Last month, news broke that long-time UFC welterweight contender Rory MacDonald had abandoned the UFC to join the Bellator roster. It should come as no surprise, then, that his fighter profile has been removed from the UFC website.
As it turns out, however, two other fighters have also been released from the UFC in the last few weeks: 29-year-old featherweight Jim Alers (13-3) and 26-year-old lightweight Cody Pfister (12-6).
[Deleted] Jim Alers (Feather)
[Deleted] Rory MacDonald (Welter)
[Deleted] Cody Pfister (Light)https://t.co/nZfB0IsOE2
— UFCFIGHTERSiNFO (@UFCFIGHTERSiNFO) September 9, 2016
Over the course of his four bouts with the UFC, Alers amassed a record of 1-2 with one no contest. His lone win occurred in his debut, when he defeated Alan Omer by split decision. His losses came against Chas Skelly and Jason Knight, while his no contest was sandwiched between those losses, when an accidental eye-poke forced a premature end to a bout with Cole Miller. Alers confirmed the news of his release on Twitter.
I finished my contract and just had surgery which will keep me out for 9 months, the UFC elected not to re-sign at this time. I'll be back
— Jim Alers (@fightJim) September 9, 2016
Pfister, meanwhile, went 1-3 as a UFC fighter. In his first bout with the organization, he was tapped by James Moontasri. In his second bout, he scored his lone UFC win, decisioning Cuba’s Yosdenis Cedeno. Next up, Pfister would get a massive opportunity against red hot prospect Sage Northcutt. He would lose this fight by submission, before losing his most recent bout to Scott “Hot Sauce” Holtzman. Pfister has not yet addressed his UFC release on Facebook or Twitter.
Though it’s always a bummer when fighters receive their walking papers, it’s important to remember that with a roster of more than 530 fighters, the UFC must occasionally trim that fat. It’s also worth noting that dozens of fighters, from Peter Sobotta, to Thales Leites, to Patrick Cote to Ben Saunders, have been released from the organization in the past, only to return after a few wins on the regional circuit. Given this, Alers’ assertion that he’ll “be back,” is absolutely possible. The same can be said for Pfister, and even MacDonald.
It is important to note that the UFC has yet to make an official announcement on Alers and Pfister’s releases, however an announcement can be expected in the coming days.