UFC president Dana White recently rang the bell on an upcoming 60-fighter purge for the promotion. Now, all we can do is sit back and nervously await whom the bell tolls.
More recently, and perhaps more surprisingly, the UFC cut ties with the No. 5 middleweight contender Yoel Romero even though he had three more fights left on his contract. And on Monday, the promotion confirmed women’s flyweight fighter Rachael Ostovich is one of the latest to be released.
With many notable names in the fight game already released, many more are likely to follow. Here are five household name UFC fighters who may be released before the new year.
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Tyron Woodley: Welterweight #6 (19-6-1 record)
The former welterweight champ hasn’t always seen eye to eye with Dana White, often butting heads with the UFC President. But he was the champ, won his fights, and did so with an aggressive display.
Unfortunately for Woodley, that hasn’t been the case for quite some time now. He has lost three of his past four fights. His last victory was back in 2018 at UFC 228 over a still green Darren Till. His latest defeat was against infamous UFC heel and former interim champ Colby Covington.
The fight was billed as two arch-rivals finally meeting to clash, but as the match unfolded, the clash was very much one-sided. It would be no surprise if Woodley were one of the 60 fighters cut.
Clay Guida: Lightweight (35-17-0 record)
Clay Guida has been fighting in the Octagon since 2003. He has fought for many promotions and provided some of the bloodiest and most entertaining performances in UFC history.
In 2019, his 2009 fight against Diego Sanchez was entered in the UFC Hall of Fame. Even though he lost via split decision, to be in the Hall of Fame cements his legacy. Unfortunately, Guida has lost three of his past four fights. His victory was over fellow UFC legend BJ Penn, who was then released by the UFC a few months later. 40-years-old it is a dangerous age to be, especially when Dana White is focusing on building up the young up-and-comers.
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Luke Rockhold: Light Heavyweight (16-5 record)
The 36-year-old mixed-martial artist seems quite distant from the octagon. Last year, Rockhold floated the notion of his retirement from the sport before quickly backtracking his statements. But his actions speak louder than words.
The former middleweight champ hasn’t fought since he moved up to the light heavyweight division in 2019, where he suffered a brutal KO loss at the hands of current Light Heavyweight champion Jan Błachowicz.
Another notable loss was in 2018, against recently released fighter Yoel Romero. If the UFC dropped a celebrated fighter like Romero who beat Rockhold, I would say it’s a safe bet that Rockhold is next on the chopping block.
Urijah Faber: Bantamweight (35-11-0 record)
Hall of Famer Urijah Faber had already retired from the sport back in 2016, but the cage’s call was too great, so he re-entered the octagon in 2019.
At UFC Fight Night 155, Faber rocked Ricky Simon and gained a first-round TKO victory with his return. His fortune then took a turn when he faced Petr Yan at UFC 245. Faber suffered a brutal TKO loss, and he hasn’t been in the Octagon since. It is safe to assume the California kid can ride into the sunset once more.
Junior Dos Santos: Heavyweight #7 (21-8-0 record)
I’m betting that this Saturday’s outcome decides whether JDS continues fighting in the UFC. The former UFC heavyweight champion has lost his past three fights via KO/TKO.
He’s scheduled to fight the undefeated Ciryl Gane at UFC 256. Currently, FanDuel has the odds of this matchup in Gane’s favor at -430, with JDS set as the underdog at +320. If JDS loses, Dana White will probably cut him from the roster.