First off, for the confirmed news, Combate reports that the UFC has signed Brazilian middleweight Bruno Santos, also known as Bruno "Carioca." Carioca, age 26 last fought for Bellator in March of 2012, defeating Giva Santana by unanimous decision. But a shoulder injury sidelined the prospect and although it's not fully healed it would appear that the time out of the sport has given him a chance to wait out his Bellator obligations. He's undefeated at 13-0 but only has two finishes to his record with all other wins coming via decision.
He's built like a tank, but his striking is pretty basic and he doesn't appear to have much of a submission game, mostly he's a power grinder, similar to Ronny Markes. He's fairly young and a Nova Uniao product, however, so perhaps he'll improve with time and more seasoning. With wins over Daniel Acacio and Vitor Nobrega he's not untested (in fact his record is remarkably un-padded), so I don't expect him to be out of place in the UFC; I just wouldn't expect much in the way of excitement either. He's still out with a lingering shoulder injury so there's been no debut date announced.
The second signing is a report from Russia that the UFC has picked up a new women's bantamweight. Alexandra Albu is 5-0 fighting out of team MMA Kegi and almost entirely an unknown commodity. According to MixedMartialArts.com She has a black-belt in Karate and has earned several titles in Karate and Judo competition. She also has a background as a professional body builder and if you do a little searching you'll find plenty of photos of her showing off her physique. Her management, Red Fury, reports her at 5' 2" which will leave her dreadfully undersized at 135, she has the muscle to keep from being overpowered, but she'll need to present a very technical skill set to overcome her natural disadvantages against the bigger women in the UFC. Her signing has not been officially announced, so there's no potential debut date in sight.
For the bad news the UFC appears to have released Mizuto Hirota, his profile was dropped from the UFC.com rosters last week. It's no surprise as he's been riding a three fight losing streak, his most recent a split decision to Rodrigo Damm. Hirota is another in a long line of decent Japanese fighters to fizzle under the spotlight of the UFC and with a string of underwhelming performances in which he's failed to show any real dominance, it was time to let him go.
The second fighter that no longer appears on UFC.com as of last week was Russian flyweight Azamat Gashimov. Gashimov was something of a surprise signing with his underwhelming 7-1 record going into the UFC and while his release at 0-2 seems premature for as thin a division as flyweight, he had thus far failed to show any competitive skills, losing to Ivan Menjivar by quick submission and John Lineker via brutal second round TKO. At only 23 he's got a ton of time to improve on the regional circuit and make it back to the UFC. I wouldn't be surprised to see him on an upcoming European event next time Zuffa crosses the Atlantic.