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Shrinking UFC roster dumps whopping 17 fighters in one day

UFC Fight Night: Caceres v Croom Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) removed 18 fighters from its roster this week — 17 in one day — as it gears up for the UFC 274 pay-per-view (PPV) event on Sat. night (May 7) at Footprint Center in Phoenix, Arizona.

UFC Roster Watch posted the changes on May 4, with light heavyweight “Hurricane” Ike Villanueva the lone fighter to be removed the following day (May 5).

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TWO TITLES UP FOR GRABS! Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) makes its highly anticipated return to Madison Square Garden in New York City on Sat., Nov. 11, 2023, with a re-worked pay-per-view (PPV) main card. In the ESPN+-streamed main event, former 205-pound roost-ruler, Jiri Prochazka, will lock horns with ex-Middleweight kingpin, Alex Pereira, for the promotion’s vacant Light Heavyweight title. In UFC 295’s co-main event, top-ranked Heavyweight contenders, Sergei Pavlovich (No. 2) and Tom Aspinall (No. 4), will collide for the interim strap after division champion, Jon Jones, was injured with a torn pectoral muscle and forced to withdraw (video).

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Here’s the updated list:

Gina Mazany
Dean Barry
Kevin Croom
Cameron Else
Micheal Gillmore
Mike Grundy
Austin Hubbard
Brandon Jenkins
Kris Moutinho
Rong Zhu
Devonte Smith
Bruno Souza
Jesse Strader
Mark Striegl
Kazula Vargas
Luigi Vendramini
Fares Ziam
Ike Villanueva

“I’ll be back baby, I’m only getting better and I’m in love with this journey I’m on,” Strader wrote on social media.

It’s important to note that a majority of fighters removed from the UFC roster have completed their contracts but for varying reasons were not re-signed. Typically, a combatant who performs poorly over an extended period of time will be released to pursue other opportunities.

In related news, the UFC roster added Fernie Garcia, Kleydson Rodrigues, and Cameron VanCamp on May 3.

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