UFC cuts Last Samurai from the roster

Moving into summer, with a new ‘Road to the UFC’ tournament series about to kick off and another round of Dana White’s Contender Series…

By: Zane Simon | 1 year ago
UFC cuts Last Samurai from the roster
Bloody Elbow 2.0 | Anton Tabuena

Moving into summer, with a new ‘Road to the UFC’ tournament series about to kick off and another round of Dana White’s Contender Series on the horizon, it’s no surprise that the UFC may be looking to lean down their roster a bit. To that end, it seems the last couple fight cards have provided a few opportunities for a late spring cleaning.

Following reports from the UFC Roster Watch twitter feed (a bot that keeps track of updates to the UFC website), Louis Smolka has confirmed his release from the world’s largest MMA promotion. ‘Da Last Samurai’ first hit the Octagon way back in 2014, as part of the recently developed men’s flyweight division, opening his UFC run with a 5-1 record. That streak included an unlikely Fight Night main event slot against Paddy Holohan in Dublin, Ireland—following the cancellation of the original main event between Joe Duffy and Dustin Poirier, just days out from the event.

Smolka was released from the UFC in late 2017, after suffering four straight losses. But, a run of three wins down on the regionals saw him back in the big show just 11 months later. The 30-year-old out of Kapolei, HI had alternated wins and losses over his second UFC stint, unfortunately he broke that trend with back-to-back KO defeats—most recently losing to Davey Grant at UFC on ESPN: Blachowicz vs. Rakic in May. No word just yet as to where Smolka expects to land for his next fight, although he doesn’t sound despondent over hitting free agency.

Joining Smolka is longtime women’s strawweight fighter Felice Herrig. The ‘Lil’ Bulldog’ returned to action for the first time in two years, after dealing with multiple ACL injuries, to take on former title contender Karolina Kowalkiewicz at UFC Vegas: Volkov vs. Rozenstruik back on June 4th. Kowalkiewicz won the bout via second round submission, after which Herrig announced her retirement from MMA. She leaves behind a 14-10 record over 13-years of competition, including a 5-6 record inside the Octagon.

Andreas Michailidis, Frank Camacho, and Alex Da Silva are the other fighters listed as having been removed from the promotion’s roster. Michailidis and Da Silva both suffered decision losses on the same June 4th card Herrig competed on. The Brazilian’s release is somewhat surprising considering many felt that his bout with Joe Solecki should have been scored a draw. However both he and Michailidis found themselves at 1-3 with the promotion following their latest defeats.

Camacho last competed on the same Blachowicz vs. Rakic fight card where Smolka suffered his defeat to Grant. The ‘Crank’ was knocked out in the first round by debuting lightweight Manuel Torres. That loss brought the 33-year-old to a 2-6 record inside the Octagon, with four stoppage losses—three inside the first round.

With a non-stop string of UFC events just around the corner, it wouldn’t be surprising to see a few more fighters on the chopping block before the promotion goes on their usual Contender Series signing spree, starting in late July. Stay tuned to Bloody Elbow for more news and notes.

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About the author
Zane Simon
Zane Simon

Zane Simon is a senior editor, writer, and podcaster for Bloody Elbow. He has worked with the website since 2013, taking on a wide variety of roles. A lifelong combat sports fan, Zane has trained off & on in both boxing and Muay Thai. He currently hosts the long-running MMA Vivisection podcast, which he took over from Nate Wilcox & Dallas Winston in 2015, as well as the 6th Round podcast, started in 2014. Zane is also responsible for developing and maintaining the ‘List of current UFC fighters’ on Bloody Elbow, a resource he originally developed for Wikipedia in 2010.

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