FiveOuncesOfPain.com first became aware of Sokoudjou having been dropped from the UFC roster last week but could not find a second source for verification. However, published reports have surfaced on the Internet today confirming his release.
Sokoudjou’s release comes as the culmination of a disappointing stint in the UFC that began with high hopes. An accomplished Judoka hailing from Cameroon, Sokoudjou became an overnight success while competing for the PRIDE Fighting Championships.
Entering the promotion with a 2-1 record, many considered Sokoudjou a significant underdog during an encounter at PRIDE 33 in February of 2007 in which he was matched up against Antonio Rogerio Nogueira. Despite the long odds, Sokoudjou managed to upset the native Brazilian with a knockout just 23 seconds into the bout.
Sokoudjou returned a couple of months later at PRIDE 34 in April of the same year and was matched up against another renowned Brazilian light heavyweight in Ricardo Arona. Despite his win over Nogueira, Sokoudjou was still pegged as the underdog. However, lightning struck twice with Sokoudjou knocking out Arona at 1:59 into the first round.
After becoming a free agent following Zuffa’s acquisition of PRIDE, Sokoudjou negotiated with several promotions before inking a deal with the UFC late last year. After signing with the organization, he was immediately thrown into the fire last December at UFC 79 with another talented Brazilian light heavyweight. This time, Sokoudjou would not be nearly as successful as he submitted to an arm triangle at the hands of the undefeated Lyoto Machida at 4:20 of round 2.
Sokoudjou rebounded at UFC 84 with a first round TKO over Kazuhiro Nakamura after Nakamura was unable to continue into the second round because of a leg injury. However, Sokoudjou’s winning ways would be short lived after being TKO’d a 4:15 of round 2 against Luis Cane at UFC 89 last month.