Ultimate Fighter 27 winner Brad Katona, who came out on top of a season full of undefeated fighters, is a UFC athlete no more. On Tuesday, the Canadian confirmed a report by TSN revealing that he had been cut by the promotion. It’s something of a shock move — most of all to Katona himself.
Addressing the news on Instagram, Katona released the following statement:
“With the news out now I figured I should address it. My release from the UFC came as a surprise but it hasn’t changed my passion or drive to continuing my pursuit of being the best in the world. Originally I wanted to forego announcing my release until I had something tangible and exciting to produce alongside it. Fortunately I have a great team behind me helping to chart out the path to becoming the best version of myself. There’s lots to look forward to and can’t wait to show it all off to you my supportive family, friends, and fans. Thanks everyone, this year’s going to be exciting.”
Originally from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Katona (8-2) relocated to Dublin, Ireland to train with SBG alongside the likes of Conor McGregor and Gunnar Nelson. Starting his career at 6-0 he joined the cast of The Ultimate Fighter 27 in 2018, which notably was made up entirely of undefeated competitors.
Katona got the better of Kyler Phillips and 2019 Submission of the Year winner Bryce Mitchell en route to winning the show at featherweight by earning a unanimous decision against Jay Cucciniello. He picked up another unanimous decision win in his next outing, against Matthew Lopez, before dropping two straight decisions.
The 2-2 run was apparently enough for the UFC to part ways with the Canadian. The move is somewhat reminiscent of Elias Theodorou’s dismissal from the company, and once again puzzling given the promotion is always on the lookout for new stars in Canada. Something lacking since the retirement of Georges St. Pierre and departure of Rory MacDonald.
Katona would no doubt be a good fit for Bellator, however, especially given the company visits the U.K. and Ireland on a regular basis. The PFL could be another potential destination for the 28-year-old.