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- American mixed martial artist
Four more fighters have parted ways with the UFC.
Multiple people with knowledge of the situation recently informed MMA Junkie of the roster moves but asked to remain anonymous as the promotion hasn’t made official announcements.
Check out the recent UFC departures below. The roster moves, unless explicitly noted, are not necessarily a “release.” The UFC may have elected not to re-sign certain fighters who were at the end of their contracts.
UFC record: 10-4
The longest-tenured fighter of the bunch, [autotag]Michel Prazeres[/autotag]’ UFC stint comes to an end after back-to-back failed U.S. Anti-Doping Agency tests. Currently serving a suspension for a 2020 positive drug test, Prazeres tested positive yet again in 2021. As a result, he was suspended four years and requested to be released from the promotion. His notable UFC wins include Gilbert Burns, Mairbek Taisumov, Mads Burnell, and Zak Cummings.
MMA Fighting was first to report news of Prazeres’ departure.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 04: (L-R) Dusko Todorovic of Serbia battles Maki Pitolo in their flyweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 04, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
UFC record: 1-5
Nicknamed “Coconut Bombz,” [autotag]Maki Pitolo[/autotag] emerged as an all-action fighter during his six-fight UFC stint after a battle on Dana White’s Contender Series. However, he struggled to get wins. His lone UFC victory came by second-round TKO stoppage when he defeated Charles Byrd in June 2020. Pitolo exits the UFC on a four-fight skid.
MMA Junkie confirmed Pitolo’s departure with a person close to the situation after algorithm-based Twitter account UFC Roster Watch tweeted he was no longer rankings-eligible.
UFC record: 1-3
[autotag]Jared Gooden[/autotag] competed for the UFC four times since his initial signing in late 2020. After back-to-back unanimous decision losses to Alan Jouban and Abubakar Nurmagomedov, Gooden picked up the biggest win of his career when he flattened Niklas Stolze with punches in 68 seconds on the UFC on ESPN 28 main card. In October, Gooden lost another unanimous decision, this time to Randy Brown. His contract was not renewed. Gooden is expected to compete for iKon Fighting Federation on Jan. 21.
A person with knowledge of the situation recently informed MMA Junkie of Gooden’s departure.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – DECEMBER 18: (R-L) Matt Sayles punches Jordan Leavitt in their lightweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 18, 2021 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
UFC record: 1-3
One of the first to earn a contract on Dana White’s Contender Series, Season 2, [autotag]Matt Sayles[/autotag] had a lot of hype entering his promotional debut. A loss against a gritty Sheymon Moraes was followed by a submission win against Kyle Nelson. He then lost back-to-back fights against Bryce Mitchell and Jordan Leavitt, by twister and inverse triangle choke respectively. Sayles was not renewed after the Leavitt loss, which took place in December.
MMA Junkie confirmed Sayles’ departure with a person close to the situation after algorithm-based Twitter account UFC Roster Watch tweeted he was no longer rankings-eligible.