Din Thomas, Kuniyoshi Hironaka, and Tommy Speer are three fighters involved in the UFC’s latest round of roster cuts, according to a report in the May 7 print edition of the Wrestling Observer.
Thomas had appeared to be in contention for the UFC lightweight title following three consecutive wins in 2006-2007. However, “The Ultimate Fighter” alumnus from season four went on to lose his next two fights.
Thomas’ three fight win streak was broken at the hands of Kenny Florian at UFC Fight Night 11 last September when he submitted to a rear naked choke at 4:31 of round 1. During the fight, Thomas suffered a major knee injury.
He would return to the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 13 this past April, where he lost a unanimous decision to the returning Josh Neer.
According to the Observer, Thomas is deciding between whether to retire or continue competing at 145 pounds. Thomas had mentioned publicly he was considering the move to featherweight, but several outlets erroneously reported that he was being transferred to Zuffa-owned World Extreme Cagefighting.
The report in the Observer indicates that fighting in the WEC in the future is a possibility for Thomas, but that his contract was not transferred over and that he will likely need to win multiple fights outside of the promotion before being offered a contract.
Speer was the second place finisher during the welterweight tournament for the sixth season of “The Ultimate Fighter.” He lost in the final to Mac Danzig via first round submission. The Minnesota native fell to 0-2 in the UFC after he was knocked out in the first round against Anthony Johnson at UFC Fight Night 13.
Hironaka’s lifetime UFC record fell to 1-3 following a second round TKO loss to Jonathan Goulet at UFC 83. The bout was awarded a “Fight of the Night” cash bonus by UFC officials, but the feeling was that Hironaka had taken too much punishment in his last two bouts, according to the Observer’s report.
The three join Joe Doerksen and Travis Lutter as fighters recently released by the UFC as the promotion looks to trim its roster from 200 fights to anywhere between 140-160.
Kalib Starnes was also released in the days immediately proceeding UFC 83, however, he claims he requested his own release. Whether or not the option was truly in his hands is not entirely clear.
Middleweight Charles McCarthy is also no longer on the roster, as he announced his retirement following his loss to Michael Bisping at UFC 83.