Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is getting a head start on its spring cleaning this week, quietly parting ways with nearly a dozen fighters in the days leading up to the UFC 271 pay-per-view (PPV) event, scheduled for this Sat. night (Feb. 22, 2022) inside Toyota Center in Houston, Texas.
I guess the promotion needed to make room in the budget for “one of the most lucrative deals in company history,” recently signed by reigning middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. Though to be fair, most of the athletes in this round of roster updates have underperformed over the last year.
Gustavo Lopez (12-6-1, 1-2-1 UFC) is coming off a draw on his fourth UFC outing, which likely means he completed his contract.
Mallory Martin (7-5, 1-3 UFC), the Invicta FC vet, only has one win in four UFC fights, and completed her four-fight deal.
Collin Anglin (8-3-0, 0-2 UFC), the Contender Series vet, lost his first two bouts with the promotion.
Dakota Bush (8-4, 0-2 UFC) also had a brief stay after losing first two UFC bouts.
Andre Ewell (17-9, 4-5 UFC) had a very promising start to his UFC stint, going 4-2 with a win over former champ Barao. Unfortunately, he had a terrible 2021, where he lost all three of his bouts that year.
Hu Yaozong (3-3, 0-3 UFC). Most Chinese fighters have way more fights than their actual online records, so Hu could have a prettier record than this. It didn’t matter when it counted though, as he lost all three of his UFC bouts.
Sasha Palantnikov (6-4, 1-2 UFC), who is from Hong Kong, opened his UFC stint with a win in 2020. Unforunately, he got choked out in his next two UFC bouts in 2021.
Domingo Pilarte (8-3 1 NC, 0-2 1 NC UFC) had a win that was weirdly overturned due to a marijuana test in Texas. So instead of having a victory on his record, he technically is winless in his three UFC fights and got the axe.
Gaetano Pirrello (15-7-1, 0-2 UFC). Another brief UFC stint after losing the first two bouts.
Sean Soriano (14-8, 0-5 UFC) came into the UFC as a hyped undefeated prospect in 2014, but went 0-3 against stiff competition. After a nice run in the regional scene, he moved up in weight and got a second shot in 2021. He is certainly a slick striker, but the holes in his game was exploited again, going 0-2 before this release.
Jordan Williams (9-6 1 NC, 0-3), the Contender Series vet lost all three of his UFC fights.
I don’t think any of the names above will come as a big surprise to most fans, but it’s definitely disappointing to see “Contender Series” prospects like Collin Anglin and Jordan Williams set sail so soon. In addition, Sean Soriano seemed like he had all the tools to make a decent run at 185 pounds but struggled to realize his potential.
Goodbye UFC ... hello PFL?