Igor Pokrajac is no longer a UFC fighter. | Photo: Gleidson Venga/Sherdog.com
The Ultimate Fighting Championship has cut ties with five fighters including 12-time Octagon veteran Igor Pokrajac and “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” alum Rodrigo Damm.
Tom Niinimaki, Mike Rhodes and Sean Soriano were also released by the Las Vegas-based promotion. Sherdog.com confirmed the cuts with a UFC official on Tuesday following an initial report from MMAFighting.com.
Pokrajac ends his UFC tenure on a four-fight skid after dropping bouts to Vinny Magalhaes, Ryan Jimmo, Rafael Cavalcante and Marcos Rogerio de Lima. That streak could have been five, but a loss to Joey Beltran at UFC on FX 6 was later overturned when Beltran failed a post-fight drug test. The Croatian light heavyweight posted notable triumphs over Fabio Maldonado, Krzysztof Soszynski and James Irvin in UFC competition.
Following his stint on “TUF: Brazil,” Damm won three of his first four fights in the Octagon. However, he lost his last three, including a unanimous decision defeat to Evan Dunham in his most recent outing at UFC 182.
Niinimaki impressed in his promotional debut, capturing a split decision over grappling ace Rani Yahya at the “TUF 18” finale. Three consecutive setbacks against Niklas Backstrom, Chas Skelly and Renato Carneiro followed, all by rear-naked choke.
A heralded prospect out of the Roufusport camp, Rhodes failed to collect a victory in his three UFC appearances. After dropping decisions against George Sullivan and Robert Whittaker, Rhodes earned a pink slip by bowing out in the first round against Erick Silva at UFC Fight Night “Machida vs. Dollaway.”
Like Rhodes, Soriano went 0-3 in the Octagon. He last appeared at UFC Fight Night “McGregor vs. Siver,” tapping to a Charles Rosa brabo choke 4:43 into the third round.