Fourth Quarter Chopping Block: 14 Fighters Removed from UFC Roster

Antonio Bigfoot SilvaThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has dropped 14 competitors from their roster. Below is the list of fighters who did not make it through the latest round of the promotion’s chopping block… THE CHOPPED Caio Magalhaes Middleweight The Brazilian has received his walking papers from the big show following back-to-back losses to Josh Samman (R.I.P.) and Brad Tavares, respectively. I think that the solid four-fight winning streak he had managed to string together inside the Octagon will benefit him outside the UFC, and being only 28 years old, I think many promotions will be looking to sign him. Shane Campbell Lightweight The Canadian suffered a first-round knockout at the hands of John Makdessi in his UFC debut but bounced back with a unanimous decision victory over Elias Silverio. Unfortunately for Campbell, that would the the last time he tasted Octagon victory, as he went on to lose his next three bouts to James Krause, Erik Koch and Felipe Oliveira; one by decision, one by submission and one by knockout, so he hasn’t been shy about spreading his losses out. After dropping three straight with two finishes, I don’t think it comes as a surprise to anyone that he is receiving his walking papers from the promotion. Campbell’s best career highlight came in his last bout prior to signing with the UFC, when he finished Derek Boyle via third-round TKO at WSOF 18, a promotion he may very well be returning to in 2017. Kenny Robertson Welterweight Robertson followed his three-fight winning streak with a pair of controversial split-decision losses to Ben Saunders and Roan Carneiro, and he has ultimately been released from the promotion. This is a cut I do not agree with at all, as both of his losses came in very close fights, and he looked impressive in his victories prior to the setback. I think Robertson is a solid welterweight and was an asset to the middle of the UFC’s welterweight division. I expect we will be seeing him make waves in the Bellator’s 170-pound division in the year ahead. Antonio “Bigfoot” Silva Heavyweight “Bigfoot” has finally received his pink slip from the UFC, and many expect Bellator to come in and sweep him up. This is a cut that makes sense for the UFC to be making, as they gave the 37-year-old every chance they could to save his job. His lone victory in eight bouts came via come from behind TKO against a now-retired Soa Palelei, as he is coming off three straight losses, all by way of knockout. Sean Spencer Welterweight Spencer has received his walking papers from the promotion after dropping three fights in a row. The first was a controversial unanimous decision against Cathal Pendred followed by a pair of come-from-behind knockout losses to Mike Pyle and Yancy Medeiros, respectively. After being finished in back-to-back fights, despite being ahead in the fight prior to the finish, the UFC feels they don’t need him to stick around, and I can’t say I disagree with them. Kevin Casey Middleweight “King” Casey is winless in his last four Octagon appearances, and the UFC has opted to cut ties with him following his second-round TKO loss to Sam Alvey a couple of months back. A solid middleweight on the regional circuit, I expect several promotions will be vying for his services, and lucky for him, they don’t work with USADA, so maybe he can get back on what he got popped for following his first-round knockout win over Bubba Bush. Glaico Franca Lightweight The Brazilian has received his walking papers from the UFC following back-to-back unanimous-decision losses to James Vick and Gregor Gillespie, respectively. Having failed to taste Octagon victory, I think the 25-year-old shows promise and wouldn’t be surprised to see him pick up some wins on the regional circuit and work his way back to the big show. Enrique Marin Lightweight Marin is winless in two Octagon appearances, losing a split decision to Erick Montano in his UFC debut and then a unanimous decision to Sage Northcutt at UFC 200, leading to his release from the promotion. Training out of Kings MMA in Huntington Beach, CA, I expect “Wasabi” will soon sign with Bellator or the World Series of Fighting (WSOF) promotion. Alberto Uda Middleweight Uda has dropped back-to-back fights inside the Octagon and has failed to taste UFC victory. Being finished in both fights, by Jake Collier and Marvin Vetteri, respectively, the big show has opted to cut ties with the Brazilian fighter. I expect he will be returning back to the Brazilian regional circuit and again stacking up wins over less than good competition. Cory Hendricks Light Heavyweight One and done. A unanimous-decision loss to Josh Stansbury was all it took for Hendricks to be receiving his walking papers from the promotion. I expect the Syndicate MMA product will sign with LFA or Titan FC and attempt to work his way back to the big show, but I could also see him signing with Bellator and looking to make waves there. Tamdan McCrory Middleweight Poor Tamdan McCrory. After being retired for five years, he returned to action under the Bellator banner and scored a pair of quick first-round finishes over Brennan Ward and Jason Butcher. He became a free agent and signed with the UFC, returning to the big show to square off against the late Samman, defeating him via third-round triangle-choke submission and snapping his opponent’s impressive three-fight winning streak. Cody East Heavyweight The Jackson-Wink MMA fighter was signed to the UFC after impressing Dana White on his reality series, Dana White: Looking for a Fight. He went 0-2 in the promotion with a pair of TKO losses to Walt Harris and Curtis Blaydes, respecively, and has since been released from the promotion. Considering his shaky past, I don’t believe the UFC will be signing him back in the future, regardless of what he goes on to do on the regional cicruit. More than likely, however, I think he will find his way to Bellator and mix things up in the razor thin heavyweight division over there. Leonardo Augusto Leleco Middleweight The Florida-based Brazilian was released from the UFC after going 0-2 in the promotion with a pair of unanimous-decision losses to Anthony Smith and Antonio Carlos Junior, respectively. Failing to taste Octagon victory, I don’t think the MMA Masters fighter will be working his way back to the big show, considering that he is getting up there in age. Mehdi Baghdad Lightweight This is a depressing story. Baghdad lost a pair of fights and was given a third, but when he wanted to pull out due to an abdominal hernia for which he needed surgery, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva threatened to cut him if he pulled out. Physically unable to fight, he was forced to withdraw and take the surgery, and was ultimately released from the promotion. Good riddance, Silva. Add Baghdad to the long list of fighters who are happy to see him leave, though I’m sure they’d prefer he wasn’t sailing into the sunset with stacks of cash.

Written by Gabe Killian

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