If you are a UFC fighter lucky enough to make six figures, but unlucky enough to be in a lost skid, your job may be in danger.
That seems to be the message sent by UFC president Dana White after UFC Vegas 16. When asked why the scary middleweight and regular title fighter Yoel Romero was eliminated by the company, White said it was just the beginning of a cut on the list that could see more than 60 fighters released.
“We will go through some serious cuts here at the end of the year,” revealed White. “We will probably have 60 cuts before the first day of the year. And Yoel has lost four of his last five, he is 44 years old. Our list is very inflated now. Therefore, we will have some major cuts before the end of the year. ”
“You will see many names coming here in the coming weeks.”
“Nothing like that,” White said when asked if there was any violation of USADA or anything else in relation to Romero who played a role in the decision. “We are literally starting to revise the list and, you know, he’s 44, he’s lost four out of the last five, and those are the tough decisions you need to make.”
It is important to note that three of those defeats were fights for the middleweight title, two of which were controversial decisions that Romero could have won any night, depending on the whims of the commission’s judges. But look, if the UFC doesn’t value Yoel anymore, it’s good that they finally released him … seven months after his last fight.
White admitted earlier this year that his Contender Series events would lead to escalation cuts elsewhere. The show’s fourth season saw 37 fighters signed between August and November 2020. It probably didn’t hinder the fact that all of these new prospects arrive in standard DWCS contracts, which are very low, even if you raise them with consecutive wins. Sean O’Malley’s contract saw him win $ 10k / $ 10k, $ 22k / $ 22k, $ 35k / $ 35k and $ 40k / $ 40k in his first four UFC wins.
“Yeah, no. It’s all a numbers game,” White said in August. “I mean, we have to give everyone three fights a year. So you can only have a certain number of people under contract. Yes.”
The killing of 60 fighters is nothing new for the UFC. Lots of cuts used to come with much more regularity when the promotion held 24 events a year in 2010 against the 40 they held in 2020. We here at MMA Mania remember a time when two consecutive losses were almost guaranteed you were packing and leaving the organization. Now you have tons of fighters with checkered records like CroCop shorts that last for years.
So maybe that should have been done a long time ago, but it certainly doesn’t look great when the organization drops some of the best fighters in the world, like Yoel Romero and Jussier Formiga, while maintaining a much more questionable talent. It makes you think that it has more to do with the financial results of the UFC than with an adequate assessment of talent and performance.