That space came at the expense of nine UFC veterans who, according to a report from MMA Opinion, have been let go from the world's largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion.
Chad Griggs (light heavyweight), Nick Penner (light heavyweight), Marcus LeVesseur (lightweight), John Cofer (lightweight), Joey Gambino (featherweight), Henry Martinez (lightweight), Jeff Hougland (bantamweight), Jared Papazian (flyweight) and Yasuhiro Urushitani (flyweight) are the nine fighters who will part ways with the organization after losing one or more fights in arrow under the UFC banner.
All fighter have had their official profiles removed from UFC.com, the organization's official website.
Griggs (11-3) is an ex-Strikeforce fighter who made the jump to the UFC when the Strikeforce heavyweight division dissolved. "The Grave Digger" quickly went 0-2 in his UFC stint, losing to Travis Browne by submission at UFC 145 and again losing by submission in his light heavyweight debut against Cyrille Diabate at UFC 154.
Penner (11-3) also went 0-2 in his short time with the UFC, losing back-to-back fights in the first round due to strikes at UFC on FX 2 and UFC on FX 6, both of which took place in Australia. The Canadian was defeated by Anthony Perosh and Cody Donovan, respectably.
Levesseur (22-7) was able to rack one win inside the Octagon, a debatable split decision victory over Carlo Prater at UFC on FX 5. That victory was sandwiched between two decisive defeats at the hands of Cody McKenzie and Abel Trujillo.
Gambino (9-2) is the youngest fighter of the group to be released, as he is just 24 years old. The New York native clearly wasn't ready for the UFC, though, as he was submitted by Steven Siler in his UFC debut in June 2012 and then dropped a decision to Diego Brandao at UFC 153 in October 2012.
Martinez (9-3) delivered some extremely exciting fights over the course of his three-fight UFC career. The 29-year-old had a split decision win over Bernardo Magalhaes in between losses to Matt Riddle and Daron Cruickshank. The latter defeat was likely what got Martinez released, as he was on the receiving end of a highlight reel head-kick knockout.
Hougland (10-6) opened his UFC career with a decision victory over Donny Walker at UFC 132, but was never able to build any momentum from that, as he proceeded to drop a pair of one-sided decisions to Yves Jabouin and Takeya Mizugaki.
Papazian (14-9-1) is the only fighter in the group to have gone 0-3 inside the Octagon. After losing a close decision to Mike Easton in his UFC debut at bantamweight, "The Jackhammer" dropped down to the flyweight division where he was unable to find any success, losing to Dustin Pague and Tim Elliott.
Urushitani (19-6-6) may be the most surprising release of any in the group. Despite being 36 years old and going 0-2, the Japanese fighter entered the UFC ranked as one of the top flyweights in the world, and arguably still is today. Moreover, his first loss came at the hands of former 125-pound title challenger Joseph Benavidez.
Usually the UFC only cuts a fighter lose after two or more losses in a row, but the latest group of fighters to be let go from the organization proves it only takes one defeat to get your walking papers.
With a number of Strikeforce fighters still being signed and UFC events scheduled for six of the next seven weekends, expect many more releases to be announced in the coming weeks and months.