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Thursday, 02/21/2013, 09:34 am

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UFC’s Boisterous Dispensation Has Heavy Implications | UFC NEWS


Yesterday, the UFC sent shockwaves into the MMA community with a massive downsize of a group of fighters. These fighters were well known, and some relatively big names for the promotion. Atop that list was 19 time UFC veteran, Jon Fitch. While the cuts were made for budget reasons (and maybe others that the UFC is yet to or won’t reveal), they marked a paramount instance for the UFC and the sport of MMA. And while the fan in me is sad to see some of the fighters let go, putting myself in a fighter’s shoes is the hardest part about the situation.

I am an athlete, and have competed my whole life. People who have had experience competing in athletics, or even their workplace know what it’s like to fight for something. Whether it is their wellbeing, family, passion or life (in the case of the militia), there are certain things that hold a certain importance in life, and fighting to keep those things becomes the top priority on the list of instinctual and primal tasks. In the case of mixed martial arts, fighters are faced with a confusing locale.

They spend their lives training and fighting fueled by passion, a desire to reach the pinnacle of the sport, or simply the notion of how much really lies in the balance for them to be successful at beating up another person on a given night. And knowing (especially after yesterday) that failing to do so just once could close the door on all they’ve worked for since they started in the sport, is a scary reality.

But what sometimes seems incredibly unfair is how the UFC boils down to an entertainment business. They promote fights, fighters, events and programming all for the Ultimate Fighting Championship brand. And there really isn’t anyone to blame for this. Dana White isn’t doing anything wrong by cutting fighters, and manipulating the system based on the fights he and his company want to market. Because he created the business, and there are few rules he is forced to abide by. When trying to succeed in producing quality entertainment, the fighters and their feelings wind up last on the list of things holding any sort of importance.

This creates a dynamic where the fighters become toy soldiers controlled by the demanding infant hands of the UFC brass. They are moved around, matched up and given few and far fetched opportunities to stay employed. And that was the reality before 17 fighters were terminated yesterday. Now, that same inclination has been blatantly augmented. Simply, the UFC went out and said “We can do what we want and not have any reason to give anyone for it”.

Jon Fitch didn’t deserve the release. There really isn’t a justification for what happened, but there doesn’t really need to be one. It’s tough to hear about, given how many times he has competed with and knocked down top 10 talent. But what happened to him and the rest of the cut list sends a loud message to anyone wanting to excel in mixed martial arts.

The UFC is and has been the top of the MMA food chain for years now and is only lengthening the gap between them and any remote second place promotion. It’s the apex of MMA. Every single fighter scrapping their way through small shows, then waking up to train before work the next day dreams of hearing Burt Watson yell at them as they walk out of the tunnel. The UFC has become the american dream. And what happened yesterday pushed that dream to a cumbersome distance for fighters everywhere.

Hearing that a guy who closely competed with Georges St. Pierre, beat down a rising brazilian prospect for a fight of the year contender, put together a legendary 14 UFC wins and regardless of his sometimes tiring style of fighting, proved himself to be a top ten welterweight (even by the UFC’s rankings) in the world be dropped like he was, is artlessly rattling.

It’s a revealing hint at what direction the UFC wants to move in, and the control they wish to maintain over their employees. Taking that away from yesterday is what must be done, because refusing to play by their rules will get your name on a UFC pink slip. And it doesn’t need to be fair.

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0 Comments to UFC’s Boisterous Dispensation Has Heavy Implications | UFC NEWS

  1. magoo says:

    I feel for you Fitch, I hate business politics you got screwed!

    • Sasquatch says:

      I feel for him too but Jon and Dana’s relationship has a pretty rough history. IMO Dana’s just sending a clear message to all the wrestlers who are content to just lay on their opponents for the win (regardless of record or rankings nobody’s safe). Lets face it, nobody wants to pay for or even watch for free a dry humpin smothering fest… not good for PPV buys or ratings.

  2. business not personal says:

    If the ufc had been built on the backs of fighters like fitch then to put it simply i dont think there would be a ufc by now! What drew us all in to watching mma in the first place was how exciting it was and how different to boxing it was,less politics more action at least thats how it began.John fitch could win 100 straight fights but was he entertaining?No,the ufc is in the business of entertaing people and im sorry but john fitch fights were just painful to watch.Boils down to brass tax really i wouldnt part with my cash to book PPV event with him on the card.

  3. Texas says:

    In my opinion, Fitch should not have been cut. But, why is a writer (who admittedly says he don’t have the facts behind the UF’s decision to cut him) basically accusing “the UFC brass” of not being loyal to their fighters? Fitch got a title shot and was never really in the fight. He was shut out 5 rounds to nothing. He didn’t belong in the same zip code with Damion either. He’s a good fighter but very boring. It did surprise me that they cut him but I’m sure they had their reasons.

  4. Tony says:

    The company name is The Ultimate Fighting Championship, and although Fitch won his fights, I wouldn’t consider what he does as ultimate fighting. The original goal of the UFC is that no one could leave the cage unless someone got KO’d, submitted or the corner threw in the towel. Jon Fitch represents the Anti UFC and deserves to be cut.

  5. The Way Of The Dutchman says:

    This is a clear message to the fighters. Stop abusing the faulty unified rules of mma. Fitching is not fighting it’s holding the opponent down to avoid an actual fight. That is just not what mma should be about.

  6. BringFitchBack says:

    I disagree with all the comments here. If that is true though, then Maia will be cut the next time he loses.
    I think Fitch showed full blown domination in his fights he won. He also showed that he was dominated by Maia in his last fight. The schooling he put on Erik Silva has really hurt Silva and his hype.
    At the end of the day, the UFC was looking for a reason to cut him. but if he had been a PPV star, there is no way he would have been cut. This is about money and making money for the UFC.

    • The Way Of The Dutchman says:

      I think we have a different perception on domination. Fitch doesn’t fight so he can’t dominate either. I agree the fight against Erick Silva was exciting, the reason for the excitement was that Fitch actually tried to finish the fight instead of his usual MO of avoiding it. By the way he didn’t school Erick Silva, it was a close fight. He deserved the win but he had to go deep for it.

      • BringFitchBack says:

        Ok, I’ll bite, what is your definition of domination? My definition is controlling the fight for most of the time. It’s exactly what Fitch did to Erik. Erik was outgunned that night and Fitch schooled him. Silva’s hype has been tarnished a bit now. In Fitch’s wins, he controlled his opponents and therefore, dominated them.

        • The Way Of The Dutchman says:

          Did you forget Fitch had a few narrow escapes in that fight? Erick Silva came close to finishing Fitch several times. So you can’t say he schooled him.

          About the domination. There has to be a fight in order to dominate in a fight. All Fitch does is hold his opponent down until the bell rings. That is not fighting, therefor it’s not dominating.

        • BringFitchBack says:

          TWOTD – Did we watch different fights???!!! Fitch completely controlled Silva in R1. Silva constantly grabbed the fence to prevent a takedown in that round and was repeatedly warned by the ref. Was controlling him in the first half of R2 when he tried a throw and Silva slipped out getting his back. Silva tried for a RNC, but Fitch was never in danger while he punched Silva in the face. Fitch then reverses Silva at the end of R2 and beats him up and almost gets an armbar. Silva is obviously gassed after R2. Then Fitch batters and beats a gassed Silva in R3 where Silva tries for a GC that never put Fitch in danger. Then Fitch pounds on Silva for 2 minutes when the ref almost stopped the fight. It’s called a 10-8 round and full domination. To see this as you described, I would almost think Fitch barely won or almost lost. Fitch completely controlled Silva and dominated him. I wonder why you describe Fitch as not fighting???

  7. Dee says:

    Bottom line besides Royce Gracie, Fedor is the smartest MMA fighter alive. It doesn’t matter if Fitch is boring or not, what matters is that the UFC (better yet the powers that be) are monolopizing the industry and holding fighters at their whim. They have went out their way to bash boxing and make it seem like their better than WWE and boxing, but actually their not. It’s worse. There’s no fair share whatsover in the UFC. Through the years there have been several fighters cut from the UFC without any explanation. These guys have families to feed.
    I’ve been doing martial arts my entire life, but I refuse to dedicate myself to MMA because I refuse to succomb to the power of tyrannical leader like those that operate in the UFC. Even if you are an exciting fighter, you still run the risk of being cut. It really doesn’t matter with this organization. They will hire and fire whomever they choose.

    • BringFitchBack says:

      But this is the way with any business. If you aren’t productive, then you will be cut or fired. I’m not sure what you are commenting about?! The only subjective portion is a personal view of what is productive and what isn’t. In this case, the UFC views these cuts as non-productive to their bottom line. These guys have been losing but they really have never been able to draw good PPV’s. If they were making money even in loses, they would still be with the UFC. ie, Rampage, Hardy and others.

  8. confucius says:

    its all a business my friends. perfect example, as great as dan hardy has been, 4 straight losses and not cut? obviously hes a big UK draw and UK have very little to go on besides bisping and hardy. Just like Akiyama losing 4 straight and still hasnt been cut. Hes a huge asset to the japanese market. What asset were any one of these guys to the UFC? sad as it is, nada. Its a shame how UFC has literally made it a monopoly. Money is an ugly thing sometimes.

    • BringFitchBack says:

      I disagree. Without money, there would be no UFC. It is up to these fighter’s and their managers to enhance their value as an asset to the UFC. Their asset value follows them. Unfortunately, these fighters like Fitch just never had a good manager. He should have made himself into a valuable asset by getting PPV buys and he would still be with the UFC.

      • Sasquatch says:

        You can’t blame his manager for the way he fights, maybe his coach’s a bit, but that’s it. IMO asset value’s are enhanced with the performances they put on in the cage.

        • BringFitchBack says:

          Did you not like the Fitch vs Silva fight?? It was fight of the night. Fitch completely dismantled and destroyed the over-hyped Silva. My point was that Fitch needed to market himself somehow and a good manager would know that. Fitch never really did, he just worked super hard to be good. Unless you have been grappling, its hard to realize how difficult it is to completely control another fighter where they are nullified. I could only imagine how difficult it is at the level of UFC fighters. If Fitch had marketed his style and personality like a Sonnen, Tito, etc., he would be a bigger draw and would still be in the UFC. I think his manager and/or handlers don’t really undertstand the media side of the business. Fitch is a fighter but he needed a manager to enhance his asset value.

          BTW: Many think the Fitch vs Maia fight was super boring, but Maia simply completely dominated and controlled Fitch like nobody ever has. Isn’t that amazing to you? It was to me. My guess though is that Maia is a couple of losses away from being cut if this trend continues.

          Do you think Maia is boring and should be cut if he loses?

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