By Philip O’Connor
(Reuters) – The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is set to cut 60 mixed martial artists from its roster before the end of the year, president Dana White told a media conference after Saturday’s card in Las Vegas.
White was responding to a question about Cuban middleweight Yoel Romero, who was recently dropped by the organisation despite fighting for the title as recently as last March. The UFC currently lists 724 active fighters on its website (www.ufc.com), comprising 117 women and 607 men.
“We’re gonna go through some serious cuts here at the end of the year, probably going to have 60 cuts here before the end of the year … our roster is very inflated right now,” White told reporters.
“We’re just literally starting to go through the list and he (Romero) is 44, he’s lost four of his last five. These are the tough decisions you’ve got to make,” he added.
The UFC was one of the first major American sports bodies to restart in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, creating a bubble and staging cards in Florida and Las Vegas as well as “Fight Island” in Abu Dhabi, with no fans in attendance.
Despite the difficulties and the upcoming cuts, White declared himself happy with the way 2020 has panned out, saying: “For all the negative things and bad stuff that has happened this year, it sure has played out pretty well for us.”
(Reporting by Philip O’Connor; Editing by Hugh Lawson)