UFC releases 9 fighters including Leites, O'Brien, & McCrory
Most of the cuts centered around the aftermath of UFC 101. Thales Leites, Tamdan McCrory, Dan Cramer, George Roop, and Danillo Villefort all were released after losing at UFC 101.
Jake O’Brien and Matt Grice were also released following their losses at UFC 100.
Denis Stojnic and Dale Hartt were also casualties dating back to their losses at UFC 99.
Most of the news has centered around former contender Thales Leites and Tamdan McCrory, who lost via decision at UFC 101, yet have held their own against some tough competition.
Jake O’Brien and Matt Grice also found early success in their UFC career, but each strained to develop a striking game to match their wrestling talents. O’Brien fought some big names while fighting as a Heavyweight including a win over Heath Herring. O’Brien just didn’t show enough athletecism to compete with the top 205-fighters. Grice debuted in the UFC with a tough submission loss to Terry Etim. He rebounded and beat gritty veteran Jason Black, but after a hiatus from the UFC, he has been unable to re-capture any magic of old. A cut to 145 could revive Grice’s career.
Danillo Villefort was also thought to be a rising prospect, and may have been in line to win his fight over Jesse Lennox, but the fight was stopped due to a cut. The UFC could always re-sign Villefort and McCrory once they gain some more experience in various promotions.
Thales Leites is another case entirely. He was robbed by the judges at UFC 101. Even his opponent, Alessio Sakara, didn’t competely agree with the decision. Yet, it was Leites’ second straight appearance where he failed to show enough aggression. Leites used to be willing to take a few shots in order to score a takedown, but after the Nate Marquardt and Drew McFedries fights some of Leites’ risk-taking practices seemed to take a backseat as he became overly cautious. Leites’ run with the UFC was destined to end sooner, rather than later. No fan would be willing to shell out money to watch Leites ever fight for the title again. Now, after his performance against journeyman Sakara, the UFC would likely not gamble on putting him on a main card. For Leites’ high-salary figure to remain on the undercards was not a wise business decision, hence, Leites was released.
The 9 fighters released are featured below: