Austin Springer started fighting in 2007. In 2015, with a 7-0 record, he got on The Ultimate Fighter Season 22, but lost to Chris Gruetzemacher. In 2018 he entered Dana White's Contender Series, and submitted Giga Chikadze, but didn't get a contract. Then he got another win in a regional event, and finally, an invite to the big show, on two-days notice
Chikadze had bounced back with two wins in Gladiator Challenge and got a UFC contract. He got three wins, and was scheduled to fight Alex Caceres at UFC on ESPN+ 33 on August 29. Then Chikadze was replaced by Kevin Croom. Then Croom was replaced by Springer.
Springer missed weight by five pounds, was submitted by Cacares, and released. Now he has announced his retirement, at age of 33.
"Yesterday I was informed that the UFC has decided to fire me," he wrote on Instagram. "They were pissed that I missed weight, and decided rather than give me another opportunity, they're releasing me from my contract. That hurts!
"On my way to the airport, I told my sons that the only/last promotion I would ever fight in was the UFC. It has been an incredible journey. It's been an amazing experience. For 15 years my goal was to compete in the UFC, and I achieved that. For years I felt like a runner up (so to speak). I got a Bellator fight, I won, they didn't offer me a contract. I got on the Ultimate Fighter, then didn't win the fight to actually fight in the UFC. I got 2 weeks notice to fight on "Dana White's Contender Series" and won and didn't get a contract. Always the bridesmaid, never the bride is what it started to feel like. Then it happened, I fought in the UFC. Dang it felt good. Was it ideal, no. It was incredible though!
"It's something I will remember and cherish forever! Set big goals, dream big, and don't be afraid of failure! Struggle and failure breed success!
"Thank you to my wife for being the most incredibly supportive partner. No amount of words can express how helpful and supportive she has always been. Being a fighter's wife quite frankly sucks a lot of the time, and she handed it incredibly!
"Thank you to all my family for always believing in me and supporting me. To my friends and family for cheering and encouraging, thank you! I've had great coaches and training partners that have had a great hand in helping accomplish what I have, thank you as well!"