14 Fighters No Longer Part of UFC Roster Following Cuts, Free Agency

By: Jay Pettry
Mar 19, 2020

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has trimmed its ranks significantly this week.

On Wednesday night, Sherdog learned that 13 fighters have seen their roster spots removed for various reasons. Some were cut on the heels of losses, others due to inactivity, more for positive drug tests with lengthy suspensions, and some due to their contracts being up. It was later reported by Russian news outlet TASS on Thursday morning that welterweight Ismail Naurdiev was no longer signed with the promotion.

Among the more notable cuts include Mairbek Taisumov and Chance Rencountre, both of whom received their walking papers on the heel of a sole defeat. Taisumov returned to action in September at UFC 242 and dropped a decision to Diego Ferreira that snapped a six-fight win streak including five finishes in that span. Rencountre suffered the first knockout loss of his career at the hands of Lyman Good in November at UFC 244, and went into that bout with consecutive wins over Kyle Stewart and the aforementioned Naurdiev.

Additionally, former Invicta Fighting Championships bantamweight queen Tonya Evinger saw her place on the roster removed after three consecutive losses in her time with the UFC. Evinger made her long-awaited promotional debut against Cristiane Justino and suffered a third-round knockout to the former featherweight champ. From there, she was knocked out by Aspen Ladd and beaten on the scorecards by Lina Lansberg. Evinger only competed once a year for the Las Vegas-based promotion, and has not fought since June 2019.

The list of 14 fighters are as follows: Rencountre, Cyril Asker, Dong Hyun Ma, Isabela de Padua, Naurdiev, Jodie Esquibel, Khalid Murtazaliev, Kyle Prepolec, Taisumov, Marcos Mariano, Matthew Lopez, Talita Bernardo, Tonya Evinger and Zhenhong Lu.

Of those fighters, Prepolec was first to confirm this news, taking to social media on Thursday morning with a statement. He wrote, "Was fun while it lasted once everything is done and settled I'll get the ball rolling and get back in there. Thank you @UFC @UFC_CA for the opportunity. I’ll prove myself worthy again. Time to get back to work. Time to be better than ever before."
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