UFC loses two more exciting fighters for similar reasons
While the UFC remains undoubtedly the promotion with the most talent, there has been a lot of high-profile releases of late.
Kyoji Horiguchi, Nikita Krylov, Ali Bagautinov, Nicholas Dalby and Zach Mochovsky are some of the bigger name fighters to have left the world's biggest MMA promotion so far this year.
After lengthy negotiations with Bellator MMA, it has finally been confirmed that Lorenz Larkin will join them in moving on from the promotion.
Larkin ended his stint in the UFC on a two-fight win-streak and a 4-1 record at 170 lbs. He holds wins over top welterweight contender Jorge Masvidal, the always awkward Neil Magny and Robbie Lawler (in Strikeforce, before he won the UFC title), but the news will come as little surprise to anyone who had been following his comments in the media.
He made it clear that he wanted to test free agency after expressing unhappiness with the UFC's contract renewal offer. Although there was rumoured interest from Rizin, he eventually put pen to paper on a deal with Bellator. The move means the division just gained another contender for champion Douglas Lima, with the likes of Rory MacDonald, Paul Daley, Andrey Koreshkov and (occasionally) Benson Henderson already in the mix.
Looking forward to seeing @da_MONSOON in the @BellatorMMA cage very soon. Welcome back Lorenz! #BellatorNation https://t.co/e1EEZNrErx
— Scott Coker (@ScottCoker) March 16, 2017
The real shock was the announcement that former UFC bantamweight title challenger Michael McDonald.
McDonald lost his fight with Renan Barao for the interim belt in 2013, then dispatched of Brad Pickett before losing another high-profile bout to Urijah Faber. A horrific run of injuries meant that 'Mayday' was inactive from December 2013 to January 2016, but returned with a win before losing to John Lineker in his last trip to the Octagon.
As he explained to ESPN.com, he requested to be released by the UFC due to the way they've been handling business.
“The UFC was dishonest in the way they tried to do business with me and it's resulted in a complete waste of my time. I want to feel like my employer isn't out trying to cut my head off.”
Although he didn't mention any other promotions, his tone suggests that he hasn't quit the fight game yet.