two UFC fights)
- Motonobu Tezuka (Overall record: 19-6; 0-2 in his last two UFC fights)
- Josh Grispi (Overall record: 14-5; 0-4 in his last four UFC fights)
- Ulysses Gomez (Overall record: 9-4; 0-2 in his last two UFC fights)
The most recognizable names to fans are Fitch, Volkmann, Matyushenko, Hieron and Grispi. While it shouldn’t be a surprise that any of these fighters were released, it is a large number of fighters to get the ax in one swing of cuts.
For mixed martial arts fans, it would be great to see Fitch signed by an organization like Bellator and work his way towards a title shot against Ben Askren. That is a fight people would like up to see.