18 Fighters Removed from UFC Roster as Promotion Does Some Spring Cleaning

Kris Moutinho, UFC Vegas 50
Kris Moutinho, UFC Vegas 50 weigh-in Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

A full 18 fighters are no longer with the UFC after a round of cuts to the promotion’s active roster.

The “spring cleaning” is the latest round of roster trimming, after the UFC parted ways with over a dozen fighters back in late February/March.

The full list of fighters removed from the roster, first identified by automated service UFC Roster Watch on Twitter, breaks down as follows:

  • Ike Villanueva
  • Fares Ziam
  • Luigi Vendramini
  • Kazula Vargas
  • Mark Striegl
  • Jesse Strader
  • Bruno Souza
  • Devonte Smith
  • Rong Zhu
  • Kris Moutinho
  • Brandon Jenkins
  • Austin Hubbard
  • Mike Grundy
  • Michael Gillmore
  • Cameron Else
  • Kevin Croom
  • Dean Barry
  • Gina Mazany

Several of the fighters released have since confirmed the news on social media.

Perhaps the biggest surprise is Barry, who is now one-and-done as a UFC fighter. Ireland’s Barry competed against Mike Jackson last month, a part-time fighter and MMA journalist best known for being brought into the promotion to face Micky Gall and pro wrestler CM Punk. Jackson lost to Gall, beat Punk in a boring three-round affair that was later overturned to a No Contest, and somehow kept his roster spot. In a foul-filled affair, Jackson would win a DQ against Barry, who has now been shown the door as a result.

The timing is perhaps particularly cruel in the case of Mike Grundy and Ike Villanueva. Grundy last competed at UFC London in March, and announced at the event that his father was terminally ill. Villanueva, meanwhile, suffered a grade 3 MCL tear in his fight against Tyson Pedro last month.

Another surprise, Kris Moutinho, who faced Sean O’Malley on short notice last year, winning a Fight of the Night bonus for his efforts. While he was knocked out in his second UFC fight this past March, stepping up on short notice, and winning a bonus in the process usually gives a fighter a bit of breathing room. Not so in this case.

Confirming his release on social media, Jesse Strader vowed to return to the promotion.

“I’ll be back, baby. I’m only getting better & I’m in love with this journey I’m on!!!” he wrote.

With the release of Vargas and Vendramini, both of Paddy Pimblett’s UFC opponents to date are no longer with the promotion.