MMA Odds and Ends for Wednesday: UFC Cuts Continue

Kurt Holobaugh The UFC went on another cut spree today, releasing seven fighters from the roster. Many of the fighters confirmed their releases via Twitter, and confirmed the rest of them. The list includes a few fighters who were obviously going to be cut, as well as a few surprises. The fighters that have been released are:

  • Leonard Garcia
  • Bart Palaszewski
  • Kurt Holobaugh
  • Reuben Duran
  • Sam Sicilia
  • Issei Tamura
  • Justin Lawrence

It’s never good to see any fighter lose their job but it’s obvious the UFC is trying to make roster room right now with the influx of women fighters as well as new prospects and unfortunately any fighter on a losing streak — which would include every fighter on the above list — is at risk of being cut. I’m fine with the cuts to these fighters: Garcia, Palaszewski, Duran, Tamura, and Lawrence. All of these fighters were given multiple chances in the organization and it seemed like all of them just weren’t improving so the UFC was well within their rights to cut all of them. The fighters I do have a problem with the UFC cutting are Holobaugh and Sicilia. In the case of Holobaugh, yes he did go 0-2 under Zuffa (both Strikeforce and UFC), however keep in mind his fight against Pat Healy was taken at short notice — as well as at a higher weight class. That was a close, competitive fight against one of the best lightweight fighters in the world and it showed Holobaugh’s vast potential. He did follow that loss to Healy with another loss to Steven Siler at UFC 159, but that fight was another close, competitive decision and was easily one of the best fights of UFC 159. So for the UFC to cut Holobaugh off of those two losses is very, very harsh. Another harsh cut was Sicilia. Yes, Sicilia’s record of 1-2 in the UFC wasn’t very good but keep in mind all of his fights were exciting. He started off his UFC career as a member of the TUF season 15 cast and defeated Cristiano Marcello via KO at the TUF 15 Finale but then followed that up with a surprising TKO loss to Rony Jason at UFC 153. His last outing was another loss to Maximo Blanco but it was a close fight and was exciting. Additionally, the outcome of the fight likely should have been a draw had referee Kim Winslow rightly deducted a point from Blanco for grabbing the cage. It’s never fun to see a fighter cut coming off a win they shouldn’t have lose so this cut to Sicilia is disappointing. UFC Signs Brandon Thatch Like I mentioned above, part of the reason the UFC cut so many fighters is to make room for new prospects, and one of them is Brandon Thatch, a young welterweight who the UFC officially inked to a contract today. was the first to report news of the signing. Thatch (9-1) fought in RFA before being signed by the UFC and was recently seen defeating Mike Rhodes at RFA 7. The 27 year old is a welterweight prospect and although the UFC has a very deep field at 170 pounds, Thatch is a very solid prospect and should have some success in the UFC. There’s no word yet on who his first opponent will be but expect it to be a fading veteran or another prospect.

Written by Adam Martin.

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