UFC Current Roster Update (unlike their own website)


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Highly touted prospect Amir Aliakbari is free from his contractual obligations and is now ready to fight for the Ultimate Fighting Championship soon.

In the spring of 2019, Iranian heavyweight Aliakbari (10-1) announced that he had signed a contract with the UFC, whilst still having a valid contract with Russian promotion Absolute Championship Akhmat. The Aliakbari contract, under which he was to set to complete four fights in the organization, was signed in December 2017. In the ACA, the Iranian fought three times, winning over Shelton Graves, Daniel Omielanczuk and Denis Smoldarev.

"During the pre-trial negotiations between our organization and Aliakbari's management, the latter were offered compensation to the ACA league for early termination of the contract. The founder of the league, Mairbek Khasiev, decided to release the fighter from his unfulfilled obligations. The compensation offered by the Aliakbari team will be donated to charity," said ACA League President Alexei Yatsenko.

Aliakbari holds seven stoppage wins to his credit, all by first-round knockout. Making his major promotional debut at Rizin Fighting Federation in the inaugural openweight Grand Prix, Aliakbari defeated Joao Isidoro Almeida, Heath Herring and Valentin Moldavsky to reach the finals. It was there that Aliakbari suffered his first and only loss of his career, losing by knockout to Mirko Filipovic. Since the loss, Aliakbari has won all five of his bouts, including four finishes.
Read more at https://www.sherdog.com/news/news/I...tract-to-Go-to-UFC-156149#OyAMgxed0rsFEDBu.99


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John Lineker released from UFC contract after 16-fight tenure

Bantamweight contender John Lineker has been released from his UFC contract.

After pleading for a fight, Lineker (31-9 MMA, 12-4 UFC) was given a co-main event spot against Rob Font at UFC on ESPN+ 12 this past month. Hewithdrew from the fight just days out, though, after allegedly suffering a facial laceration during his weight cut.

That withdrawal seemingly didn’t put the Brazilian in the UFC’s good graces, because just weeks later he is no longer with the company, MMA Junkie confirmed with a person close to the situation.

Lineker, 29, made his octagon debut in May 2012. He became a contender in the flyweight division, but after several weight misses was forced up to 135 pounds, where he put together a strong record, as well.

In his most recent fight at UFC on ESPN+ 8 in April, Lineker suffered a split decision loss to Cory Sandhagen.

Lineker’s 12 knockdowns landed in UFC competition are the most in company history for a fighter at bantamweight and lighter.

Lineker’s team declined comment on his UFC release when contacted by MMA Junkie.


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Olympic medalist Mark O. Madsen signs with the UFC, meets Danilo Belluardo in Copenhagen
Mark O. Madsen is the latest Olympian to join the UFC.

The promotion announced Thursday that the Greco-Roman wrestler, who represented Denmark twice at the Olympics and won a silver medal at the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro, will make his Octagon debut versus Danilo Belluardo in a lightweight bout at UFC Copenhagen on Sept. 28.

A multiple-time medalist at the World Championship of wrestling between 2005 and 2015, Madsen won six in a row since returning to MMA after competing in Rio de Janeiro, improving his record to 8-0 with five finishes.

Belluardo (12-4) signed with the UFC after going 5-0 in 2018 and capturing a lightweight title in his home country of Italy earlier this year, but came up short in his Octagon debut in June, losing to Joel Alvarez via second-round TKO.

UFC Copenhagen is set to take place at the Royal Arena in Denmark, featuring middleweights Jack Hermansson and Jared Cannonier in the main event.


Sheymon Moraes
Ryan MacDonald
B.J. Penn
David Branch
Sarah Frota
Alex Garcia
Devin Powell
Austin Arnett
Keita Nakamura
Jon Tuck


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Curtis Millender, Andre Soukhamthath among 12 fighters released by UFC
As 2019 winds down, the UFC has been trimming its roster. A dozen fighters have been released from their contracts in recent weeks, MMA Junkie has learned.

The following fighters have been cut. Each fighter listed has announced the release, or a member of his or her team has informed MMA Junkie of the news. The order in which they appear is alphabetical, not chronological.

Danilo Belluardo | Lightweight (12-5 MMA, 0-2 UFC)

Italy’s Danilo Belluardo was released from his contract following back-to-back losses in the UFC. In his promotional debut, Belluardo lost to Spain’s Joel Alvarez by second-round stoppage due to ground-and-pound. For his second appearance, Belluardo walked into enemy territory in Copenhagen to take on hometown hero Mark O. Madsen. The former Olympic medalist Madsen finished Belluardo by strikes in 72 seconds.

Manny Bermudez | Featherweight (14-2 MMA, 3-2 UFC)

Once considered one of the best bantamweight prospects on the U.S. regional scene, Manny Bermudez’s weight struggles became a problem. He kicked off his UFC career at 3-0. But after missing weight at 135 pounds, Bermudez lost to Casey Kenney. He followed up the mishap with another. He moved up to featherweight, yet missed weight again for UFC on ESPN 6 in Boston in October. Against Charles Rosa, Bermudez was submitted in the first round.

Henry Briones | Bantamweight (16-8-1 MMA, 1-4 UFC)

A five-fight UFC veteran, Mexico’s Henry Briones was known for his do-or-die style and willingness to strike. A member of the UFC roster since 2014, Briones picked up his lone victory with the promotion in his debut when he choked out Guido Cannetti. Four straight losses to Cody Garbrandt, Douglas Silva d’Andrade, Rob Font, and Frankie Saenz earned him his UFC pink slip. (First reported by The Athletic)

Thomas Gifford | Lightweight (17-9 MMA, 0-2 UFC)

Thomas Gifford was a member of the UFC roster only since April, but two losses were enough for the UFC to redirect his trajectory. After he lost a three-round unanimous decision to Roosevelt Roberts in his April debut, Gifford was brutally knocked out by Mike Davis in October.

Nohelin Hernandez | Bantamweight (9-4 MMA, 0-2 UFC)

A former competitor in LFA, Noehlin Hernandez made his UFC debut on short notice in July at UFC 239. Taking on a tough test in Marlon Vera, California’s Hernandez proved he was a gamer. In his sophomore UFC outing in September, Hernandez was submitted by highly touted debutant Jack Shore. Two losses in two-and-a-half months was all the UFC needed to see.

Yoshinori Horie | Featherweight (8-2 MMA, 0-1 UFC)

It was one-and-done in the UFC for Japan’s Yoshinori Horie. A staple of Japanese promotion Pancrase, Horie made his promotional debut at UFC 240 in July. Horie was brutally TKO’d by Canadian up-and-comer Hakeem Dawodu in the final minute of their three-round bout.

Derrick Krantz | Welterweight (24-12 MMA, 0-2 UFC)

It took Derrick Krantz 34 fights to make it to the UFC, but in May 2019 he did just that. Taking on welterweight contender Vicente Luque in on just days’ notice, Krantz was a major underdog. In the opening minutes, however, Krantz tagged Luque with heavy shots. Luque rallied to pick up a first-round TKO. In his second UFC fight, Krantz lost a razor-thin decision to Song Kenan.

Curtis Millender | Welterweight (17-5 MMA, 3-2 UFC)

Presumably one of the more surprising cuts of the bunch, Curtis Millender entered the UFC with a head full of steam. Over the span of his first three UFC outings, Millender defeated Thiago Alves, Max Griffin, and Siyar Bahadurzada. Back-to-back defeats suffered at the hands of Elizeu Zaleski dos Santos and Belal Muhammad led to the UFC’s decision to cut the 31-year-old.

Azamat Murzakanov | Heavyweight (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC)

Azamat Murzakanov’s UFC tenure came to an end before it began. The New Jersey-based Russian heavyweight was scheduled to take on Joachim Christensen in June 2017. However, Murzakanov was flagged by USADA and handed a two-year suspension. It didn’t take Murzakanov long to find a new home, however. He’ll take on Guto Inocente in the first round of a one-night, four-man openweight tournament at Brave CF 29 on Nov. 14.

Andre Soukhamthath | Bantamweight (13-8 MMA, 2-5 UFC)

A staple of the New England regional scene, Andre Soukhamthath made his promotional debut in March 2017. That night, he lost to Albert Morales by split decision. Following his debut, Soukhamthath lost to Alejandro Perez also by split decision. A TKO victory over Luke Sanders earned him a high-profile fight against Sean O’Malley, which he lost by unanimous decision. In his next outing, Soukhamthath got back in the win column when he defeated Jonathan Martinez by unanimous decision. Back-to-back losses to Montel Jackson and Su Madaerji marked the end of his UFC tenure.

Maia Stevenson | Women’s strawweight (6-5 MMA, 0-1 UFC)

Maia Stevenson only had one UFC fight before she was cut. The California resident participated on “The Ultimate Fighter: 26” when she was defeated by eventual tournament winner Sijara Eubanks. At UFC Fight Night 125 in February 2018, Stevenson dropped her UFC debut to Polyana Viana by first-round submission. Stevenson is scheduled to compete on BKFC 6 on Nov. 16 against Helen Peralta.

Kyle Stewart | Welterweight (11-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC)

A veteran of the United States Marine Corps, Kyle Stewart earned his UFC shot after competing for LFA and “Dana White’s Contender Series”. In his debut in January, Stewart was submitted by Chance Rencountre. In his second UFC fight, Stewart was out-grappled by kickboxer Erik Koch for the majority of their three-round bout at UFC 240 in July.


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UFC releases welterweight contender Tarec Saffiedine

The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight division got a bit less crowded recently, as MMA Fighting has reported that the promotion has parted ways with Tarec Saffiedine.

Making his Octagon debut back in 2014, Tarec was coming in hot from Strikeforce as he was riding a four fight-win streak and fresh off a knockout win over Nate Marqaurdt for the promotion’s 170-pound title.

In his UFC debut, Saffiedine earned an impressive unanimous decision win over Hyun Gyu Lim. Later that year, the kickboxer took on Rory MacDonald, ultimately losing via third round knockout.

But after getting back on track with a win over Jake Ellenberger, Tarec went on to lose three in a row to Rick Story, Dong Hyun Kim and then former Lightweight champion, Rafael dos Anjos, way back in the middle of 2017.

Having not competed since then, Saffiedine was officially released of his UFC contract last week after collecting a record of 2-4 during his stint with the Endeavor-owned promotion.

Now, the 33-year old striker can focus on fighting elsewhere, with a likely option being Bellator MMA. Not only would it allow him the opportunity to face some new faces (and some old ones), but it would reunite him with his old boss, Scott Coker.


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Multiple releases per MMAJunkie:

Sergio Moraes | Welterweight (14-6-1 MMA, 8-5-1 UFC)
Darrell Horcher | Lightweight (13-4 MMA, 1-3 UFC)
Boston Salmon | Bantamweight (6-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC)
Allen Crowder | Heavyweight (10-4 MMA, 1-2 UFC) (RETIRED)
Te Edwards | Lightweight (6-3 MMA, 0-2 UFC)
Zak Ottow | Welterweight (17-7 MMA, 4-4 UFC)
Allan Zuniga | Lightweight (13-1 MMA, 0-1 UFC)
Lauren Mueller | Women’s flyweight (5-3 MMA, 1-3 UFC)
Kurt Holobaugh | Lightweight (17-7 MMA, 0-4 UFC)
Jason Gonzalez | Lightweight (11-5 MMA, 1-3 UFC)
Rostem Akman | Welterweight (6-2 MMA, 0-2 UFC)


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How'd you like to be this bastard? lol yikes (not new, was posted above on Nov 5)

Azamat Murzakanov | Heavyweight (7-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC)

Azamat Murzakanov’s UFC tenure came to an end before it began. The New Jersey-based Russian heavyweight was scheduled to take on Joachim Christensen in June 2017. However, Murzakanov was flagged by USADA and handed a two-year suspension. It didn’t take Murzakanov long to find a new home, however. He’ll take on Guto Inocente in the first round of a one-night, four-man openweight tournament at Brave CF 29 on Nov. 14.
FYI he's now 9-0


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Sergio Moraes among 11 fighters cut by the UFC
Sergio Moraes (8-5-1 UFC)

By far the most popular and notable fighter to be released on this list, Moraes competed on the first season of TUF Brazil in 2012 and was a staple of the welterweight division for the last eight years. He defeated the likes of Tim Means, Ben Saunders, Davi Ramos, Zak Ottow, Omari Akhmedov, Mickael Lebout, Neil Magny and Renee Forte in the UFC. His losses came against James Krause, Warlley Alves, Anthony Rocco Martin, Kamaru Usman, and Cezar Ferreira, with a draw against Luan Chagas. He is 37 years old now and may opt to retire. But if he sticks around, he could return to Bellator, where he competed back in 2009.

Zak Otttow (4-4 UFC)

Ottow defeated Dwight Grant, Mike Pyle, Kiichi Kunimoto and Josh Burkman, with losses to Alex Morono, Sage Northcutt, Li Jingliang and Sergio Moraes. He is a solid fighter and would make sense in either Bellator of PFL.

Allen Crowder (1-2 UFC)

Crowder lost by knockout to both Jairzinho Rozenstruik and Justin Willis, with his lone win coming via DQ over Greg Hardy. Cole Shelton here at BJPenn.com previously reported that Crowder decided to retire from the game and the UFC has mutually released him.

Lauren Mueller (1-3 UFC)

Mueller won her UFC debut over Shana Dobson before dropping fights to JJ Aldrich, Poliana Botelho, and Yu Wanan. She could head to Invicta FC next.

Jason Gonzalez (1-3 UFC)

Gonzalez lost to Jim Miller, Drew Dober and Gregor Gillespie, with his lone UFC win over JC Cottrell. He got lost in the shuffle in the stacked UFC lightweight division and was cut.

Darrell Horcher (1-3 UFC)

Horcher lost to Khabib Nurmagomedov, Scott Holtzman and Roosevelt Roberts, with his lone UFC victory coming over Devin Powell by split decision.

Kurt Holobaugh (0-4 UFC)

In Holobaugh’s second stint in the UFC, he lost to Raoni Barcelos, Shane Burgos, and Thiago Moises. He also lost to Steven Siler in his first UFC stint. Although his competition was fierce, he just didn’t get the job done.

Boston Salmon (0-2 UFC)

Salmon was knocked out by both Randy Costa and Khalid Taha in the first round. Despite his standing as a former top prospect, he just didn’t live up to the hype in the UFC.

Te Edwards (0-2 UFC)

Edwards lost to both Don Madge and Dennis Bermudez and the UFC evidently didn’t see enough from him to keep him around any longer.

Rostem Akman (0-2 UFC)

Akman made his UFC debut earlier this year and lost a close decision to Sergey Khandozkho before dropping another decision to Jake Matthews. Neither fight was particularly memorable and the UFC decided to just release him.

Allan Zuniga (0-1 UFC)

Zuniga’s lone UFC bout was a majority decision loss to John Gunther in July 2018. If anything, it’s amazing he lasted this long on the roster.


recent cuts

Daniel Spitz
Ben Saunders

Grigorii Popov
Brandon Davis
Nathan Coy
Kalindra Faria
Junior Albini
Desmond Green
Nordine Taleb
Thiago Alves
Gina Mazany
Jin-Soo Son
Kyle Bochniak