Middleweight Dean Lister has been granted his release from the UFC after requesting that the promotion let him go, MMAWeekly.com reports.
Lister’s release was widely expected following his loss to Yushin Okami on the preliminary card of UFC 92 in December, however most felt the UFC would cut the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt. Perhaps sensing his inevitable release, Lister successfully requested to be cut and is already in talks with several other promotions, including Affliction and Dream.
“The Boogeyman”, who appeared as an assistant coach on the third season of The Ultimate Fighter, holds an 11-5 professional record, including a 4-2 mark in the UFC. After winning four of his first five fights for the promotion, losing only to middleweight contender Nate Marquardt while earning victories over Alessio Sakara, Yuki Sasaki, Jordan Radev, and Jeremy Horn, Lister was matched up against Okami. The matchup fizzled as Okami dominated Lister en route to a unanimous decision victory and a likely title shot. Regarded as one of the best ground fighters in MMA, Lister’s style has failed to produce exciting bouts that keep fighters in the UFC despite subpar performances. Rather, his abundance of decision victories, capped by the decision loss in December, sealed Lister’s fate, forcing him to look for work outside of the octagon for the first time since 2005.