Norman Parke, the lightweight winner of “The Ultimate Fighter: The Smashes,” has been released by the UFC.
The 29-year-old Northern Ireland native announced the news via Facebook on Friday.
“I just wanna say a huge thanks to the UFC for giving me the great opportunity to compete at the highest level in combat sports,” Parke wrote. “I’ve had many great memories that will stay with me forever!! I’m now looking to fight this summer so whatever comes up I’ll be ready to go!! On any show anywhere.
“Thank you to all my fans for following my journey. I will be back. This ain’t no April Fool’s joke.”
While UFC officials weren’t immediately available to comment on the matter, Irish media outlet Severe MMA was able to confirm Parke’s release with the fighter himself.
Parke last competed at UFC Fight Night in London on Feb. 27, where he suffered a unanimous decision loss to Rustam Khabilov, his third defeat in his last four Octagon appearances. Previous setbacks to Francisco Trinaldo and Gleison Tibau came via split decision.
Prior to that slump, Parke went 4-0-1 to begin his promotional tenure, with a draw against Leonardo Santos the only blemish on his ledger during that time. Park owns a 21-5-1 career mark, with 12 wins by submission and four via KO/TKO.