The MMA world was a little shocked on Wednesday when ZUFFA announced that 16 fighters had been cut from the roster, including Jon Fitch.
However, the 16 is apparently just the beginning - multiple sources are reporting that the UFC plans to cut 100 fighters from the roster.
MMAJunkie co-founder tweeted definitively:
John Morgan @MMAjunkieJohn
Surprised at some of names but not number of guys released by UFC. Was told they need to trim about 100 guys right now.
The information was confirmed by Ariel Helwani:
Ariel Helwani @arielhelwani
Dana says they are over 100 guys on the roster. The releases aren't over, he says.
The cuts are presumably due to the unflux of fighters from Strikeforce, as well as the addition in the last year of two new divisions - the women's 135 pound Bantamweight division, and the men's 125 pound Flyweight division.
It’s believed that this is primarily down to the influx of new fighters into the UFC via Strikeforce, while the introduction of the woman’s 135lb division in addition to the 125lb men’s flyweight division last year has also played it’s part in the promotion now having a surplus of fighters for the 33 events they plan to hold in 2013.