The UFC has cut Antonio Carlos Junior and four others.
On Thursday, multiple people with knowledge of the situation informed MMA Junkie of the roster moves but asked to remain anonymous as the promotion has yet to make an official announcement.
In late 2020, UFC president Dana White had estimated approximately 60 fighters would be cut in an effort to trim a bloated roster.
“We’re going to go through some serious cuts here at the end of the year. We’re probably going to have 60 cuts before the first of the year. Yoel has lost four of his last five. He’s 44 years old. Our roster is very inflated right now. We’re going to have some big cuts coming before the end of the year. You’re going to see a lot of names going here in the next several weeks. … These are the tough decisions you have to make.”
Check out the recent UFC departures below. The roster moves, unless explicitly noted, are not necessarily a “cut.” The UFC may have elected not to re-sign certain fighters who were at the end of their promotional deals.
Antonio Carlos Junior (10-5 MMA, 7-5 UFC)
The "Ultimate Fighter: Brasil 3" winner known to many MMA fans as "Cara de Sapato," or "Shoeface," [autotag]Antonio Carlos Junior[/autotag] has been released from the promotion, his manager, Dominance MMA head Ali Abdelaziz, told MMA Junkie's John Morgan on Thursday. Junior's departure comes less than two weeks after a unanimous decision loss to Brad Tavares at UFC 257. The defeat was Junior's third in a row, joining back-to-back decision losses to Uriah Hall and Ian Heinisch. Junior, 30, made his promotional debut in 2014 when he won "TUF: Brasil 3's" heavyweight tournament by defeating Vitor Miranda in the final. After a one-fight stop at light heavyweight (a loss to Patrick Cummins), Junior dropped to middleweight in 2015. Over the span of the following eight fights at 185 pounds, Junior went 6-1 with one no contest. He picked up victories over Marvin Vettori and Tim Boetsch among others. A high-level black belt, Junior picked up five submission victories during his UFC tenure – all by rear-naked choke.
Carlton Minus (10-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - DECEMBER 19: (L-R) Carlton Minus faces Christos Giagos in their catchweight bout during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on December 19, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Cooper Neill/Zuffa LLC)
The UFC has parted ways with [autotag]Carlton Minus[/autotag] following two straight losses in the promotion. The Alaska FC standout and former PFL fighter made his promotional debut in August 2020 against fellow debutant Matthew Semelsberger. In his sophomore appearance, Minus faced a different opponent, but encountered the same end result. Minus lost a unanimous decision to Christos Giagos in December.
Rhys McKee (10-4-1 MMA, 0-2 UFC)
Former Cage Warriors champion [autotag]Rhys McKee[/autotag] announced his release from the UFC in a series of recent posts on social media. McKee faced Khamzat Chimaev on short-notice in his UFC debut and lost via first-round TKO. In his second promotional appearance, McKee lost a back-and-forth battle to Alex Morono by unanimous decision in November.
Sarah Moras (6-7 MMA, 3-6 UFC)
[autotag]Sarah Moras[/autotag] departs the UFC having lost back-to-back fights. The Canadian bantamweight competed nine times in the UFC with wins over Alexis Dufresne, Ashlee Evans-Smith, and Liana Jojua.
Anthony Ivy (8-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC)
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - SEPTEMBER 12: (L-R) Anthony Ivy punches Bryan Barberena in a welterweight fight during the UFC Fight Night event at UFC APEX on September 12, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC)
[autotag]Anthony Ivy[/autotag] signed with the UFC in June 2020 for a short-notice opportunity against Christian Aguilera. Entering the bout as one of Texas' hottest regional prospects, Ivy was finished by Aguilera with strikes in 59 seconds. His follow-up effort was also a loss – a unanimous decision defeat to Bryan Barberena in September.