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UFC releases Michael Graves after 2016 domestic violence arrest

UFC on FOX 19 Weigh-ins Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

After being suspended from the UFC in Oct. 2016, Michael Graves has been released by the promotion, the UFC announced Monday.

Graves, a 6-0-1 welterweight prospect, was slated to meet Sergio Moraes at the UFC Fight Night 100 event in Sao Paulo, Brazil, on Nov. 19, but was removed from the bout after being arrested for domestic violence.

At the time, his fiancée told the police that she was punched and elbowed in the face by the MMA fighter.

The American Top Team fighter, who turned 26 years old in January, was arrested Onct. 1 by Atlanta police on charges of misdemeanor battery (family violence). Following the arrest, the UFC said in a statement that the company was "in the process of gathering more information.”

Six months later, the UFC announced that Graves was released from his contract with the promotion following the investigation. The full statement is below:

In November 2016, welterweight Michael Graves was removed from his UFC bout following his arrest in Fulton County, Florida. As a potential violation of the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy, the UFC organization temporarily barred Graves from competition pending the completion of a third-party investigation. Based on the findings of this thorough review and investigation, UFC has advised Graves that he has been released from his contract effective immediately.

UFC requires all athletes to act in an ethical and responsible manner, as mandated by the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy. UFC holds its athletes to the highest standard and will continue to take appropriate action if and when warranted.

Graves joined the UFC after competing at the 21st season of The Ultimate Fighter in 2015. Following his 1-1 run in the reality show, Graves scored back-to-back wins over Vicente Luque and Randy Brown before fighting to a draw with Bojan Velickovic at UFC 201.

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