Earlier this month, red-hot UFC featherweight contender Yair Rodriguez was ejected from the UFC roster. The reason, we were told by UFC President Dana White, is that Rodriguez had turned down multiple fight offers. Apparently, that’s a no-no.
Speaking at the UFC Liverpool post-fight press conference, White defended his decision to cut Rodriguez.
“We offered him fights, he turned down the fights,” White said (transcribed by Adam Guillen Jr. for MMAMania). “There was a lot more back and forth that went on with that. If you don’t want to fight, this isn’t the place to be. There’s plenty of places out there that will take Yair Rodriguez and would love to have him, and would sign him and I’m sure he’ll have a great career. This isn’t the place for you.”
White didn’t completely shut dow the possibility of Yair Rodriguez one day returning to the UFC, but again reiterated that if the UFC offers you a fight, you should take it.
“We’ll see. When I call you and offer you a fight, you should probably take it. You should probably take it. I make 42 fights a year, and if you don’t want to fight and you want to be picky and choosy — and you don’t want do this and you don’t want do that — you probably need to go somewhere else. And I’ll help you get there.”
While it’s easy to understand how matchmakers might get frustrated with fighters turning down bouts, it’s not really an “offer” if you’re going to be fired for rejecting it. Furthermore, if you risk getting fired for turning down a bout suggestion, it doesn’t sound like you’re an “independent contractor.” It sounds like you’re an employee. You know, the kind that’s allowed to unionize. And finally, Rodriguez is not the first fighter to turn down several bouts in succession… So why was he punished so severely? Sorry, Dana White, the logic just doesn’t stand up here…
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 5/28/2018.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM