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Elias Theodorou, several others no longer with UFC

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Elias Theodorou
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC middleweight Elias Theodorou has gone from the contenders’ rankings to free agency.

Following a report from Combate, Theodorou (16-3) has confirmed via his social media that he has parted ways with the promotion that he’s fought for since 2014.

Also reportedly released were Wilson Reis, Marcelo Golm, and Eric Shelton. MMA Fighting’s Guilherme Cruz confirmed with sources the releases of Reis and Golm, and that Abdul-Kerim Edilov and Dmitrii Smoliakov are no longer on the roster.

Shelton released his own statement on Instagram:

Theodorou’s release comes as somewhat of a surprise given his 8-3 record inside the Octagon, a stretch of success that earned him a top-15 ranking. The winner of The Ultimate Fighter Nations, Theodorou won his first three UFC fights before dropping a unanimous decision to future light heavyweight contender Thiago Santos. He would win five of his next seven, losing his most recent bout to Derek Brunson by unanimous decision at UFC Ottawa in May.

Though the 30-year-old Canadian showed flashes of becoming a marketable star for the UFC, he failed to pick up a signature finish during his time with the organization.

Reis, 34, peaked in April 2017 when he earned a flyweight title shot against Demetrious Johnson at UFC on FOX 24 on the strength of a 5-1 run. He would be submitted in the third round by Johnson, part of a 1-4 stretch that signaled the end of his UFC tenure. His last fight fight saw at UFC 236 him TKO’d inside of a round by Alexandre Pantoja. The loss dropped Reis’s UFC record to 7-6 and overall record to 23-10.

Golm (6-3) made a successful UFC debut against Christian Colombo back in October 2017, winning by first-round submission in just his sixth pro bout. The 26-year-old heavyweight went winless in his next three, most recently suffering a 66-second knockout loss to Sergey Pavlovich in April.

Shelton, 28, joined the UFC after finishing as a semifinalist on season 24 of TUF. He entered the show as the Caged Aggression flyweight champion and made it through two rounds before losing to eventual season champion Tim Elliott. His UFC run saw him go 2-4 with all of his fights going to the scorecards and his overall record stands at 12-6.

In regards to Edilov and Smoliakov, it’s unclear whether they were released or if they chose to part ways with the UFC of their own volition. Edilov (17-4) won his lone UFC light heavyweight bout against Bojan Mihajlovic by TKO in September 2017.

For Smoliakov (9-3), the writing was on the wall given that UFC president Dana White was highly critical of the heavyweight’s performance against Greg Hardy in April. In two stints with the UFC, Smoliakov went 0-3.