The Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) is the premier MMA promotion in the world. It is the world's largest MMA organization and features some of the most elite level fighters on the globe on its roster.
The athletes from different parts of the world are spread into twelve weight divisions - eight men's divisions and four women's divisions. As of 2020, the UFC roster consists of fighters from as many as 71 countries. On its official website, the promotion has listed a total of 724 active fighters (comprising 117 women and 607 men). However, per UFC President Dana White, the promotion will be making as many as 60 cuts from its roster before the end of the year.
UFC to remove at least 60 fighters from its current roster by the end of the year
At a press conference following last weekend's UFC Vegas 16 event, White revealed that the promotion plans to make some "serious cuts" at the end of the year. This started with the news of former middleweight title challenger Yoel Romero being released by the promotion.
When asked about Romero's sudden release from the UFC, White said that the Cuban is 44 years old and at the fag end of his fighting career with just one win in his last five fights. He further explained that it was a tough decision to make but that's how the company works and these calls need to be taken at some point in time. White said that Romero is just one of the names in the list of fighters that the promotion is likely to let go of by the end of this year.
"We're gonna go through some serious cuts here at the end of the year, probably going to have 60 cuts here before the end of the year. Our roster is very inflated right now. We're just literally starting to go through the list and he (Romero) is 44, he's lost four of his last five. These are the tough decisions you've got to make."
Well, it is somewhat understandable that the UFC is looking to cut its roster after a year that barely saw any live events due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Live sporting action was put on hold across the globe and it was Dana White who made sure that the UFC was the first American sporting organization to hold live events.
The UFC held events at the promotion's Apex facility in Las Vegas and the specially constructed "Fight Island" in Abu Dhabi, albeit without fans in attendance. White plans to bring in fans for the first time in January at the UFC 257 pay-per-view in Abu Dhabi. UFC 257 is headlined by a rematch between Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier.