It's lately win or go home inside the Octagon ... literally.
The UFC -- in a move to trim its roster and offer the better fighters more opportunities to compete -- has once again released several fighters from their contracts after losing performances, including Din Thomas, Kuniyoshi Hironaka and Tommy Speer, according to the most recent print edition of the Wrestling Observer newsletter.
These combatants join Jake O'Brien, Travis Lutter, David Heath, Kalib Starnes, Joe Doerksen and John Halverson on the growing list of recent Zuffa contract casualties.
Thomas is perhaps the most accomplished veteran to get the axe -- he was considered a top contender in the stacked 155-pound division prior to back-to-back losses (one was because he blew out his knee during the fight.) "Dinyero" -- perhaps sensing that the end was near -- recently revealed his desires to compete at 145 pounds.
Whether or not he lands in the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) promotion remains to be see.
Speer, of course, was the runner up during The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 6 show, losing in the finals to eventual champion Mac Danzing via first round technical knockout. The "Farm Boy" was then blasted out in his next fight against Anthony Johnson at UFC Fight Night 13 last month.
That's not a glowing endorsement of the talent pool of the mixed martial arts reality series.
Hironaka was a very tough fighter who could just not get it together inside the Octagon. He lost three of four bouts, including a "Fight of the Night" against Jonathan Goulet at UFC 83: "Serra vs. St. Pierre 2" on April 19.
If nothing else this latest news puts more pressure on fighters to not only win, but perform well if given the chance to fight for the UFC. It also ensures that, hopefully, we see more of the top fighters competing against better competition more often.