Three well known UFC stars have been cut from the promotion in the lead up to Christmas, with Renan Barao, Liz Carmouche and Gray Maynard all being confirmed to have been released in recent days.
Renan Barao’s fall from grace has been perplexing as back in 2014 he was considered one of the pound-for-pound greats in the sport, enjoying his reign as the dominant UFC bantamweight champion with three successful title defenses and a stellar 32-1 (+1nc) career record.
However, then came a TKO title loss against TJ Dillashaw that would change everything, as it would be the start of a five year spell in which he would lose eight out of 10 fights.
That includes his current five-fight losing streak that’s seen him being defeated by Aljamain Sterling, Brian Kelleher, Andre Ewell, Luke Sanders and Douglas Silva de Andrade.
While Barao’s release makes sense under the circumstances, Liz Carmouche being cut is more puzzling.
After all, Carmouche has actually won four of her last six fights and her last fight was a title challenge against flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, wo defeated her convincingly on the scorecards.
The manner in which the UFC dealt with Carmouche’s dismissal also leaves something to be desired as the fighter has revealed she was actually doing a media tour with the UFC, laying wreaths at Arlington Cemetery and visiting people in hospital, when the news filtered down to her that she’d been cut from the promotion.
Also being shown the exit door is Gray Maynard, who actually hasn’t fought for the UFC in well over a year anyway, but has now had his release confirmed.
The 40-year-old veteran challenged or the lightweight title on two occasions during his career, but suffered a tough run in the final years of his time in the UFC, losing six of his last eight fights, with the last being a TKO defeat against Nik Lentz in October of last year.