A strange week and a bad day got even worse for Thales Leites and Tamdan McCrory when each man found out he was going to be dropped from the Ultimate Fighting Championship roster after thinking he might receive a reprieve from UFC president Dana White.
Leites lost a split decision to Alessio Sakara and McCrory was beaten by John Howard in fights on the preliminary card of UFC 101 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia.
News of the move to drop the men surfaced on Thursday. But late Thursday, White told Yahoo! Sports they had been dropped but that he would "fix" it and that they would not be cut.
However, after discussing the move internally on Friday, White changed his mind and opted to let Leites and McCrory go.
"We are cutting them," White said Friday afternoon.
The journey is especially strange for Leites, who was beaten in a middleweight title match at UFC 97 in Montreal by Anderson Silva on April 18. Leites was not aggressive, often flopping onto his back in an unsuccessful bid to lure Silva into a jiu-jitsu contest, and lost a unanimous decision in which the crowd booed lustily. He was more aggressive against Sakara, though the crowd in Philadelphia didn't like the fight and booed very loudly.
Leites was stunned on Saturday when he heard that judges had given Sakara a split-decision victory. However, he had to take some consolation in the fact that at the post-fight news conference, White was specifically asked about Leites and White said Leites would not be cut.
McCrory entered the UFC with an 8-0 record, but has gone 3-3 since, alternating wins and losses.