UFC Releases Urushitani, Griggs, Seven Others

Riley KontekFeatured ColumnistJanuary 18, 2013

Apr 21, 2012; Atlanta, GA, USA; Chad Griggs is checked by an official in a heavyweight bout against Travis Browne during UFC 145 at Philips Arena. Travis Browne won in the first round by submission. Mandatory Credit: Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports
Paul Abell-USA TODAY Sports

It has felt like a while since the UFC has cut anybody from their roster, but it appears as if they did it in bulk this time.

According to a report from bloodyelbow.com (via mmaopinion.com), nine fighters were given their walking papers from the UFC. All nine of these fighters had a win percentage below .500. 

Here is the list:

The UFC have released a number of fighters just as they make room for the additions of the Strikeforce signees.

Chad Griggs, Nick PennerMarcus LeVesseurJohn CoferJoey Gambino, Jeff Hougland, Jared Papazian and Yasuhiro Urishitani and Henry Martinez are the 9 released.

In looking at these releases, nothing really comes as a surprise.

Griggs and Penner are light heavyweights that both went 0-2 with the UFC. 

Griggs entered the UFC after a successful run in Strikeforce as a heavyweight. He premiered with the UFC in a quick losing effort to Travis Browne in the heavyweight division before dropping to 205 and getting choked out by Muay Thai specialist Cyrille Diabate.

His combined time in the Octagon was 4:53. 

As for Penner, he spent his entire timespan at light heavyweight and was finished in both fights. After getting knocked out by Anthony Perosh in his debut, he was knocked out in a Fight of the Night performance against Cody Donovan.

In the flyweight division, Urushitani and Papazian were both released. Both men also went winless with the promotion.

Urushitani was part of the four-man flyweight tournament, losing via knockout to Joseph Benavidez in the semifinals. He was then dominated by John Lineker in his sophomore outing, leading to his departure.

Papazian opened his career in the UFC as a bantamweight, losing to Mike Easton and Dustin Pague. He then dropped to 125, where he was beat by Tim Elliott.

Gambino was the only featherweight released. He went 0-2 in the UFC, losing to Steven Siler and Diego Brandao during his short stint.

Hougland was the lone bantamweight given the pink slip. After beating Donny Walker in his UFC debut, he was handled by Yves Jabouin and Takeya Mizugaki, leading to his release.

Lightweights LeVesseur, Cofer and Martinez were let go from the most crowded division in the UFC.

Cofer had a stint on The Ultimate Fighter: Live where he lost in the finale undercard via knockout to Justin Lawrence. He stayed with the company, as it was a Fight of the Night effort, but was submitted by Mike Rio in his last fight.

Martinez entered the UFC on late notice, a weight class up, losing to Matt Riddle. He then went 1-1 at lightweight, defeating Bernardo Magalhaes but losing in dominant fashion to Daron Cruickshank in a fight where he missed weight.

LeVesseur went 1-2 in the UFC, but he brought a lack of entertainment with him against lower-level competition. He beat Carlo Prater in his sophomore outing but lost against Cody McKenzie and Abel Trujillo, even though he took the Trujillo fight on just 24 hours notice.

It is obvious this winter cleaning is a way to open up the roster to the incoming Strikeforce fighters. It is long overdue, though, as there are still more fighters in the UFC that should be released due to losing streaks such as Byron Bloodworth and Tiequan Zhang.