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Tag: UFC firings

And Now He’s Fired: Phil Baroni

Phil Baroni UFC 125 walkout MMA photos Mark Coleman
(The record shows he took the blows / and did it hiiiiiiiis waaaaaaaay. Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

After suffering a first-round knockout at the hands of Brad Tavares at UFC 125 — his second-consecutive loss since returning to the UFC in November 2009, and his third-straight loss overall — it appears that Phil Baroni‘s latest stint in the UFC has officially ended. Versus’s MMA Beat passed along confirmation of his release last night. The firing was no surprise to Baroni, who intends to stay very active in 2011 and work his way back to the big leagues.

The 34-year-old currently holds an MMA record of 13-13, with a 3-7 lifetime record in the UFC. Baroni hasn’t tasted victory in the Octagon since declaring himself "the man" after storming Dave Menne at UFC 39 in September 2002. Tough break for the NYBA, but maybe we’ll finally get to see that rubber match with Minowaman.

Semi-related: Matt Brown, who has lost his last three fights in the UFC, all by second-round submission, is reportedly getting another shot against British welterweight Mark Scanlon (7-1, 0-1 UFC) at UFC on Versus 3 in March. Go figure.

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Thanksgiving UFC News Dump: Bookings, Replacements, Firings + More


("COME AT ME, BRO!")

Happy Thanksgiving, Potato Nation! If you’re reading this right now, you should probably consider disconnecting from the Internet and spending time with your family. If you came here to escape those horrible people, brother we can relate. (*Pours another glass of scotch*) Let us know what you’re thankful for in the comments section, and keep up-to-date with this grab-bag of UFC headlines…

– Replacing the unfortunately injured Jose Aldo at UFC 125 against Josh Grispi will be Dustin Poirier, an 8-1 featherweight prospect who just knocked out Zach Micklewright in 53 seconds earlier this month at WEC 52: Faber vs. Mizugaki. Chris Leben vs. Brian Stann will now be the event’s co-headliner, in support of the Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard lightweight title fight.

– Coming off an ugly knockout loss against George Roop at WEC 51, "The Korean Zombie" Chan Sung Jung has his win-or-go-home fight booked, as he’ll be taking on Rani Yahya at Fight for the Troops 2 on January 22nd. It’ll be the only fight on the card where you won’t be able to chant "U!S!A!" in support of at least one of the fighters. Expect a lot of fans in the arena to make trips to the bathroom.

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And Now He’s Fired: Gerald Harris (Wait, What the F*ck? Seriously?)

Maiquel Falcao Gerald Harris UFC 123
(Remember to include "proficient in jabbing" on your resume. / Photo courtesy of UFC.com)

UFC middleweight contender Gerald Harris confirmed last night that he has been released by the UFC following his decision loss to Maiquel Falcao at UFC 123. Yes, Gerald Harris, the SportsCenter highlight-maker and all-around nice guy, who had come into the fight with a 3-0 Octagon record and two Knockout of the Night bonuses under his belt. Even considering how lackluster his fight last weekend turned out, this has to be the most unexpected UFC firing in recent memory. Is the UFC so dead-set on trimming their roster with the influx of WEC talent that they’ll bounce a rising star for one bad showing? Maybe. But get this…

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And Now He’s Fired (And Possibly Retired): Gabriel Gonzaga


(Don’t worry Gabe, the world will always need drinking instructors… / Props: gonzagabjj)

Following two consecutive losses to Junior Dos Santos and Brendan Schaub (at UFC 121), former heavyweight title contender Gabriel Gonzaga has been released by the UFC. "Napao" confirmed the news via Twitter today, writing: "Official now – Out of UFC – Thanks for all your support – back to normal life and BJJ forever." Could Gonzaga really be retiring from MMA altogether? Come on bro, all you need is a new camp and a strategy that doesn’t focus on the absolute weakest part of your game

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And Now He’s Fired: Efrain Escudero

Efrain Escudero Charles Oliveira UFC Fight Night 22
(Poor kid. He didn’t even get a chance to go on a three-fight losing streak. Photo courtesy of MMAFighting.com)

Following his submission loss to Charles Oliveira at UFC Fight Night 22, TUF 8 lightweight winner Efrain Escudero has been released from his UFC contract. Escudero confirmed the news last night via Twitter, writing "I was released by the Ufc today speaking to strikeforce and bellator. Taking a week off and make my way back!!!!!"

Escudero becomes just the second Ultimate Fighter-winner to be pink-slipped in the show’s five-and-a-half-year history; TUF 4‘s Travis Lutter got canned in April 2008. TUF winners tend to get a lot of leeway in their UFC careers — check out the spotty records of guys like Mac Danzig and Kendall Grove — but missing weight and garbage-ass performances will get you on the UFC’s bad side no matter who you are. Escudero struck out big time last week when he missed weight by an unacceptable four pounds, then lost to an up-and-comer in a fight that was entertaining despite Efrain’s best efforts to stall.

We’re sure Effy will land on his feet, and may even battle his way back to the UFC one day. But between this and Todd Duffee‘s firing two weeks ago, it seems like the UFC is becoming less interested in giving second (or third) chances to fighters who aren’t performing up to expectations.

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And Now He’s Fired: Ben Saunders

Ben Saunders Dennis Hallman UFC 117
(Killa B gets worked by Dennis Hallman at UFC 117. Photo courtesy of MMAFighting.)

Following back-to-back unanimous decision losses to Dennis Hallman at UFC 117 and Jon Fitch at UFC 111, Ben Saunders (8-3-2, 4-3 UFC) has been released from his UFC contract. The American Top Team welterweight confirmed the news on his Twitter page, where he wrote the following:

Sorry everyone I tried to fight my best these past two fights but ended up getting out worked… the UFC has officially cut me… the good news is they told me to work on my wrestling and ground game and then come back… So that is all I am going to be doing… improving dramatically and show them I belong. It was a honor to fight for the @UFC and I will make it back into the mix in due time… no one ever said my dream of getting that belt would be easy… in fact I was denied it as even a possibility and told I was crazy since I was a kid… look how far I have gone feeding off the doubters and haters… it just makes me that much more hungry… I’ll be back! There isn’t a doubt in my mind.

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And Now He’s Fired Too: Keith Jardine

Keith Jardine UFC
(Too weird to live. Too rare to die. Photo courtesy of MMAFighting.com)

We crossed our fingers and held our breath, but we were not able to stave off the inevitable. As first reported by MMAFighting, longtime UFC veteran Keith Jardine has been cut by the UFC following his fourth consecutive loss, a majority decision against Matt Hamill at the TUF 11 Finale.

Jardine has competed exclusively for the UFC since entering the organization through The Ultimate Fighter 2 in 2005. Since his stint on the reality show, Jardine has gone 6-7 in professional competition, scoring notable victories over Forrest Griffin, Chuck Liddell, and Brandon Vera. But in recent years, the Dean of Mean repeatedly fell short against the elite of the light-heavyweight division, suffering defeats at the hands of Quinton Jackson, Wanderlei Silva, and Thiago Silva, among others. Said Dana White of Jardine’s release: "It sucks. I have nothing but respect for him and I hope to see him back soon."

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Latest Wave of UFC Firings Claims Rob Emerson, Brad Blackburn + More

Fabricio Camoes Caol Uno UFC 106
(Fabricio Camoes loads up on Caol Uno at UFC 106. Photo courtesy of Sherdog.)

The UFC did some spring cleaning this week, shredding the contracts of four recent fight-losers. In order of least surprising to most surprising…

Fabricio Camoes: During his brief stint in the UFC, Camoes drew with Caol Uno (who was released last week along with Lucio Linhares) then got choked out by Kurt Pellegrino at UFC 111. If you’re a relatively unknown prospect, you can’t really hope for more than two chances to pick up your first win in the Octagon. Back to the bush leagues…

Rob Emerson: His unanimous decision loss to rising prospect Nik Lentz at UFC Fight Night 21 was his third defeat in his last four fights, and dropped his career record to a grim 9-9. It was a little odd to see Emerson get this fight in the first place, as it came less than two months after his decision win over Phillipe Nover at UFC 109, but it’s just been too long since Emerson truly impressed. You hate to see that happen to such a kindhearted person

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