Jon Fitch, once a welterweight title contender and in the middle of many top 10 pound-for-pound lists, was released by the UFC on Tuesday. MMA Fighting first reported the news Wednesday.
Fitch was one of 16 fighters cut from the world's most prominent MMA organization, the report said. Also included among the cuts were Freeport native Jay Hieron and light heavyweight veteran Vladimir Matyushenko.
Fitch was the No. 9 welterweight in the latest UFC rankings, which are voted on by members of the media.
Fitch (27-5-1, 15-3-1 UFC) had been with the company since 2005. He won nine straight fights before challenging and losing to champion Georges St-Pierre in August 2008. Fitch was 1-2-1 in his last four bouts over the past two years, including a one-punch knockout from Johny Hendricks and a 15-minute manhandle by Demian Maia.
The knock on Fitch, for those who chose to knock, was that his style wasn't "exciting" to watch, meaning he rarely finished fights. His last win that didn't go the distance was on June 12, 2007, when he submitted Roan Carneiro. In his 12 ensuing fights, the knockout by Hendricks was the only stoppage in a fight involving Fitch.
The full list of fighters cut by the UFC, according to the report are: