UFC Parts Ways With 12 Fighters Including TUF Brazil 3 Winner Antonio Carlos Jr.

By Jay Pettry Feb 4, 2021

The Ultimate Fighting Championship just made a wave of cuts from fighters largely on losing streaks.

MMA Junkie made the first report that the promotion let several fighters go, including Antonio Carlos Jr., Carlton Minus and Rhys McKee. MMA Fighting subsequently released a list of other names to bring the tally to an even dozen. In addition to the aforementioned three, Vanessa Melo is not part of the roster but is looking to sign a new deal. Broadcast partner ESPN confirmed all of the cuts shortly after their initial announcements.

The list of fighters reads as follows: Peter Barrett (11-5), Carlos Jr. (10-5, 1 NC), Spike Carlyle (9-3), Anthony Ivy (8-4), Jacob Kilburn (8-4), McKee (10-4-1), Melo (11-8), Minus (10-3, 1 NC), Sarah Moras (6-7), Vinicius Moreira (9-5), Markus Perez (12-5) and Cole Williams (11-3). The company promised that it would thin the ranks, expecting to trim upwards of 60 fighters before the end of 2020. Although it did not reach that total, of late it has released or opted not to re-sign significant names like Yoel Romero, Anthony Pettis, Anthony Johnson and Anthony Rocco Martin.

Of the dozen fighters to lose their place on the roster, the most noteworthy is likely Carlos Jr., who won the third season of “The Ultimate Fighter: Brazil” at heavyweight. “Cara de Sapato” dropped down to middleweight for most of the rest of his time with the promotion, besides a light heavyweight match with Patrick Cummins in 2014. The Brazilian made his way up the rankings, even reaching the top-10 before suffering a trio of defeats to Ian Heinisch, Uriah Hall and Brad Tavares to spell his release.

Even though they had won fights in the past, losing streaks for Carlyle, Moras and Perez prompted their releases. Meanwhile, Barrett, Ivy, Kilburn, McKee, Minus, Moreira and Williams never won a single fight as UFC fighters, with the seven competing a combined 16 times. Melo did win her last fight and, in the process, snapped a three-fight skid, but her performance against Moras at UFC on ABC 1 was less-than-stellar. For her part in the slow-paced affair, Moras suffered her fifth loss in six appearances, lowering her UFC record to 3-6.

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