4 UFC Stars Fired + 1 Suspended
-- FightLine.com is also reporting that Marcus Davis (17-8 MMA, 9-6 UFC) has been released by the UFC following a UFC 125 loss to Jeremy Stephens. His manager Joe Cavallaro confirmed the release. "He felt real strong at 155 (pounds)," Cavallaro said. "He made a mistake. The guy's been fighting forever, and he has no plans of retiring. Between all the 'Fight of the Night,' 'Knockout of the Night,' and 'Submission of the Night' bonuses, he's showed that he's a very exciting fighter to watch. Now, it's just a matter of figuring out the next move. We're talking to a few people right now. I'm open talking to anybody who's interested", he said.
-- UFC has released Brandon Vera (11-6 MMA, 7-6 UFC) following his UFC 125 loss to Thiago Silva. This was Vera's third loss in a row. Vera's manager, Matt Stansell, had the following to say on Vera's release… "Sometimes the highest-paying opportunities are not the best opportunities."
-- Phil Baroni's manager Ken Pavia has confirmed that Baroni has been released by the UFC. Baroni (13-13 MMA, 3-7 UFC) lost to Brad Tavares via round one TKO at UFC 125, making his latest UFC run an unsuccessful one as he went 0-2. He also lost to Amir Sadollah at UFC 106 via unanimous decision.
-- The problems for controversial middleweight Chael Sonnen are continuing to build. This past Monday he plead guilty to federal charges of money laundering, and today he's been suspended by the UFC. Dana White had this to say: "Chael Sonnen has gone through a lot in the last few months, and we think it's important for him to focus on getting his personal life together before focusing on his career in the UFC." Sonnen was in talks for a match with Yoshihiro Akiyama for UFC 128, but that is not happening for now. Sonnen's contract "has been temporarily frozen." No word yet on how long his suspension will be for. He received these charges after contributing to an illegal scheme to net more than $69,000 in loan proceeds through the submission of a falsified repair order. His plea deal has him agreeing to give up his realtor's license and pay a $10,000 fine. The U.S. District Attorney's office wants a 2-year probation. He will be sentenced in March. He is currently under suspension by the California State Athletic Commission for high levels of testosterone following his fight at UFC 117 with middleweight champion Anderson Silva. He tried to appeal, but failed. His supension then was shortened from 1 year to 6 months, while also keeping the $2,500 fine.