‘Big risk’ didn’t pay off – UFC 289 fighter that hid reality show casting removed from roster

Her UFC 289 gamble didn't pay off.

By: Anton Tabuena | 3 months ago
‘Big risk’ didn’t pay off – UFC 289 fighter that hid reality show casting removed from roster
IMAGO / USA Today / Sergei Belski

UFC 289 may have just ended, but we already have our first roster removal.

According to UFC Roster Watch, a reliable algorithm that tracks the promotion’s roster, the UFC has already parted ways with Maria Oliveira. MMA Fighting has also since confirmed the news, reporting that Oliveira’s contract was completed and the UFC declined to resign her to a new deal.

The strawweight fighter lost her bout against Diana Belbita by decision. Prior to that, she also made headlines after recently revealing that she hid a reality show casting in Brazil from the UFC brass that could’ve coincided with her UFC 289 bout.

Combine the two factors, and it’s not surprising to see that the UFC has decided to part ways with the fighter.

Reality show appearance could’ve cancelled her UFC 289 bout

The Brazilian reality show had a one million reais ($200,000) prize for the eventual winner, which combined with the added exposure, also likely contributed to her decision.

“Yes, the fight had been scheduled before I joined the reality show. I was completely aware that if I hadn’t made it to the mansion. They were kind of scheduled at the same time, the show and the fight. So I didn’t negotiate with the UFC (a permission for her to participate in the show). I took the fight and I took the show. I took a big chance,” Oliveira said prior to UFC 289.

“I joined the reality show and I could’ve lost the UFC. To cancel a fight just like that, on short notice, it was a big risk. When the UFC wants to fire someone, they do it,” Oliveira said. “I ended up not making it to the mansion, so I kept the fight. That’s it. I did what I did and took a risk. I’m not afraid of taking risks.”

The loss dropped Oliveira’s UFC record to 1-3, with the winner Belbita also noting how she won despite having a badly injured foot at UFC 289. While it’s unclear if the UFC made their decision mainly based on her recent fights, hiding the reality show and risking a fight cancellation likely didn’t help her case to get resigned.

Oliveira openly spoke about being a risk taker, but it seems like things just didn’t pay off this time. She didn’t make it big in the reality show, and it supposedly led to a late fight camp for UFC 289, which would ultimately end up as a loss in her final bout with the promotion.

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About the author
Anton Tabuena
Anton Tabuena

Anton Tabuena is the Managing Editor for Bloody Elbow. He’s been covering MMA and combat sports since 2009, and has also fought in MMA, Muay Thai and kickboxing.

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