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UFC shockingly cuts Fitch, Etim, Sass and Mills
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Perennial welterweight contender Jon Fitch was among 16 fighters released on Tuesday by the UFC, including British trio Terry Etim, Paul Sass and Che Mills.
UFC president Dana White confirmed the promotion's decision on Wednesday.
Fitch's release comes a little more than two weeks after his lopsided unanimous decision loss to Demian Maia on February 2 at UFC 156 in Las Vegas. That loss was the second for Fitch in his four most recent outings - he was 1-2-1 during that span.
Fitch (24-5-1, one no-contest) is currently ranked eighth and ninth among welterweights by ESPN.com and UFC.com, respectively.
A former top welterweight contender, Fitch came up short in his bid for the UFC title on August 9, 2008. He lost by unanimous decision to champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 87 in Minneapolis.
Significantly, UK trio Etim, Sass and Mills have all been cut despite being three of the leading fighters in the country.
Etim lost to Renee Forte at UFC London but had earned three Submission of the Night bonuses and one Fight of the Night cheque in his last six outings.
Sass fell to Danny Castillo but had been highly rated by the likes of Eddie Bravo after setting a record for consecutive triangle chokes. He almost pulled off a spectacular flying submission against Castillo but fell to a decision loss.
Mills has been cut after a solitary defeat to Matt Riddle, after which Dana White criticised him for not leaping on Riddle in the final minute. The Brit had been promoted heavily for a co-main event with Rory MacDonald and been hailed as a destroyer, but has been cut two fights later.
Light-heavyweight Vladimir Matyushenko, heavyweight Mike Russow, lightweight Jacob Volkmann, and featherweight Josh Grispi were among the fighters also released by UFC on Tuesday.
Simeon Thoresen Terry Etim