Antonio Carlos Junior among 12 fighters let go by UFC

By Field Level Media
Jan 23, 2021; Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates; Antonio Carlos Junior of Brazil punches Brad Tavares in a middleweight fight during the UFC 257 event inside Etihad Arena on UFC Fight Island. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Bottari/Handout Photo via USA TODAY Sports

The fighter known as “Shoeface” was among a dozen mixed martial artists who were given the boot by UFC on Thursday, according to numerous reports.

Heavyweight Antonio Carlos “Shoeface” Junior (10-5, 1 NC), the former “Ultimate Fighter: Brazil 3” winner, was one of those who was released from his contract.

Also either released or not going to be re-signed by UFC are welterweight Carlton Minus (10-3, 1 NC), featherweight Peter Barrett (11-5), featherweight Spike Carlyle (9-3), welterweight Anthony Ivy (8-4), featherweight Jacob Kilburn (8-4), bantamweight Sarah Moras (6-7), light heavyweight Vinicius Moreira (9-5), middleweight Markus Perez (12-5), welterweight Cole Williams (11-3), bantamweight Vanessa Melo (11-8) and welterweight Rhys McKee (10-4-1).

UFC has not confirmed the releases on its website.

UFC president Dana White said early December that his organization was planning to reduce its roster by as many as 60 fighters. It is unclear when — or if — the next round of cuts will occur.

“We’re gonna go through some serious cuts here at the end of the year,” White said. “Probably gonna have 60 cuts coming up before the first of the year. … Our roster is very inflated right now. We’re gonna have some big cuts coming before the end of the year. You’re gonna see a lot of names going here in the next couple of weeks.”

In December, the UFC released Yoel Romero, who was coming off a unanimous-decision loss to middleweight champ Israel Adesanya in a title fight on March 7.

However, Romero, who turns 44 in April, recently signed a deal with Bellator, which is UFC’s rival promotion.

–Field Level Media