UFC cuts Fitch, 15 other fighters after losses

February 20, 2013, 12:59 PM

In a surprise move, welterweight contender Jon Fitch was cut by the UFC following his recent loss to Demian Maia, along with 15 other fighters.

Although he has won just one of his last four fights, Fitch is still considered one of the best 170-pound fighters in mixed martial arts and is currently ranked as the No. 9 welterweight contender on the UFC’s official fighter rankings.

Prior to his loss to Maia, Fitch defeated rising star Erick Silva at UFC 153, was knocked out by Johny Hendricks in 12 seconds at UFC 141 and fought to a draw against BJ Penn in the main event at UFC 127.

Fitch (24-5-1, 1 NC) has a record of 14-3-1 in the UFC and ranks sixth on the UFC’s all-time list of most time spent competing inside the Octagon. The 34-year-old Fort Wayne, Ind., native has spent a total of three hours, 58 minutes and 58 seconds in the UFC cage, according to FightMetric.

The other fighters released by the UFC were Vladimir Matyushenko, Terry Etim, Paul Sass, Josh Grispi, Ulysses Gomez, Che Mills, Jay Hieron, Jorge Santiago, Jacob Volkmann, Wagner Prado, Mike Russow, Mike Stumpf, Simeon Thoresen, CJ Keith, and Motonobu Tezuka.

‘Christmas’ gets cancelled

Volkmann, whose nickname is “Christmas,” was cut after being submitted in two of his last three bouts.

At UFC 156 earlier this month, the Fergus Falls, Minn., native lost to Strikeforce veteran Bobby Green by third-round rear-naked choke. Volkmann was also submitted by Paul Sass last May at UFC 146.

Volkmann entered the UFC as a 9-0 welterweight in 2009, but after losing a decision to Paulo Thiago in his promotional debut then getting submitted by Martin Kampmann, the 32-year-old made the move to lightweight.

At 155 pounds, Volkmann went 6-2, including a five-fight win streak to begin his stint in the division, earning victories over WEC veterans Danny Castillo and Shane Roller, former TUF champ Efrain Escudero, former MFC champ Antonio McKee and UFC veterans Ronys Torres and Paul Kelly.

Volkmann had been at the centre of some controversy during his UFC career.

Following his win over McKee at UFC 125, Volkmann expressed his opposition to the policies of United States President Barack Obama and said, “Someone needs to knock some sense into that idiot.” The following week, Volkmann received a visit from the U.S. Secret Service.

The Division 1 wrestler leaves the UFC with an MMA record of 15-4.

Matyushenko ousted from the Octagon

The Veteran Matyushenko was released after two consecutive losses. The 42-year-old was submitted by Ryan Bader on Jan. 26 and was knocked out by Alexander Gustafsson at UFC 141.

Matyushenko (26-7) made his UFC debut in 2001 at UFC 32 and challenged Tito Ortiz for the UFC light-heavyweight championship at UFC 33. Matyushenko’s last win was a 20-second knockout of Jason Brilz at UFC 129 in Toronto.

British fighters get the axe

English MMA fans won’t be happy, as the UFC released standout 155-pounders Etim and Sass, as well as welterweight Mills. All three fighters lost decisions at this past weekend’s UFC on FUEL TV 7 card in London. Etim was beaten by Renee Forte, Sass by Danny Castillo, and Mills by Mathew Riddle.

Etim (15-5) has lost three of his last four fights, Mills (15-6, 1 NC) has lost two of his last three in the UFC, and Sass (13-2) is on a two-fight losing streak.

Welterweight pink slips

In addition to Fitch, veteran welterweights Hieron and Santiago were also let go. Hieron was knocked out by Tyron Woodley at UFC 156 and Santiago lost a unanimous decision to Gunnar Nelson in London.

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