Ultimate Fighting Championship officials this week confirmed that the organization cut eight fighters from its roster, among them a trio of Brazilian athletes.
Light heavyweight Fabio Maldonado, featherweight Edimilson Souza and strawweight Ericka Almeida all received their release from the Las Vegas-based promotion.
While Maldonado and Almeida both had lost back-to-back fights, Souza’s release comes as a surprise since the Salvador native had compiled an impressive 3-1 run inside the Octagon. Souza told Sherdog.com that he learned of his release when the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) emailed to tell him that he was no longer required to submit information regarding his whereabouts, since he was no longer a UFC fighter.
Souza’s manager, Blackzilians owner Glenn Robinson, also received no explanation of his client’s release. Souza is currently vacationing in Brazil but plans to return to Florida for training next month.
“Robinson is already talking to other events,” Souza told Sherdog.com. “We hope to have good news in the beginning of 2016.”
Maldonado’s manager, Alex Davis, believes his fighter will have no trouble finding work in combat sports.
“I didn’t think it was fair. I see other fighters in the UFC today who don’t have the quality of Maldonado,” Davis said. “But, we have to admit, he wasn’t having good fights lately, but life goes on. I see Maldonado fitting perfectly into the profile of other events, and I’m sure I’ll have no problems finding him a new job in MMA or boing. Besides being an excellent athlete, Maldonado is also a unique human being, and I’ll always support him.”
The five other fighters on the UFC’s recent cut list were Bubba Bush (middleweight), Chico Camus (flyweight), Mickael Lebout (lightweight), Vernon Ramos (welterweight) and Jumabieke Tuerxun (bantamweight).