These departures follow another group of notable names, with the UFC now parting ways with Abdul-Kerim Edilov, Dmitrii Smoliakov and Eric Shelton. Edilov (17-4) is a unique case, winning his only octagon appearance with a stoppage over Bojan Mihajlovic in September 2017. He hasn't fought since though and is now off the UFC roster even in the midst of an eleven fight win streak.
Smoliakov (9-3) is a more familiar case, struggling in two separate UFC stints. 'The Lifeguard' first entered the octagon in July 2016, being submitted by Luis Henrique Barbosa de Oliveira and then being released after a stoppage defeat against Cyril Asker. After two years inactivity, Smoliakov then returned to the win column, submitting Evgeniy Bova in Aslan Challenge. That earned Smoliakov a UFC return but it was short-lived, being brutalised by Greg Hardy in just one round. He departs without a win inside the octagon.
Shelton's release was reported by Combate alongside Elias Theodorou, Wilson Reis and Marcelo Golm. 'Showtime' exits the UFC with a 2-4 record since debuting in January 2017. Most recently, Shelton was outpointed by a debuting Jordan Espinosa. He reacted to the release with a statement on Instagram:
So most will have some negative stuff to say but anyone who knows me knows this isn't the end but just the beginning!! Ive been at the top in this game and have hit rock bottom in this game, non of which has broken me or changed my mind on the end result. I'll be back to the @ufc at 135lb with more to prove then before!! But until then I'll let this shoulder heal and be back in the gym with a chip on my shoulder working harder then ever!! Got to scrap with some of the best in the world and show I belong amongst them but a few different judges and my journey could have been completely different but this is God's plan so stay tuned for my rebirth, ITS STILL SHOWTIME!! #allgloryGod #faith #UFC #illbeback #SHOWTIME #neverbeenstronger