A win wasn’t enough to save Brazilian heavyweight Augusto Sakai’s spot on the UFC roster.
Sakai (16-5-1) picked up a unanimous decision win over Don’Tale Mayes at UFC Vegas 70 last month, snapping a four-fight skid in the process. The fight was Sakai’s last on his UFC contract, though he had expressed a desire to stay on with the organization.
It seems that won’t be the case. On Thursday, UFC Roster Watch, an automated service that monitors the promotion’s athlete database, was first to note Sakai’s removal.
The move comes just shy of a month to the day of the Mayes win, that halted a skid which included losses to Alistair Overeem and Jair Rozenstruik, among others.
A former Bellator MMA heavyweight, Augusto Sakai joined the UFC by way of Dana White’s Contender Series Brazil in 2018. He would go on to win his first four fights with the company, including victories over former champ Andrei Arlovski, and current contender Marcin Tybura.
Then came the aforementioned losing streak, stretching from 2020 to 2022.
Per a report by MMA Fighting, the promotion opted not to re-sign Sakai, who will now hit the free agent market. Coming off a win, and having proven capable of hanging with some of the best, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the 31-year old picked up by his old home in Bellator, or the PFL.