Jon Fitch was released by the UFC despite a 14-3-1 mark in the Octagon. | Sherdog.com File Photo
The Ultimate Fighting Championship this week released 16 fighters from its bloated roster, including world-ranked welterweight Jon Fitch.
While many of the cuts came as little surprise -- the UFC has long been known to release fighters after two or more consecutive losses -- it was somewhat shocking to see the axe fall on Fitch. The 34-year-old American Kickboxing Academy product has for years been considered one of the UFC’s top 170-pounders, even challenging Georges St. Pierre for the welterweight title in August 2008. Fitch was knocked out for the first time in his Octagon career by Johny Hendricks in December 2011, but he rebounded with a win over prized Brazilian prospect Erick Silva in October. At UFC 156 on Feb. 2, he dropped a lopsided decision to former middleweight contender Demian Maia.
Fitch’s 14 victories inside the Octagon tie him for eighth on the all-time list behind only Matt Hughes, Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva, Chuck Liddell, Randy Couture, Josh Koscheck and Tito Ortiz. He won his first eight bouts inside the promotion, from Oct. 3, 2005 to March 1, 2008.
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