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Spike Carlyle confirms UFC release, eyes new chapter in Japan

Spike Carlyle is the latest fighter to join the UFC roster purge.

On Sunday night the former UFC featherweight confirmed recent rumors that he had been released by the promotion. Carlyle’s departure means he joins the likes of “The Ultimate Fighter Brazil” Season 3 winner Antonio Carlos Junior, women’s bantamweight Sarah Moras and welterweight Rhys McKee, who have all recently been let go by the promotion.

Carlyle (9-3 MMA, 1-2 UFC) took to social media to announce the news, posting the full video of an Instagram Live session he conducted with his fans. He mentioned that despite having one fight remaining on his contract, the UFC decided to part ways with him.

“Released from UFC. So grateful for the opportunity and platform the UFC gave me! Excited to move on with my career hopefully to my true Heart’s Desire JAPAN!! #alphaginger #mma #ufc #boxing #bjj #wrestling #fitness #dream #pride#soccerkicksandfacestomps”

“The Alpha Ginger” made his UFC debut in February 2020, when he stepped in on short notice to face Aaron Cruz. He scored a first-round TKO of Cruz, extending his winning streak to five.

But Carlyle would go on to lose his next two in a row, dropping back-to-back unanimous decision losses to Billy Quarantillo in May, then Bill Algeo in November, before getting released by the promotion. Carlyle described his cut as “bitter,” but also expressed his gratitude towards the UFC for the opportunity he was provided.

In the next chapter of his career, the 27-year-old has aspirations of competing in Japan, in hopes of landing in either Rizin or Bellator. His future plans also involve a move up to lightweight in order to ramp up his activity, and he is hoping to compete as soon as March.

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