UFC’s White: ‘Serious cuts’ coming by end of ’20

MMA

The UFC surprisingly released top middleweight contender Yoel Romero on Friday, but UFC president Dana White said that won’t be the only departure coming.

At the news conference following Saturday night’s UFC Fight Night, White said the promotion would be cutting around 60 fighters before the end of the year.

“We’re gonna go through some serious cuts here at the end of the year,” White said. “Probably gonna have 60 cuts coming up before the first of the year. … Our roster is very inflated right now. We’re gonna have some big cuts coming before the end of the year. You’re gonna see a lot of names going here in the next couple of weeks.”

White didn’t mention specific names, but said, “We’re just literally starting to go through the list. … These are the tough decisions you’ve gotta make.”

This is not an atypical occurrence at the end of the year, though 60 would be a bigger number than usual. Like most other sports properties, the UFC has had ups and downs in 2020, a year marred by the global coronavirus pandemic. No crowds since March have meant a loss of expected revenue.

But the UFC was the first major sports vehicle to restart back in May after a COVID-19 hiatus and has run every single weekend since July. The influx of recent signees from Dana White’s Contender Series, a show built to find prospects, has expanded the roster. Those entry-level athletes earn lighter fight purses than the more established athletes.

Regarding Romero’s release, White cited the fact Romero has lost four of his past five fights and is 43 years old. The move was surprising, though, considering Romero challenged Israel Adesanya for the UFC middleweight title in his most recent bout, at UFC 248 in March.

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