With less than ten total fights, losses in three of his last four efforts, and his prime years already behind him it’s time to accept the reality that Mitrione is not a UFC caliber fighter. Had he entered the sport years earlier instead of finding success on the gridiron, there’s no doubt Mitrione could have been a force in the cage. However, he needs to continue evolving and doesn’t have the necessary time to do so. That being said, Mitrione would be perfectly suited for a Bellator tournament, adding depth to a roster in serious need of a few big names. Despite being a UFC fighter for six years Miller has never won more than two consecutive clashes inside the Octagon. He’s coming off a loss to Manny Gamburyan – his third in four fights – and just can’t seem to take his skill to the next level. Likewise, his only wins since 2010 have come against opponents who no longer call the UFC home. Miller may get another opportunity based on his tenure and talent for turning in entertaining efforts, but chances are good he’ll be looking for work at some point in 2014. Fortunately, Miller won’t have to wait long, as his services will be in hot demand on the regional scene. It never hurts to have a hard-hitting heavyweight around but Guelmino made it clear he doesn’t have what it takes to be among the sport’s elite by suffering a strike-based stoppage at UFC 165 against a relative unknown who was on the cusp of defeat earlier in the effort. Throw in the fact he’ll be 38 before the end of 2013 and there’s no question Guelmino should end up with a “one and done” tag where his time in the UFC is concerned. Outside of a spot in a Bellator tournament fans can expect Guelmino to go back overseas and continue crushing tomato cans in organizations most folks outside of the U.K. have never heard of. Coming in to the UFC the Japanese submission specialist was seen as a future title-contender. He started things off semi-strong with decisions over George Roop and Bart Palaszewski and likely could have ended up in a bout with champ Jose Aldo if he hadn’t stated he wanted a little more experience before challenging for the belt. The decision to do so would prove to be a bad one with only one silver lining, as Hioki went on a three-fight losing streak but at least avoided the physical trauma of a date with Aldo. Though the UFC needs Asian fighters if hoping to fully crack into the market, Hioki can’t afford another stumble and would be better served by a chance to turn his career around in Japan before giving the UFC one final shot in a year or two. The UFC was ready to release Vera after his lost to Thiago Silva in January 2011, only bringing him back based on the Brazilian’s use of steroids prior to the pairing. Since then he’s 1-2 – yes, three fights in three years – and he was stopped with strikes in both bouts he lost. Vera simply isn’t the competitor many fans believed him to be years ago when he was smacked Frank Mir around. He’s got the “it” factor and would be great in Bellator, but his time in the UFC needs to end before he further tarnishes his reputation (and chin).
Earlier today news surfaced stating lightweight
Ryan Couture had been axed by the UFC after back-to-back losses in the Octagon. Ultimately, Couture wasn’t alone in his new found free agency, as Ben Alloway, Papi Abedi, and James Head were also handed pink-slips . While it’s never good to see a fighter lose his spot on the roster, the UFC’s decision to cut the quartet is certainly understandable based on performance. Of course, they aren’t the only Mixed Martial Artists likely to field new offers in the immediate future, as a number of other notable competitors are skating on thin ice quickly melting under the blazing hot pressure to succeed inside the infamous eight-sided cage. (Photos by USA Today Sports Images)