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And Now They’re Fired: Brown, Kimmons, Branch, Camozzi


(Oh, snap — Rousimar Palhares makes off with Dave Branch’s leg, and UFC contract, at ‘Sanchez vs. Kampmann’. Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

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

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AndyInflammatory- March 24, 2011 at 2:38 pm
they need more EXCITING fighters - not prelim fillers
serofibrinous- March 24, 2011 at 12:36 pm
Just curious, did matt "the immortal" brown get fired yet? I hope so.
Shatski- March 24, 2011 at 11:01 am
Thanks, Sudos. The departing middleweights might be to help fill out the Strikeforce MW roster. Wouldn't be surprised to see that happen more here soon so that Strikeforce can actually put on more shows that people will watch, meaning non-Challengers shows.

That wasn't a well thought out statement, huh, Bill? Where do you think the main event fighters come from? The undercards and smaller shows.

The argument that they have a whole bunch of main eventers at Strikeforce now is irrelevant unless those same SF fighters have contracts that are up soon since Dana said that Zuffa is going to honor those existing contracts. Many of the older veterans from Pride are either there already, gone, or under those same Strikeforce contracts. Gotta start small before you make it big. Brock being the exception since he had a built in audience, but even he wasn't in the main event until his title shot. Besides Brock, all of the current champs and stars had to come from humble beginnings first.
Bill Jackson- March 24, 2011 at 10:29 am
They need more main event fighters, not undercard nobodies...
RwilsonR- March 24, 2011 at 10:19 am
Palhares' knee bars are so brutal they break his opponents' contracts.
Sudos KFC- March 24, 2011 at 9:17 am
Kimmons (a sometimes training partner and the ref for my first mma fight a couple years back) is the perfect sort to fill out strikeforces roster at 185 as a gatekeeper or middle contender. Same with branch (would like to see that fight actually) and I like shatski's points.
Daddy_jeffy- March 24, 2011 at 8:10 am
And yet Eliot Marshall still has a job. He was right there in his last fight.
Morningwood- March 24, 2011 at 7:48 am
the name Dong Ying Yang makes me laugh.
Shatski- March 24, 2011 at 7:40 am
I would think they would cut somebody to offer them a Strikeforce contract, even if only to maintain that it is a "separate entity." End one contract before putting a new one together under a different branch of the same Zuffa tree. Overloaded roster sounds like crap especially for a non-lightweight.
mDino- March 24, 2011 at 7:36 am
aye cp, aye
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