MMA Ratings Podcast

August 16, 2018

New UFC Signings Mean Fighters Have To Be Cut, And That's Exactly What's Happening Now

By Adam Martin

Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series began last summer, but it's fair to say the show exploded with popularity this summer and has quickly become a staple in the lives of MMA fans. Every Tuesday, five fights go down at the UFC Gym in Las Vegas featuring a number of exciting young MMA prospects, and considering the high quality of the fights this summer, it wasn't surprising to see White and the UFC matchmakers sign a number of fighters from the show.

This summer, 23 fighters from the show were signed. They are, from week one to week eight: Greg Hardy, Alonzo Menifield, Matt Sayles, Anthony Hernandez, Ryan Spann, Dwight Grant, Antonina Shevchenko, Te'Jovan Edwards, Bevon Lewis, Jordan Espinosa, Maycee Barber, Domingo Pilarte, Edmen Shahbazyan, Jim Crute, Sodiq Yusuff, Jeff Hughes, Roosevelt Roberts, Ian Heinisch, Jordan Griffin, Juan Adams, Devonte Smith, Kennedy Nzechukwu, and Bobby Moffett. Additionally, Kevin Holland was later signed to fight Thiago Santos at UFC 227, and the UFC also gave a developmental deal to Chase Hooper and signed Josh Parisian to the new season of The Ultimate Fighter.

That's a lot of incoming fighters, and while they are all talented fighters who should be welcome additions to the UFC's already-stacked roster, these signings come at a price. The price is that a number of the UFC's veterans have to be released to make room on the roster for these new signees, and indeed it seems we are in the midst of a mass cut by the UFC matchmakers.

A report from FloCombat lists all the fighters who the UFC has cut in recent weeks. These fighters include: Gleison Tibau, Tom Lawlor, Diego Rivas, Albert Morales, Mike Santiago, Eric Spicely, Damien Brown, Rob Wilkinson, James Bochnovic, Magnus Cedenblad, Oliver Enkamp, Vitor Miranda, Marcel Fortuna and Damien Grabowski. That's a lot of fighters being let go, and it's only the tip of the iceberg as the UFC is expected to make more roster cuts in the coming days and weeks. This is something the UFC simply must do to create room on its roster for the incoming talent from the Contender Series, though those veterans are surely miffed they lost their jobs.

It's the nature of the MMA business, though. You lose, and you could be cut, and with limited exceptions all of the fighters who were cut had losing records in the UFC and the promotion's matchmakers didn't see a future for any of them. Instead, their roster spots will go to mostly younger talent from the Contender Series as the UFC hopes to up the quality of its fight cards heading in to the ESPN deal beginning in 2019. It is unfortunate so many fighters lost their jobs, but when you don't win, the UFC can do what it wants, and often that means cutting contracts to make room on the roster. The new fighters signed from the Contender Series now have to come in and prove their worth as well, as eventually they took will be in the same position as the veterans that came before them, that is, in a must-win spot to keep their job on the UFC roster. This is the MMA business, and while it's the ugly side of the sport seeing so many great fighters lose their jobs, that's the nature of the beast.

Dana White's Contender Series 2018: Week 8 took place August 7, 2018 at The Ultimate Fighter Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Click HERE to rate other Dana White's Contender Series 2018 fights and events.

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