UFC cuts Jon Fitch, 15 others

Updated: February 20, 2013, 5:01 PM ET
By Franklin McNeil | ESPN.com

Perennial welterweight contender Jon Fitch was among 16 fighters released Tuesday by UFC.

UFC president Dana White confirmed the promotion's decision to MMAFighting.com on Wednesday.

Fitch's release comes a little more than two weeks after his lopsided unanimous decision loss to Demian Maia on Feb. 2 at UFC 156 in Las Vegas.

That loss was the second for Fitch in his four most recent outings -- he was 1-2-1 during that span.

Fitch (24-5-1, one no-contest) is currently ranked eighth and ninth among welterweights by ESPN.com and UFC.com, respectively.

A former top welterweight contender, Fitch came up short in his bid for the UFC title on Aug. 9, 2008. He lost by unanimous decision to champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 87 in Minneapolis.

Light heavyweight Vladimir Matyushenko, heavyweight Mike Russow, lightweights Terry Etim and Jacob Volkmann, and featherweight Josh Grispi were among the fighters also released by UFC on Tuesday.