Former UFC featherweight Spike Carlyle says he’s “stoked” about his recent release from the Las Vegas-based promotion’s roster.
Carlyle fought three times in the UFC, smashing Aalon Cruz to a first-round TKO win in his promotional debut, then losing a pair of unanimous decisions to Billy Quarantillo and Bill Algeo in his next two bouts.
After those two losses, Carlyle was released by the promotion.
While most fighters would likely be gutted after being released by the UFC, Carlyle is taking the news in stride.
In fact, he’s actually “stoked” about it. He explained why during a recent social media post.
“I had one more fight on my contract and they decided to cut me,” Carlyle said (via MMA Fighting). “They said it was partially based on my last performance. It’s a little bitter, but it’s also [very] sweet. I’m actually pretty stoked on it.
“The UFC was a great experience and great opportunity,” Carlyle added. “I loved it. But people who truly know me know that my heart’s desire has always been to fight in Japan, [and] that is my goal. I think God maybe ordained everything to happen as so because who knows if I would’ve won my next fight—which I know I would’ve won my next fight—or if I would’ve stayed with the UFC, I might never have the opportunity to go to Japan.”
Rather than wait and hope that Rizin heeds his wishes, Carlyle says he’s already working on securing a sport on Rizin 27 on March 14 inside the Tokyo Dome, a hallowed venue that hosted the very PRIDE event in the late ’90s.
“I’m no longer a UFC fighter. I’m a free agent,” Carlyle stated. “My dream and No. 1 desire is to fight for RIZIN, possibly Bellator because they co-host events and that way I can do the best of both worlds. The goal is to become a Japanese champion and fight the American champion, a RIZIN-Bellator combination so hopefully it comes together.
“I’m trying to get on the March 14 card in Tokyo so we’ll see what God wants to do.”
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