The UFC has released three well known fighters from their roster this week, with George Sotiropoulos, Alessio Sakara and Rosi Sexton all now free agents as 2013 draws to a close.

Sotiropoulos has been with the promotion since a stint on ‘The Ultimate Fighter 6’ back in 2007 and at one stage looked on target for a lightweight title shot after stringing together an impressive seven fight winning streak.

What happened next was one of the most abrupt reversal of fortunes in recent memory in the Octagon as he then proceeded to lose his next four fights in a row, leading to his release.

It’s unfortunate – Sotiropoulos was a very talented jiu-jitsu stylist, but over time it became apparent that he had a couple of chinks in his armor, with the first being his relatively poor takedowns which meant he often couldn’t get the fight to the mat where he could excel, and the second being that he developed a weak chin which resulted in him being badly hurt in some of the fights in the latter stages of his UFC run.

Of the three, Alessio Sakara had the longest run in the UFC, making his debut back in 2005. The Italian’s aggressive, heavy-handed style endeared him to fans and perhaps helped him to stay on the roster longer than he might otherwise have done given that he had a rather patchy record over the years.

His best spell came with a three-fight unbeaten stretch between 2008-2010 which included a win over former middleweight No.1 contender Thales Leites, but he suffered four losses in a row after that, interspersed with significant layoffs due to injuries, which leaves him with an overall 6-8 (+1nc) record in the UFC.

Finally, WMMA pioneer Rosi Sexton has also been cut after failing to make an impact in the woman’s bantamweight division, suffering two decision losses in a row.

The 36 year-old had been all-but retired when the UFC came calling and convinced her to join their newly formed 135lb weight class earlier this year. It was a real challenge though given that she was already small for the flyweight division, and moving to bantamweight proved to be a step too far.

Nevertheless, Sexton still bows out with a very respectable 13-4 professional record.