The UFC has cut eight fighters from its roster, including light heavyweight veteran Fabio Maldonado.
A source close to the promotion told MMAFighting.com that the UFC has released Maldonado, Chico Camus, Kevin Souza, Ericka Almeida, Bubba Bush, Mickael Lebout, Vernon Ramos and Jumabieke Tuerxun from their contracts.
Maldonado (22-9) entered the UFC in 2010 with a win over James McSweeney. He then lost three straight, but survived in the promotion for his fighting style, and never backing out from a challenge.
Maldonado’s best run in the UFC happened in 2013-14, going 4-1 with his only loss being a short-notice bout versus heavyweight Stipe Miocic. In his last two UFC fights, Maldonado lost to Quinton Jackson and Corey Anderson.
Probably the most surprising name on the list is Kevin Souza (15-4). The 31-year-old featherweight recently had a 10-fight winning streak snapped by Chas Skelly in November. Prior to the loss, Souza went 3-0 in the UFC with a decision win over Felipe Arantes and a pair of knockouts over Mark Eddiva and Katsunori Kikuno.
Souza told MMAFighting.com he wasn’t officially informed by the promotion of his release.
"USADA emailed me saying I don’t need to inform my whereabouts because I wasn’t listed as a UFC fighter anymore," Souza said.
Camus (14-7, 1 NC), a longtime flyweight veteran in the Octagon, leaves the promotion after a 3-4 run with one no contest. Camus, who hasn’t won a fight since a decision over Brad Pickett in 2014, leaves the promotion following back-to-back losses to Henry Cejudo and Kyoji Horiguchi in 2015.
Lebout (14-5-1, 1 NC) won only one of his three UFC bouts, with his win over Teemu Packalen sandwiched by losses to Sergio Moraes and Steven Ray. Ramos (3-1), Bush (8-3, 1 NC), Almeida (7-2) and Tuerxun (15-3) racked up a combined 0-7 record with one no contest inside the Octagon.