Poplar's Hunter Azure parts ways with UFC, loses debut in another fight promotion

Posted at 4:24 PM, Mar 22, 2022

Poplar native Hunter Azure is no longer a fighter in the UFC.

Azure was released by the promotion a few weeks ago according to reports from MMA Junkie and Cageside Press. With his new release, Azure made his return to MMA last Saturday in Miami, Florida, in iKON FC, a fighting promotion that is owned by UFC superstar Jorge Masvidal.

Azure's first fight out of the UFC didn't go well as the four-time Montana high school state wrestling champion entered Friday's fight against Keith Richardson as an 8-to-1 favorite, according to reports. Azure, who fights at bantamweight, lost the fight via submission due to rear-naked choke at 2 minutes, 5 seconds of the second round.

The loss dropped Azure to 9-3 as a professional mixed martial artist.

Azure went 2-2 in the UFC, the world's largest MMA promotion. Azure, who trains out of Arizona, earned a UFC contract after winning on Dana White's Contender Series. He won his promotional debut against Brad Katona back on Sept. 9, 2019. He followed that up with a loss to Brian Kelleher, but rebounded on Sept. 5, 2020 with a win over Cole Smith. Azure's final fight in the UFC was a split decision loss to rising star Jack Shore on April 10, 2021.

With Azure's departure from the UFC, Helena native Sean O'Malley is the lone Montanan in the UFC.