The UFC continues to whittle away at their roster. After ballooning it way up over the past couple of years, they’ve slowly been working to maintain something of an equilibrium, bringing in a few new fighters here and there, releasing a few others to compensate. The days when they were taking on 25 new contracts a month and only cutting five or six appear to be behind us.
In this latest round, MMAFighting has learned that the UFC has terminated the contracts of Brian Bowles, Stanislav Nedkov, Juan Manuel Puig, and Tim Gorman. They also announced the release of Akira Corassani, who recently retired, and Andy Ogle, who announced his termination publicly via Twitter, several days ago. The release of two TUF Latin America fighters (Humberto Brown & Rodolfo Rubio) was also mentioned, but that’s pretty standard operating procedure for the UFC to cut TUF fighters who lose their first bout after the show.
While there aren’t any real surprises on that list, Brian Bowles is obviously the big name. The former WEC champion has been on a hell of a skid lately. Not only has he lost his last two fights (and failed to pick up a win since 2011), and not only has he been injured for long stretches of time, but he most recently made news for his arrest on drugs charges, when police entered his house to serve a warrant on someone staying with him… oh and he failed a drug test too. That’s a lot of baggage for one fighter to carry around, and it’s anyone’s guess if he can ever get his career back on track.
Of the other fighters released, Tim Gorman probably has the best shot at a UFC return. He was talking about dropping to flyweight for his next bout, and while he’s been around for quite a while and is already in his 30’s, he’s really only ever competed sporadically. It’s not hard to imagine him picking up a regional win or two before coming back to the UFC at 125 lbs.
Nedkov and Puig may have a harder road back to a UFC contract. Nedkov returned recently from a prolonged injury layoff due to a knee injury, and it still appeared to be hampering his movement in his light heavyweight debut against Nikita Krylov. It’s too bad for the Bulgarian who once looked like he could be a pretty capable gatekeeper in the UFC, and especially bad as his removal drops the LHW division down to just 32 active fighters. As for Puig, his youth and the UFC’s entry into the Mexican market could get him another shot, but two devastatingly quick KO losses mean that he’s probably going to have to do a lot of work to get back there.
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