Due to the recent merger of the WEC’s welterweight, middleweight and light heavyweight division’s into the UFC by Zuffa, many fighters heading into last weekend’s UFC Fight Night must have known they could be fighting for their UFC careers. Over 50 contracted fighters were merged into the UFC. Joe Silva, resident UFC matchmaker, was forced to make some tough decisions as to who they should release so the company could get back down to 150 contracted fighters, where Silva has stated they prefer to be.
Eight fighters have been released since UFC Fight Night 17, most notably lightweight veteran Rich Clementi, who suffered a loss at the hand of Brazilian Gleison Tibau. Clementi had some quality wins but his inconsistency made him expendable to the organization.
According to Five Oz. of Pain, Matt Arroyo, a well regarded welterweight prospect who competed on TUF 6, was also released following his loss to Dan Cramer. Cramer had also competed on TUF 6, but was making his professional debut against Arroyo. Cramer took home a split-decision and at least one more fight with the company. Arroyo was obviously not so lucky, but he is still young and very talented so don’t be surprised if he makes his way back at some point.
Also released was veteran Christian Wellisch, an American Kickboxing Academy product who had recently dropped his debut at light heavyweight after competing mostly at heavyweight for the company. Luigi Fioravanti, Eddie Sanchez, Reese Andy, Nate Mohr and Derek Downey also got their walking papers for their recent losses and lackluster performances.
There will undoubtedly be more cuts to come. Now more than ever it seems with the UFC, unless you are winning, your job is never safe.