UFC roster purge: 11 fighters out, more cuts likely coming – UPDATED

UFC went on a cheap signing spree, and now they're releasing veterans to make room for them.

By: Anton Tabuena | 2 months ago
UFC roster purge: 11 fighters out, more cuts likely coming – UPDATED
Matt Davies / ZUMA Wire, IMAGO

UFC has parted ways with at least 10 fighters as it starts another roster purge.

John Makdessi among notable recent UFC cuts

Eight fighters have been removed from the roster on Tuesday, with two more releases earlier in the past week.

The most notable and surprising fighter on the list of cuts is Canadian vet John Makdessi, who has been in the UFC for 13 years and known for fun fights. His departure unfortunately comes after losing a controversial decision, where 12 out of 14 media members had him winning instead. Prior to that disputed loss, Makdessi had won four of his last six fights.

The rest of those listed to no longer be with the promotion include Jake Collier, Hannah Goldy, Shane Young, Tucker Lutz, Kamuela Kirk, AJ Fletcher, Andre Fialho, Carl Deaton, and JP Buys.

News comes from UFC Roster Tracker, which as the name alludes to, is an algorithm that tracks activity from the promotion’s roster. As a side note, not every fighter listed was released technically, as some of them just had their contracts expire with UFC not renewing their deals.

Dana White's Contender Series logo

UFC needs to make room after signing spree on cheap DWCS talent

Fighters getting cut now isn’t surprising and several more are likely to follow, after the sheer amount of fighters signed from the latest season of Dana White’s Contender Series.

As Bloody Elbow reviewed, out of the 49 fights on this past DWCS season, 45 fighters were signed. This is a complete departure from the earlier iterations, where White and company were far more picky and gave various reasons not to sign even those fighters that performed really well.

With the promotion upping the volume and handing out $10,000 deals in recent years — even lower than their typical minimum contracts — the Contender Series has slowly shifted into being more of a farm for cheap talent. With the UFC needing to make room after that recent signing spree, current fighters coming off losses should probably worry about being on the chopping block.

Endeavor is looking to maximize profits, and veterans like Makdessi with his 20 UFC fights, have deals worth several of those notoriously cheap DWCS contracts.

John Makdessi vs. Donald Cerrone in a 2015 UFC bout.
John Makdessi vs. Donald Cerrone in a 2015 bout. | Joe Camporeale / USA TODAY Network, IMAGO

UPDATE: Former flyweight title contender also out

While technically not cut from her contract, Jennifer Maia is also now out of the UFC roster after her deal has expired. The promotion reportedly didn’t re-sign the former flyweight title challenger, who will now be joining the free agent market.

Maia lost her co-main event bout against Viviane Araujo this past week, which snapped her two-fight winning streak. She had 12 bouts in five years with the promotion.

Her last disclosed purse had her making $60,000/$60,000 in 2022, and likely earned much more after her two other wins since then.

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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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