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And Now They’re Fired: Jon Fitch, Paul Sass, and 14 Other Fighters Axed by the UFC

(You think it would be damn near impossible to sum up an 18-fight UFC career in one image, yet here we are.) 


When we announced just hours ago that Jacob Volkmann had been cut from the UFC as part of a vast, government-led ploy to disarm the public following a 1-2 run in his last 3 fights, little did we know that his termination was just the precursor for one of the largest mass firings in UFC history. But that appears to be the case, as it was recently made public that Volkmann was but one of 16 fighters to be cut from the UFC today.

Among the dead are a few guys you probably wont recognize (C.J. Keith, Motonobu Tezuka (?), Simeon Thoresen), a few guys who probably had it coming (Vladimir Matyushenko, Mike Russow, Mike Stumpf) and a couple of guys who couldn’t find a win in the UFC if they sold their souls to Dana White Satan (the continuously underwhelming Jorge Santiago and poor, poor Jay Hieron).

However, if you were to continue looking over said list, you would find a couple inclusions that would not only make you scratch your head, but possibly shave your head, eyebrows, body hair, and nipples off in a hallucinogenic stupor. After the jump, we’ve compiled our own list of the most shocking entries.

Jon Fitch: That’s right, the man who is currently ranked at #9 on the UFC’s “official” welterweight rankings list, which were made public all of two weeks ago, has been axed for the second time in his 18-fight UFC career. While his first exit from the promotion wasn’t exactly performance-related, it’s hard to say that his second is any different. Fitch may be 1-2-1 in his past four bouts, but that lone victory came in a thrilling match over one of the division’s hottest prospects in Erick Silva. Not to mention Fitch’s thirteen other victories in the UFC. But yeah, keep trying to convince us that those rankings are anything other than a steaming pile of (adorable) dog shit.

Che Mills: 2-2 in the UFC, Mills was more than likely fired for basically giving up in the third round of his fight with Matt Riddle at UFC on FUEL 7, a move that immediately earned him the ire of The Baldfather.

Paul Sass: Talk a bout a hype-deflation. Sass came into the UFC riding a ten-fight unbeaten streak and quickly proved that he was the real deal by submitting his first three UFC opponents. However, after being dealt a taste of his own medicine compliments of Matt Wiman at UFC on FUEL 5, Sass would drop a follow-up contest to Danny Castillo, also at UFC on FUEL 7, which was apparently enough for the UFC to sever their ties with the Brit. Speaking of Brits…

Terry Etim: 6-5 UFC, on the heels of his second straight loss to Renee Forte at, you guessed it, UFC on FUEL 7 in London. Although Etim has fought just once a year since 2009 and is best known for being on the wrong end of the greatest knockout of 2012, this is still kind of a shocking entry considering the following he had gained amongst UK MMA fans. We guess shit happens when you drop a decision in your home country.

Other fighters who find themselves unemployed as of today are…

Wagner Prado: 0-2 and 1 NC, lost both fights by second round submission.

Josh Grispi: 0-4 UFC, officially became one of the biggest busts in UFC history (as we pretty much predicted) when he dropped a UD to Andy Ogle at UFC on FUEL 7.

Ulysses “Useless” Gomez: 0-2 UFC, also dropped a decision at UFC on FUEL 7. Expect several nickname-based puns to start popping up on comment boards across the MMA blogosphere any minute now.

Jacob Volkmann: We’ve already covered this one. In short, blame Obama.

Again, Leonard Garcia is still in the UFC. That is all.

-J. Jones

Cagepotato Comments

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jolyqw- February 22, 2013 at 11:03 am
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Mir please break Brocks neck- February 21, 2013 at 11:58 pm
Im kinda sorry for saying it....but Im kinda not. Jon Fitch is a BORING fighter. Of his last 11 fights.....they have ALL gone the distance.....EXCEPT for Johny Hedricks. Again.....A-L-L OF HIS FIGHTS GO TO DECISIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BOOOOORING!!!!!!! Good luck in Bellator Mr. Fitch.
eatthecage- February 21, 2013 at 8:24 am
ytrebil- February 21, 2013 at 5:06 am
I’m surprised that Che Mills got cut. He was on the end of bad match making by Silva. I mean, putting a striker against someone like Matt Riddle who does his best to not fight. Ah well.

Sass was embarrassing tbh. If you can’t submit a guy with that many submission attempts you had better have another game plan. Unfortunately for this Scouse, 1 trick pony, his telegraphed submissions cost him his UFC job.

I don’t blame the UFC for ruthless cutting. In fact, it’s a good thing. You’ve had months building up to this fight. Whatever has happened in training or in the last few months come down to a maximum of 15 or 25 minutes and if you are not being dragged out of that Octagon dead on your feet from giving it 100% I have no sympathy for these guys.

The thing is, for someone like Sass, if he came out in the 3rd after having a million submission attempts easily stuffed and thought “fuck, I’m down in this, I had better DO something” and then gone out on his sword, all guns blazing then likelihood is he wouldn’t have been cut. I’m not saying he’d have won, in fact I’m 90% sure (or more) he’d have still lost, but he’d have spilled blood, he’d have had a puncher’s chance and more than anything, would have provided some great entertainment for the fans and he’d have lived to fight another day in the UFC.

For any fighters out there, they should get a tape of Watson Vs. Nedkov from the prelims and watch it on repeat. That is how you fight in the UFC and don’t get your backside cut even if you lose.
abcd1234- February 20, 2013 at 8:52 pm
Did you guys realize everyone who fights Erick Silva gets cut 1 fight ahead? Ramos, Prater, Breneman had their heads axed last year. Now Fitch. Even the poor Hieron, who was just speculated to fight Silva, got too! Is Erick some kind of Dana's CutMaster?
abcd1234- February 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm
So the show is officially more important than having good skills. I see it. Not sure if this kind of bulshit still surprises anyone regardin the UFC these days (link a Sonnen vs. Jones fight announcement on "these days" and voilà!).
anapes- February 20, 2013 at 7:03 pm
Let this be a lesson to all you whippersnappers, you don't have to win em all but you damn well better make it interesting!

Hutch- February 20, 2013 at 5:29 pm
I must say that I'm very surprised any of you out there are outraged by the Fitch thing. Personally, I say good riddance. Seriously, we've all been bitching about him for years now. Count your blessings, move on, and get rightfully pissed that the janitor got the axe.
NuclearSun- February 20, 2013 at 5:27 pm
@Zombye Duffee was not cut because of his loss to Russow. In fact he was scheduled to fight Madsen at 121. After an injury and some disputed about money with Dana he was released.
Mr_Misanthropy- February 20, 2013 at 5:03 pm
You know Fitch could easily be champ in his division in any other organization out there.
Fried Taco- February 20, 2013 at 4:56 pm
Actually they had to make room for the big influx of women fighters. Bonus, they don't have to pay women as much!
Chromium- February 20, 2013 at 5:08 pm
They are taking all of 10 women fighters dude. They just cut 16 dudes in one day. Oh, and it looks like they also cut Amanda Nunes' contract too but that hasn't been reported yet.
BuckWild- February 20, 2013 at 4:46 pm
Its a conspiracy. Dana is sending Belator a Fitch bomb. He will out Askrin Askrin..
Buster Hyman- February 20, 2013 at 3:35 pm
guess they had to make room for all the new TUF 18 contestants? ive been watching the show, have all the fights realllllly been that good? i hate fitch but silva fitch earned that fucker some credit and losing to a DM on his current tear is no reason for the axe.
RSparrow- February 20, 2013 at 2:57 pm
Deadpanda is spot on. That is all. He should have also been cooler about the Zuffa video game shit... well, time to release some DNA demons to Wayne Gretzkys daughter, or possibly a tribute to busty girls.
Deadpanda- February 20, 2013 at 3:18 pm
You shouldn't feed my ego.
masterbaitntackle- February 20, 2013 at 2:50 pm
DAMMIT!!!!! They cut Josh Grispi?! WHYYYYYYYYYY?
Mr_Misanthropy- February 20, 2013 at 1:42 pm
Feh, at least the JewFC waited until after Hanukkah to give these shmendriks the drek oif dem teller.
Zombye2- February 20, 2013 at 1:29 pm
@Shifty-Eyed Dog

Duffee was cut after Russow knocked him out.
Shifty-Eyed Dog- February 20, 2013 at 6:55 pm
I was mistaken about him coming off a win when he got cut (who am I thinking of? somebody did.), but he wasnt fired for the one loss. Dana White said:

"He lost that fight [against Mike Russow], but the biggest problem I have with Todd Duffee is his attitude. You guys don’t see it. You don’t know. I deal with tons of guys. We have hundreds of guys under contract and I’ve had thousands of guys under contract over the last ten years and Todd Duffee, to me, doesn’t seem like he wants to be in the UFC. He doesn’t like being in the UFC. Let him go fight in the smaller organizations and work his way back up, if he even wants to work his way back up and get back into the UFC."
Deadpanda- February 20, 2013 at 1:26 pm
Another way of looking at Fitch, from the UFC's perspective, is that he's good enough to knock off all of your promotable prospects but he'll never be champion. Why would they want to keep him around?
Deadpanda- February 20, 2013 at 1:23 pm
When Fitch got out Fitched by Damian Maia he lost his spot in the UFC. They don't really have any match ups that they can sell for him. He's no longer a contender after losing the way he did & he's not exciting enough to keep around as a journeyman at 34. Better to let him round off his career in another promotion.
Mike_Goldberg- February 20, 2013 at 1:14 pm
I truly don't understand the Fitch part.
Shifty-Eyed Dog- February 20, 2013 at 1:12 pm
No one on that list will be missed with the POSSIBLE exception of Fitch. All dead weight, good riddance.

and I agree with StinkFacer. You just know WSoF and Bellator will scoop up all of these people based on UFC-affiliation/name recognition alone, regardless of their actual talent.
StinkFacer- February 20, 2013 at 1:10 pm
well, i guess WSOF is about to have an influx of "talent" from a bunch of ufc "veterans".
Shifty-Eyed Dog- February 20, 2013 at 1:10 pm
I like the housecleaning. With the influx of Strikeforce fighters, it was inevitable that they would start cutting. The UFC is the NFL of MMA, and therefore should reflect that by only having the cream of the crop. The rest should be in the minor leagues/promotions and work their way up when they deserve it.

So yeah, fire them. Fire MORE.

...but I gotta admit, Fitch's firing does seem unexpected. Maybe it's personal problems with the companynot performance-related, like when Todd Duffee was canned following a win for his attitude.