In one of the most surprising releases in recent memory, news has broken today that Maiquel "Big Rig" Falcão (26-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) has been released by the promotion.
The early reason for Falcão's release is due to surroundings of his probation, which is stemming from a 2002 assault charge in which Falcão is alleged to have hit a woman.
Maiquel arrived in the UFC back in November of 2010 at UFC 123, where he scored a unanimous-decision victory over Gerald Harris. The bout was not without controversy, though, as while Harris was trapped in a very tight rear-naked choke with roughly 12 seconds to go in the first round, the timekeeper signalled the end of the round a whole six seconds early, saving Harris from a submission loss.
The following two rounds were very poor and drew criticism from almost everyone who watched the fight and Harris was released from the promotion himself following the bout, despite owning a 3-1 UFC record and two "Knockout of the Night" bonuses.
The news was sent to Brazilian MMA site Tatamé overnight by Falcão's manager, Marcelo Brigadeiro, who received an e-mail himself regarding Falcao's release from UFC matchmaker Joe Silva on Tuesday evening.
"I decided to communicate you because of the respect we have with Maiquel’s fans. I always worked in a honest and clear way about everything, and wouldn’t act that way in this situation.
This news got us by surprise and let us very shocked, mainly after we signed to fight at UFC Rio. Anyway, we’re very grateful for everything the UFC have done for Maiquel and we believe we go out in a good way.
Besides the sadness, we respect UFC’s decision and hope to return to the biggest event on the planet soon. I think this type of thing happen to make us think about a lot of things, to learn and move on, and you can be sure that Maiquel Falcão will move on.
I’m already in talks with other national and international promotions and you will soon watch Maiquel in action again.
Thanks for all of you that followed and cheered for Falcão at his short career at the Ultimate Fighting Championship."
Due to Falcão's release, a planned UFC 134 bout with "Filthy" Tom Lawlor has been cancelled. It is currently unknown if Lawlor is awaiting a new opponent for the card or if he will be moved altogether.