The French fighter Xavier “Professor X” Foupa-Pokam was released from the UFC after losing two consecutive bouts in the American organization. Foupa-Pokam made his UFC debut against Denis Kang at UFC 97 and lost via a unanimous decision. It was only the fifth time that an MMA fighter was able to take Kang the full distance, battling out all three rounds. He later lost to Drew McFedries via TKO (punches) at UFC 98. Professor X was given just a 3-week notice prior to his fight against McFedries, replacing the injured James Irvin.
After winning seven consecutive fights, Foupa-Pokam dropped to an overall MMA record of 20-11 (0-2 in the UFC). His agent Ken Pavia was going to try to keep Foupa-Pokam under UFC contract while he fought in other organizations to improve his record. However, matchmaker Joe Silva recommended Pavia to let the UFC release the French fighter. According to Silva, the French fighter would have a better possibility of getting re-signed with the UFC once he gets a few more wins.
Snip from Foupa-Pokam’s agent, Ken Pavia:
“I started to request to keep him under contract to the UFC and maybe take some fights outside the organization, but [Silva] reminded me that it’s very restrictive with what they allow outside the UFC and that it’s probably in a fighter’s best interest to be released and to take fights with no restrictions…The UFC is booking fights six months in advance, so he could have been on the sidelines for a long time. Additionally, even the worst fighter in the UFC is a great fighter, so he’d have a very tough fight when what he really needs is a chance to regain his confidence…In reality, the UFC isn’t going anywhere…If he earns it, he can get back there. … Joe Silva said that if they go to France and for some select European cards, he’s still an option, so this isn’t necessarily the end of Professor X’s UFC career.”