Blue chip middleweight prospect Jake Rosholt was released by the UFC on Monday, a little more than a week after he submitted to a triangle choke from “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 3 winner Kendall Grove at UFC 106 “Ortiz vs. Griffin 2” in Las Vegas.
Despite the unexpected pink slip, Rosholt’s manager, Ted Ehrhardt, believes his future lies with the promotion.
“If you want to be a champion and make any kind of real money,” Ehrhardt said, “you have to be a champion in the UFC.”
Rosholt lost two of his three fights inside the Octagon, as he sandwiched a technical submission victory over Chris Leben between defeats to Grove and former International Fight League middleweight champion Dan Miller. Ehrhardt admitted his release came as a surprise.
“I didn’t think he’d be released,” Ehrhardt said. “He had one fight left on his contract, and we thought he’d at least get that. He had a good performance [against Grove] up until he got caught. He was winning the fight. He’s young. We’ll go out and get some wins and be back.”
A four-time collegiate All-American wrestler and three-time Div. I national champion at Oklahoma State University, the 27-year-old Rosholt remains one of the top middleweight prospects in the sport. Anchored at Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts in Las Vegas, he figures to have plenty of suitors for his services.
“We’ll look to get some quick fights in, three or four fights in the first six months of the year, and then we’ll go back and talk with [UFC matchmaker] Joe [Silva],” Ehrhardt said. “We’ve got plenty of time. I think he’s going to be one of the top middleweights.”
Ehrhardt described Rosholt’s experience with UFC parent company Zuffa LLC -- which included one appearance in World Extreme Cagefighting -- as positive but believes the company made a mistake cutting loose one of its most talented young competitors.
“By the looks of it, they know how to run their business,” Ehrhardt said. “It’s not going to hurt us to go out and get four or five fights, some cage experience and a winning streak going.”