In a surprising move the UFC have released The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 winner Efrain Escudero following his third round submission loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 22 last week.
The 24 year-old had compiled a 3-2 in the UFC to date, taking his career record to 13-2, and having won his previous bout at UFC 114 with Dan Lauzon, there was little to suggest that he was under threat of being released at this stage.
The fact that Escudero weighed in at 159lbs for his lightweight bout with Oliveira may have been a factor in the decision though. He had also came in over the limit at UFC 103 last year when he initially weighed 157lbs, though he was able to successfully cut to the 156lb limit an hour later.
The Mexican born fighter now holds the dubious title of being the first winner of TUF (excluding TUF 4’s Travis Lutter who had already fought in the UFC before winning the ‘comeback’ season) to be released from his contract.
Reacting to the news Escudero tells MMAWeekly that he now plans to have a week off before making a decision on what comes next. On his twitter account he also reveals that he’s talking to both Strikeforce and Bellator.