September’s UFC Chop List: 13 Fighters Removed from Roster

Cody-GibsonThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has dropped 13 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… Andrew Craig Welterweight Craig captured the Legacy FC middleweight title and parlayed it into a UFC contract, and he stepped inside the Octagon to take on the veteran Kyle Noke in Noke’s home country of Australia. Noke was getting the better of Craig early on in the bout, but after injuring his knee, Craig was able to capitalize and ultimately win a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards, extending his undefeated streak to seven. His next opponent was also getting the better of him, as Rafael Natal had him badly hurt and nearly finished. “Highlight” survived and landed a headkick at the end of the second round that put the Brazilian out. His luck ended there, as he dropped a unanimous decision to Ronny Markes in his next outing, then bounced back with a split decision over veteran Chris Leben and then went on to get rocked and submitted by Luke Barnatt. What followed were a unanimous decision loss to Cezar Ferreira and a second round knockout at the hands of Lyman Good, which puts Craig on a three fight skid and makes him 1-4 in the UFC. He made the move down to welterweight for his latest outing and lost by T/KO for the first time in his career. He was given every possible chance and came up short. It’s possible we’ll see him back in Legacy FC, but I think we’ve see the last of this “Highlight” inside the Octagon. Cody Gibson Bantamweight I wanted to see “The Renegade” succeed in the UFC, especially after watching him perform against Aljamain Sterling in his Octagon debut, which was also the debut for Sterling. Gibson was a massive underdog heading into the contest but kept it competitive, taking Sterling to the scorecards, where he lost a close decision. His next time out, he took on Johnny Bedford and won by controversial first round TKO. He was hoping to make it two in a row in his next outing, where he squared off against TUF 5 veteran Manny Gamburyan and was getting the better of the Armenian until Gamburyan sinked up a tight guillotine choke to earn the tap with seconds remaining in the second stanza. Gibson then traveled to Brazil for his latest bout, where he took on Douglas Silva de Andrade and lost via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. It was the worst performance of his Octagon career and he dropped to 1-3 with a two fight skid. Nobody would have complained if the UFC decided to give him another shot, but the move makes plenty of sense, considering how poorly he performed his last time out. Aaron Phillips Featherweight “The Model” made his UFC debut with an undefeated professional mixed martial arts record of 5-0 and lost a unanimous decision to Sam Sicilia in his first bout with the promotion. His next time out saw him lose another unanimous decision to Matt Hobar, and that was all that was needed to send him packing from the promotion. After back to back losses and showing zero potential, it makes sense that Phillips is no longer on the UFC roster, and I doubt he ever will be again. Dan Miller Welterweight Now on a two fight losing streak and 1-4 in his last five bouts, it comes as no surprise to see Miller released from the promotion. He’s had a long career but is unable to be a full time fighter, laregely in part due to caring for his ill child. If he gets desperate for money, we could see him in Bellator, but I think more than likely Miller will be hanging up the gloves for good. Darrell Montague Flyweight Montague is now 0-3 in the UFC, having dropped a unanimous decision against Kyoji Horiguchi sandwiched between T/KO losses to John Dodson and Willie Gates, respectively. It is no surprise to see Montague getting released; I saw this one coming down 3rd Ave in a cab. Royston Wee Bantamweight A rare occurence, Wee was released by the UFC after following just one loss. In his promotional debut, he defeated another one-and-done fighter in Dave Galera, resulting in one of the most dull fights in UFC history. He applied a “lay and pray” strategy for 15 minutes of pick up a unanimous decision win on the judges’ scorecards. In his next outing, he took on Yao Zikhui and lost that bout via controversial split decision, extending his undefeated streak to four. He took on Ning Guangyou his next time out and was knocked out with only a second remaind in the second stanza. That was all she wrote for Wee, and it’s safe to say we will never see him grace the Octagon ever again. Hans Stringer Light Heavyweight Stringer picked up a controversial split decision over Francimar Barroso in his promotional debut, then went on to lose by second round TKO against Fabio Maldonado his next outing, which was possibly the worst TKO I have ever seen. Stringer was winning the bout up til that point and then just completely gave up. Maldonado’s ground and pound did not look good enough to stop a lightweight, much less a Dutch light heavyweight. After that head-scratching loss, he took on Ilir Latifi and was knocked out less than a minute into the very first round of action. After dropping two in a row, I’m sure it was an easy call to cut him from the roster, as he has shown no potential since coming to the big show. WSOF may have him back, but I belive we’ve seen the last of Stringer in the UFC. Yosdenis Cedeno Lightweight A lot of people had high hopes for Cedeno when he signed with the UFC, but he has been a complete bust. He has the tools, but has no idea how to put them together. His fight IQ is awful and he does not display any heart. After going 1-3 in the UFC and dropping two in a row, I think this was another easy call for UFC brass to make. Ildemar Alcantara Middleweight Alcantara made his Octagon debut on short notice in the light heavyweight division against Wagner Prado and won the bout via second round submission. He moved two weight classes down to the welterweight division for his next outing, where he defeated Leandro Silva via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards, sending Silva down to 155-pounds. He dropped a unanimous decision against Igor Araujo his next time out, and then went on to beat Albert Tumenov via split decision, which in hindsight is a lot more impressive. Since then, he is 1-2 with a split decision win over Richardson Moreira sandwiched between unanimous decision losses to Kenny Robertson and Kevin Case respectively. Now 4-3 inside the Octagon and 3-2 in his last five fights, Alcantara has been given his walking papers, and while I wouldn’t have been surprised to see him get another fight booked, considering he is only coming off one loss, I think the move makes sense. Niklas Backstrom Welterweight Backstrom made waves in his UFC debut with a first round submission of Tom Niinimaki, but has since gone on to drop back to back contests to Mike Wilkinson and Noad Lahat, respectively. Wilkinson knocked him out cold in the first round, and Lahat took home a majority decision over the Swede. After back to back defeats, the promotion opted to part ways with him. I don’t love the decision, but I don’t hate it, either. Igor Araujo Welterweight Araujo made his promotional debut against Ildemar Alcantara and won the bout via unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards following three rounds of action. His next time out, he took another unanimous decision against Danny Mitchell. His luck unfortunately ended there, as he went on to get knocked out by George Sullivan in his next fight, and then he dropped a unanimous decision to Sean Strickland. Now 2-2 inside the Octagon and looking poor in his last two outings, it makes sense that the UFC made the decision to let him go. Tom Watson Welterweight Watson is now 2-5 in the UFC and has received his walking papers from the promotion, and rightfully so. He has dropped his last two contests by unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards against Rafael Natal and Chris Camozzi, respectively. He has been performing poorly, especially in the Natal bout. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him grace the Bellator cage, but I’m confident we’ve seen the last of Watson inside the Octagon. Anthony Christodoulou Lightweight Christodoulou made his promotional debut against Mairbek Taisumov, losing the bout via second round TKO. His next time out, he faced Scott Holtzman and lost that bout via third round rear naked choke submission. After two fights and two defeats inside the Octagon, it is very clear that Christoulou is not a UFC-caliber fight, despite the fact that he was heavily outmatched in his two UFC fights. It is doubtful he will find his way back to the big show.

Written by Gabe Killian

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