Liz Carmouche discovered she was released from the UFC while promoting its latest event.
It’s about as sad a twist as you’ll find when it comes to MMA releases. While fighters all too often find out they’ve been cut from promotions in news reports or on social media, Liz Carmouche learned she’d been cut from the UFC while promoting the UFC on ESPN 7 this week.
And while taking something of a financial hit to do so.
ESPN’s Ariel Helwani was first to report the news, citing the former two-time title challenger’s manager. Carmouche was coming off a loss in her title fight against Valentina Shevchenko at UFC Uruguay. Prior to that, she had won two straight fights in the women’s flyweight division.
Liz Carmouche, who competed against Ronda Rousey in the very first female fight in UFC history, was released from the UFC yesterday, according to her manager Kyle Stoltz. Her last fight was for the women’s flyweight title back in August.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) December 6, 2019
Speaking to MMA Junkie’s Mike Bohn on Friday, Carmouche said she was “pained a little bit” about the entire situation.
“They brought me out here and had me doing a lot of media obligations. I went to Arlington Cemetery and was part of the wreath ceremony,” she told the outlet. “They brought me out as a veteran and as a fighter. Then today they had me going to the hospital and talking to different people and different wards – only to find out that I’d been released earlier. The news just finally trickled down to me.”
Worse still, Carmouche had booked time off work to promote the show.
“I took time off from work to be here at my own pocket expense. It’s a little bit sad. Then, two, that it would be done that way… I’m here with the UFC and you could have actually spoken to me firsthand then hear it from my management team.”
Carmouche (13-7) was literally the first female athlete to step into the octagon when she faced Ronda Rousey for the bantamweight title at UFC 157 in 2013. She came up short in that effort, after an early submission attempt had Rousey in trouble.
While Rousey’s star surged, Carmouche struggled, going 1-2 in her next handful of fights. However, she went 4-2 after that, and had seemingly instilled herself as one of the top flyweights in the promotion, after dropping down in 2017.