The Ultimate Fighting Championship hosted an event in Canada for the first time.
It returned to the United States with two fewer fighters on its roster.
Following disappointing performances on the April 19 card in Montreal, Kalib Starnes and Travis Lutter were released from their contracts.
Starnes’ release came after the Canadian turned in one of the strangest performances in UFC history.
Starnes was booed relentlessly for running away from Nate Quarry for nearly the entire fight.
He addressed his performance in a statement on his Web site.
“I would like to apologize to my coaches, trainers and the fans for what happened,” the statement said. “It was by far the worst fight of my career, much to the credit of my opponent, who proved to be a real monster in the ring.”
Starnes ran down a list of injuries he claims to have sustained in the fight, including a broken right foot. He said the injuries were the reason he was hesitant to engage Quarry.
“I also have severe bruising on my left thigh, lumps on my head, a fat black eye, a sprained jaw and damage to the nerves in my molars,” the statement said.
The release of Lutter was more surprising.
He claimed on his Web site that he was being released due to back-to-back losses in the Octagon, but many fighters remain employed by the organization under similar circumstances.
Lutter earned a title shot by winning the Season 4 middleweight title on “The Ultimate Fighter.”
However, he missed weight for the title fight and instead fought Anderson Silva without a belt on the line. Leading up to his next fight, he was injured and had to withdraw.
Then, on April 19, Lutter worked himself into a dominant position during his fight against Rich Franklin but ran out of gas. Franklin recovered to submit Lutter.
• UFC 85 FACE LIFT — The card for the UFC’s scheduled event on June 7 in London looks dramatically different than it did two weeks ago.
Chuck Liddell was supposed to be the headliner, but he suffered a severe hamstring injury and was forced to withdraw from his fight with unbeaten Rashad Evans.
Evans will fight James Irvin, but that fight does not qualify as a main event for a pay-per-view card.
Instead, Matt Hughes has agreed to fight rising star Thiago Alves, and Englishman Michael Bisping will take on Chris Leben.
Hughes was slated to next fight Matt Serra, who lost the welterweight title to Georges St. Pierre in Montreal, but those plans are on hold.
The two were rival coaches on Season 6 of “The Ultimate Fighter” and developed a rivalry. Serra was forced to withdraw from a fight with Hughes in December due to injury.
The two new fights will be the main attractions on the card, which comes just two weeks after a May 24 UFC event at the MGM Grand.