It’s been a while since the UFC had themselves a good-ol’-fashioned bloodletting. It was announced this week that four more fighters have been chopped from the roster — three of them middleweights. Let’s run down the firings in order of most-deserving to least-deserving…
Todd Brown: A light-heavyweight standout in the midwestern circuit, Brown made his UFC debut as a late replacement for Thiago Silva at UFC 117, dropping a decision to Tim Boetsch. His follow-up performance at UFC on Versus 3: Sanchez vs. Kampmann earlier this month was even less successful, as he was stopped after one round by Igor Pokrajac. The 5’11″ Indiana native is now fielding offers from regional promotions and is considering a drop to middleweight.
Rob Kimmons: The Missouri-based 185′er has been released after consecutive stoppage losses to Kyle Noke (at UFC 122) and Dong Yi Yang (at Sanchez vs. Kampmann). Prior to his recent defeats, Kimmons had compiled a 3-2 record in the Octagon, with wins over Rob Yundt, Joe Vedepo, and Steve Steinbeiss, and losses to Dan Miller and Jorge Rivera.
Dave Branch: Also in the middleweight division, the UFC has ditched Renzo Gracie BJJ black belt Dave Branch. Branch made his UFC debut against Gerald Harris at UFC 116, and ended up on the wrong end of a SportsCenter highlight reel. Branch rebounded with decision wins against Tomasz Drwal and Rich Attonito, but suffered another setback at Sanchez vs. Kampmann, losing to Rousimar Palhares by second-round kneebar. A 2-2 overall record was enough to make the UFC re-consider Branch’s continued employment.
Chris Camozzi: And finally, TUF 11 middleweight castmember Chris “Kamikaze” Camozzi has been cut following his submission loss to Kyle Noke at UFC 127. The news is somewhat surprising, since it was his only official loss in the Octagon, following decision wins over James Hammortree and Dong Yi Yang. Camozzi’s announcement of his release only raised more questions:
“According to the UFC the issue is less about my performance (they offered to give me a recommendation) and more to do with an overloaded roster and not enough fights for us under contract. This has nothing to do with the recent merger. My management company will be targeting shows like Strikeforce and MFC after we get a win.”
First off, I didn’t know the UFC wrote letters of recommendation for fighters they just cut. Good to know. But also, Camozzi was fired because of an “overloaded roster”? Really? Because that doesn’t really match up with the “we need more fighters, we need more fights” mantra that we’ve been hearing since the UFC’s purchase of Strikeforce…