Today (January 27, 2015), UFC officials announced that five fighters had been released from the roster. MMAFighting.com has confirmed that Igor Pokrajac, Tom Niinimaki, Sean Soriano, Mike Rhodes and Rodrigo Damm have been cut. All of these men have been struggling in recent bouts.
At one point in his UFC career, Pokrajac had compiled an impressive three wins in a row, but unfortunately that did not last. The Croatian has gone on a terrible skid as of late, losing five straight bouts to Marcos Rogerio de Lima, Rafael Cavalcante, Ryan Jimmo, Joey Beltran and Vinny Magalhaes. Although the bout with Beltran was turned to a no-contest due to Beltran testing positive for banned substances, Pokrajac boasted a lack luster 4-7-1 record throughout his UFC tenure.
Niinimaki started his UFC career out with a win, scoring a split decision victory over Rani Yahya at the The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 Finale back in 2013. However, he had since hit some rough times, losing three straight.
Damm was once a highly regarded fighter, battling it out with Gilbert Melendez for the Strikeforce lightweight title in 2009. He was a part of the first edition of TUF Brazili in 2012, and scored a submission win over Anistavio Gasparzinho at UFC 147. However, he then lost four of next six, including three straight losses to end his UFC run.
Soriano was a sought after featherweight prospect when he entered the UFC. He was undefeated and a member of the highly touted Blackzilians training camp, but things did not work out as planned, with Soriano losing all three of his Ocatgon appearances.
Rhodes, just like Soriano was an intriguing prospect coming in to the UFC. He was a former RFA champion, but ended up losing all three of his UFC bouts. His most notable loss came last December, when he was finished by Erick Silva in just 75 seconds.