Yesterday it was announced that Mark Coleman (16-10), Frank Trigg (19-8), Phillipe Nover (5-3-1), and Tim Hague (10-3) had all been released from their respective UFC contracts following loses at UFC 109: Relentless. With the possible exception of Tim Hague, all of these releases made sense, but something was missing. Well, all is now right with the world as Rolles Gracie (3-1) has now also been released.
Rolles was only the second Gracie ever to compete in the octagon, which carried with it perhaps an unfair amount of expectation. He may have thought that the positive buzz he had going into the fight would help insulate him from criticism after his miserable performance, but, as Rolles found out, UFC fans are always willing to call it like they see it:
I understand the fans are disappointed. I appreciate all the support I received and I wanted to put on a good show. What can I say? It wasn’t my day. I mean, this is MMA, not golf. The fans are a different breed and when they are angry, they definitely let you know. With the internet, Twitter, e-mail, Facebook…everyone is so accessible and with the click of a button, you can tell an athlete exactly what you think of his performance. That’s just the way it is these days and I’m glad to be a part of a sport where the fans are so enthusiastic. (GracieMag.com)
Despite being cut by the UFC, Rolles seems determined to keep plugging away at MMA:
Sure, all the hours of training and time spent away from my family, it seems it didn’t pay off. Of course this bothers me. But I also learned how I need to restructure my training program. The truth is that I didn’t perform to expectations and to my best, what I need to do now is train harder and keep fighting.(GracieMag.com)
On the other hand, Rolles Gracie's opponent at UFC 109, Joey "The Mexicutioner" Beltran (11-3), thinks Rolles is not a born fighter and should consider getting out of the game:
Obviously, I know that guy didn't want to fight. I felt bad. I mean, I didn't -- I do feel a little bad for him. Before the fight even happened, he didn't seem like a guy who wants to fight. He doesn't have it in his heart. He's kind of being pushed into it because he's a Gracie. I almost feel bad for the guy because he had so much pressure going into that fight, but it's business....I don't know. Just with interviews. Just him saying stuff like, "I got into fighting because I wanted to try something new." No, buddy. If you want to compete at this level, you got to have fighting in your heart from day one or else you're going to get hurt real quick. (MMAFighting.com)