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Thomas Almeida, three others released in latest UFC roster trimming

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UFC 260: O’Malley v Almeida Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

The UFC roster remains in a constant state of change, much to the dismay of some of its athletes. With four-to-five “Contender Series” products being signed each week for relatively cheap, space has to be made for the incoming talent.

MMAFighting’s Guilherme Cruz revealed earlier today that four more athletes were released from the roster, most notably Thomas Almeida, who was at one point of the Bantamweight division’s hottest prospects. In addition to the Chute Boxe-trained knockout artist, Sara Alpar, Mike Rodriguez and Antonio Arroyo are no longer on the UFC roster.

Again, Almeida is the big name of this batch. If we flash back to 2015, the Brazilian was 21-0 and riding a four-fight win streak inside the Octagon. Unfortunately, the Muay Thai specialist ran into a surging Cody Garbrandt on his own title run, and since then, Almeida has never really been able to recover momentum. He’s lost his last four bouts, most recently getting stopped by Sean O’Malley in March 2021.

At 30 years of age, perhaps there’s still hope for a rebound.

The other three athletes released were actually all picked up from “Contender Series.” Of the three, Rodriguez was with the promotion the longest, signing in 2017 and putting together a 2-5 (1) record. Given his record and current three-fight losing streak, the release isn’t shocking, but it is a bit rough when considering that one of those defeats was the highly controversial (read: absolute bulls—t) loss to Ed Herman.

Both Alpar and Arroyo joined the roster in 2019. Alpar is winless in two trips to the Octagon, struggling most recently against Erin Blanchfield at UFC Vegas 37. Similarly, Arroyo also came up short at that event, dropping his UFC record to 0-3 in a competitive bout vs. Joaquin Buckley.

Buckley pleaded for the promotion to hang onto the Brazilian, but his request was ignored.