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Austin Springer announces UFC release, retirement

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Austin Springer
DWTNCS LLC via Getty Images

Austin Springer is hanging up the gloves after parting ways with the UFC.

The 33-year-old announced via Instagram that he has decided to retire with the UFC having released him Thursday. According to Springer, the organization was not pleased that he missed weight for his lone octagon appearance on Aug. 29 and promptly cut him.

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Yesterday I was informed that the UFC has decided to fire me. They were pissed that I missed weight, and decided rather than give me another opportunity, they're releasing me from my contract. That hurts! On my way to the airport I told my sons that the only/last promotion I would ever fight in was the UFC. It has been an incredible journey. It's been an amazing experience. For 15 years my goal was to compete in the UFC, and I achieved that. For years I felt like a runner up (so to speak). I got a Bellator fight, I won, they didn't offer me a contract. I got on the Ultimate Fighter, then didn't win the fight to actually fight in the UFC. I got 2 weeks notice to fight on "Dana White's Contender Series" and won and didn't get a contract. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride is what it started to feel like. Then it happened, I fought in the UFC. Dang it felt good. Was it ideal, no. It was incredible though! It's something I will remember and cherish forever! Set big goals, dream big, and don't be afraid of failure! Struggle and failure breed success! Thank you to my wife for being the most incredibly supportive partner. No amount of words can express how helpful and supportive she has always been. Being a fighter's wife quite frankly sucks a lot of the time, and she handed it incredibly! Thank you to all my family for alway believing in me and supporting me. To my friends and family for cheering and encouraging, thank you! I've had great coaches and training partners that have had a great hand in helping accomplish what I have, thank you as well!

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“Yesterday I was informed that the UFC has decided to fire me,” Springer wrote. “They were pissed that I missed weight, and decided rather than give me another opportunity, they’re releasing me from my contract. That hurts!”

A pro since 2007, Springer (12-4) made his UFC debut at UFC Vegas 8, where he lost by first-round submission to Alex Caceres. Springer stepped in to take the fight on two-days’ notice as a replacement for Kevin Croom (who himself was a replacement for Giga Chikadze). At the official weigh-ins for the event, Springer weighed in at 151 pounds, five pounds over the featherweight limit.

Springer describes his road to the UFC as an arduous one, mentioning a win on Bellator that he thought might get him on the UFC’s radar, a loss to Chris Gruetzemacher in the qualifying round of The Ultimate Fighter 22, and a win over Chikadze on Dana White’s Contender Series in June 2019. It’s that last shot that was a particularly bitter pill for Springer to swallow as he was the only one of the five winning fighters that evening to not receive a UFC contract.

“Always the bridesmaid, never the bride is what it started to feel like,” Springer wrote Thursday.

Returning to the regional scene, Springer won a unanimous decision against Kevin Boehm in October before getting the call to fight Caceres 10 months later. He spent the majority of his career competing on the Washington regional scene.

See Springer’s full statement below:

Yesterday I was informed that the UFC has decided to fire me. They were pissed that I missed weight, and decided rather than give me another opportunity, they’re releasing me from my contract. That hurts!

On my way to the airport I told my sons that the only/last promotion I would ever fight in was the UFC. It has been an incredible journey. It’s been an amazing experience. For 15 years my goal was to compete in the UFC, and I achieved that. For years I felt like a runner up (so to speak). I got a Bellator fight, I won, they didn’t offer me a contract. I got on the Ultimate Fighter, then didn’t win the fight to actually fight in the UFC. I got 2 weeks notice to fight on “Dana White’s Contender Series” and won and didn’t get a contract. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride is what it started to feel like. Then it happened, I fought in the UFC. Dang it felt good. Was it ideal, no. It was incredible though!

It’s something I will remember and cherish forever!

Set big goals, dream big, and don’t be afraid of failure! Struggle and failure breed success!

Thank you to my wife for being the most incredibly supportive partner. No amount of words can express how helpful and supportive she has always been. Being a fighter’s wife quite frankly sucks a lot of the time, and she handed it incredibly!Thank you to all my family for always believing in me and supporting me. To my friends and family for cheering and encouraging, thank you! I’ve had great coaches and training partners that have had a great hand in helping accomplish what I have, thank you as well!