Following Trio of Octagon Defeats, Bantamweight Walel 'The Gazelle' Watson Released by UFC


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Bantamweight competitor Walel Watson has been released by the UFC, Sherdog.com confirmed Wednesday with the fighter's management.

The Californian's release was first reported on the Facebook page of British outlet MMA Opinion on Tuesday. Watson, 28, recently completed a four-fight stint with the Las Vegas-based organization that netted him a 1-3 promotional record. The 5-foot-11, 135-pound combatant was successful in his Octagon foray one year ago, earning a first-round technical knockout over fellow UFC debutant Joseph Sandoval at UFC Live 6.

Three consecutive defeats would follow for “The Gazelle,” however, as he dropped a hard-fought split decision to noted striker Yves Jabouin last December and was then dominated by “Ultimate Fighter” Season 14 finalist T.J. Dillashaw on Feb. 15 at UFC on Fuel TV 1.

Most recently, Watson was stopped by Canadian talent Mitch Gagnon at UFC 152 last month, as his stockier opponent stepped inside and cracked the Team Hurricane Awesome rep with a hard left hook that sent Watson reeling to the canvas. Gagnon pounced, winging ground-and-pound before taking Watson’s back and forcing the lanky bantamweight to tap out in just 69 seconds.

Prior to joining the UFC fold, Watson posted an 8-2 record to begin his career. After falling via submission in his pro debut, the Texas native won seven straight fights before suffering a technical knockout defeat to Cody Gibson at Tachi Palace Fights 9 last year. Watson has finished all nine of his conquered foes during his four years as a pro, earning seven submissions and two knockouts to his credit.

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