The Flyweight division in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) has lost one of its best.
MMA Fighting confirmed today (Tues., Nov. 1, 2022) that previously No. 4-ranked UFC 125-pound contender, Askar Askarov (14-1-1), has been released from the promotion. “Bullet” was set to take on Brandon Royval this past month (Oct. 15, 2022), but was forced out of the bout after dealing with weight-cut issues.
Over the weekend, Askarov asked for his release from the promotion via Instagram following his recent health concerns.
“Assalamualikum, due to the fact that my return was delayed, for health reasons and this was my last fight under the contract, I asked the UFC to release me,” Askarov said. “To which I received a positive response. First, let’s put health in order, and then we’ll see what and how.”
Askarov’s departure comes on the heels of UFC releasing eight other roster members yesterday. In addition to Askarov, Middleweight hopeful, Krzysztof Jotko, has also been sent packing.
Kai Kara-France is currently the only man to have defeated Askarov inside the Octagon, scoring a closely contested unanimous decision victory over the Russian in March 2022. Askarov has otherwise been flawless in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career outside of the fun split draw that he fought to against the current interim titleholder, Brandon Moreno, in Sept. 2019.
Askarov’s last two wins were his biggest, sending Joseph Benavidez into retirement following an Alexandre Pantoja triumph. The strong wrestler might not be done in UFC for good, according to his statement, but he’ll clearly be taking some time away from the sport to get his health sorted.