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25-year MMA veteran Johnny Eduardo released from UFC, plans to resume career: ‘I’m happy’

Johnny Eduardo
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Johnny Eduardo—who has competed professionally in MMA for almost 25 years—is no longer on the UFC roster, but he has no plans slowing down.

Eduardo was released from his contract following a submission defeat to Alejandro Perez this past Saturday at UFC Vegas 38, his fourth defeat in his past five bouts. Eduardo and the UFC confirmed the news to MMA Fighting on Thursday.

“I’m very grateful to the UFC for this journey,” Eduardo said. “One door closes so other doors can open. My career isn’t over, I’m not stopping, I’m just migrating to other places with more experience. Not only the experience in the UFC, but the experience from going through three fighting generations in freestyle, vale tudo and MMA. I’m here. I’m open to negotiations and I’ll keep on going with my head up high.”

Eduardo signed with the UFC in 2011 and scored three wins, including knockouts over Eddie Wineland and Manny Gamburyan, with defeats to younger talents like Aljamain Sterling and Nathaniel Wood.

A professional MMA fighter since 1996, Eduardo wants to be more active going forward. The 43-year-old veteran currently holds a MMA record of 28-13 with 11 stoppage victories. This coming November marks the 25th anniversary of his first pro bout.

“Maybe I’ll be able to fight even more now because the UFC would keep me stuck, [fighting once] every two, three years,” Eduardo said. “Maybe now I’ll be able to sign with a promotion and fight more often. I have friends fighting at ACA, going back and forth during the pandemic. I’m open. I’m happy, really.”

Damon Martin contributed to this report.

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