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Fabricio Werdum: Fired

(When you wake up, we’ll need you to clean out your desk. Photo courtesy of

Just how rough is this economy? Well, former UFC top heavyweight contender Fabricio Werdum just got downsized after losing one fight. Apparently Dana White & Co. were less than understanding of Werdum‘s upset loss to Junior Dos Santos at UFC 90 and asked him to immediately re-negotiate his contract. The two sides couldn’t come to an agreement, prompting Werdum to leave the promotion; according to MMA Weekly, he’s already negotiating with other fight clubs in the U.S. and Japan.

For the record, Werdum’s base salary was $80,000 when he made his UFC debut in April 2007, dropping a decision to Andrei Arlovski. We’d assume that he made the same amount for his subsequent beatings of Gabriel Gonzaga and Brandon Vera (at UFC 80 and 85), and his loss to Dos Santos last month, but salaries for those events were never publicly released. At any rate, his old employer decided he wasn’t worth 80 grand anymore and put the screws to him, which is just another example of the imbalance of power that plagues UFC fighter contracts. You sign a piece of paper that seemingly promises you a certain amount of money for a certain number of fights, but it’s by no means a guarantee unless you win every fight. And as the UFC becomes the only game in town, the power it wields is even greater. Anybody want to start a fighter’s union?

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Ron The Don- November 10, 2008 at 1:35 am
Here's the link I'm talking about
Ron The Don- November 10, 2008 at 1:33 am
News Flash! <a href=""Fabricio has no clue he got fired from the UFC
reasn @ team ninja boot- November 9, 2008 at 10:19 pm
all this while ufc tickets continue to fucking skyrocket.
the same seats we paid 450$ each for 84 ill will are going for 600$
face value now.
fucking dana!
Imbecile- November 9, 2008 at 7:41 pm
A fighters' union would be one of the dumbest ideas to happen to this sport. It would be terrible for the fans, horrendous for the UFC, and ultimately bad for the fighters at this stage.

Just ask Detroit. It is great when a bolt riveter gets paid $35/hr, gets mandatory 2 hour lunches, and can't lose their job through gross negligence of their duties; all to do a job that can be learned by your average, moderately trained monkey. All of that is great for the worker, right? Who wouldn't want higher pay and absurd benefits? But here's the thing... all the effort to 'look out for the workers' make the industry unsustainable and they no longer have jobs at all.

If fighters decided to unionize, they might be able to force some short-term benefits for themselves. But it would be at great expense to the UFC and to the consumer.

The UFC is currently the only organization spending any money to expand and grow the sport. They continue to push to open up regulation in all states, and are trying hard to expand internationally. Cutting deeply into their profits so Joe 'Undercard' can make a lot more will mean they will not likely continue those expansion efforts. It may even mean the destruction of their business model. The dead carcasses of all the MMA organizations that have attempted this business show that it is very difficult to build a successful and profitable model for business in MMA. If a union were to come in and force unreasonable demands, it could even crush the UFC's business model and cause them to go the way of their competitors.

Also, fans would have to endure strikes that would upset events and postpone matches. And don't think if the UFC's costs got up it wouldn't be passed on to consumers. We would be paying more for tickets, and possibly even PPV's. That might upset the UFC's revenue stream and put them in dire financial straights.

For fighters, they might quickly find they have nowhere left to fight if they unionize. Union demands won't fall exclusively on the UFC. Unions would drive up fighter contracts to the point where the UFC would be the only place that can afford to put on fights. Outside of the contracts, regional promotions almost certainly will not be able to provide healthcare outside of the immediate promises for injury care due to the fight itself.

So all of the people that would love the fighters to unionize to improve their treatment ought to consider what is more important: is it better for fighter's to get to make demands for better treatment, or is it better for them to actually have a job in the first place. The better treatment they seek could put them out of a job entirely. Just ask the autoworkers in Detroit.
Surfin Dave- November 9, 2008 at 6:30 pm
No shit they need a union. Even the zit king sacking my groceries at the Piggly-Wiggly has better job protection than MMA fighters.
EdWhitson- November 9, 2008 at 6:23 pm
If unions are not to blame for Detroit's problems (they are) then you would expect to see every car manufacturer in the U.S. asking the government for money. Toyota, Honda and others have plants in the South and do not have unions. Guess what ? They are not asking the government for money. The difference ? Unions. Smarten up.
Unionize MMA? Brilliant!- November 9, 2008 at 6:15 pm
Dear Anonymous,

You know not of what you speak. The recession is only the latest issue for auto makers. For 30+ years, the bloated expenses for American automakers have been cutting into their bottom line. The single biggest source of this is excessively large Union contracts.

SUVs are an issue, especially for Ford, but that is only the latest of product mix mistakes they have made (see also Ford's squandering of the Taurus, GM's squandering of the Saturn line, et al). Unfortunately, many auto maker strategic and product missteps emanate from their need to cut costs due to their union contracts.

Again, look at US Steel, Bethlehem Steel, major mining operations, and other industries where union labor is a major player. Now look at NUCOR, Toyota, and other companies that play in the same space, but do not have union labor. Productivity, customer satisfaction, employee satisfaction, and profitability all trend higher.

Oh, wait. This is an MMA blog. War Union busters! Put AFL-CIO in the arm bar! Rear naked choke on UAW!
TUF Guy- November 9, 2008 at 5:33 pm
Unions are famous for stealing money. How anyone could protect those lazy bastards is beyond me. $60/hr for operating a service elevator ! Join the union and you'll get it!
Anonymous- November 9, 2008 at 5:28 pm
umm Unionize... just to let you know. What is happening with the major automobile markets right now has next to nothing to do with they're unions if you haven't noticed WE ARE IN A RECESSION!!(and just the beginning of it!) They are the biggest hit companies because their products are worth the most money, They are in decline cause everyone of these fucking little spoiled kids and this generation of wanting to have the biggest and baddest vehicles..(S.U.V.S) are now starting to smarten up and realize they are not the way to go as the Companies tried to keep up with the demand they completely got away from building CARS! and now they're in the hole because everyone's moving back to a more sensible sized vehicle. If youve noticed the plants that are closing are the Large truck and S.U.V.s
eric- November 9, 2008 at 4:47 pm
werdum sells zero ppv. the "no talent bums from the tv show", like the current LW champ, sell PPV and put asses in the seats. they are also part of some the best fights we've seen. there's a reason why ufc is doing well and NOBODY else is.

it might be better to structure the contracts, so they are performance - based. the fighters would know what to expect and have nobody to blame but themselves.
Demaestro- November 9, 2008 at 4:45 pm
Keep in mind they give lots of undisclosed bonuses if you are winning so it works out.

Werdum is not worth $80g
uh- November 9, 2008 at 4:34 pm
overpaying fighters is why every other organization goes out of business. the ufc knows what it's doing and how to stay profitable. they gave him a chance to re-negotiate and he didn't. there are people with a lot tougher jobs than him with more education that make less.
Anonymous- November 9, 2008 at 4:31 pm
^ lol
Unionize MMA? Brilliant!- November 9, 2008 at 4:03 pm
Indeed, Unions are the path to a successful product and job security.

Just ask the good folks at Ford, GM, Chrysler, and US Steel.
EdWhitson- November 9, 2008 at 3:55 pm
A union is a terrible idea. So, we will have to pay people like Fabricio more money than we currently do and when he shows up fat and dis interested in fighting, we can't fire him. No thanks! For those, who think a union is a panacea, look at the MLB. A guy like A-Rod gets $25m a year, in part, b/c of the union. That means it costs about $200 for a family of 4 to go to a baseball game. In the current recession, that means many people can't afford to go to a baseball game b/c the players union has so much power and has inflated contracts to an absurd level ($25m / year to play baseball) By all means, that's a great idea for the UFC! Think critically people.
sodak- November 9, 2008 at 3:27 pm
Why pay Werdum when you can fill your cards w/ no talent bums from the TV show n pay em 8 grand, I love it give more credibility to the other shows their needs to be a pepsi to UFCs coke, I'd like to see Werdum/overeem.
Anonymous- November 9, 2008 at 3:15 pm
who knows though junior dos santos could start going on a tear and start knocking everybody out ,maybe dos santos is the next big thing in the heavy weight division. And that punch that koed him was huge ive seen werdum take good punches and survive so i know hes got a decent chin .Werdums still a good fighter i bet he would even kick the shit out of couture.
Anonymous- November 9, 2008 at 3:11 pm
gay! the heavyweight division of the ufc was all ready a joke and now they get rid of 1 of their 3 guys w any talent? noguerras gonna have to leave to find competition.
Jugger- November 9, 2008 at 2:42 pm
Am I the only one who notice how overweight, slow, and unmotivated this "$80,000-worthy" fighter was on his last outing. Did anybody else notice how quickly he got knocked out? Did anybody really get that PPV because Werdum was on it? The first thing I thought when I saw him enter the cage was, "Sheesh, he looks horrible."

Why would anybody want a union that says if my fighter comes in overweight, slow, unmotivated and puts on a poor fight you're not allowed to fire him or renegotiate his contract? That sounds exactly what the UFC doesn't need at this point. Right now fighters are hungry and they know that the UFC is the upper-echelon. They have to train hard, fight hard, and work hard if they want to stick around. I see no problem with that, whatsoever.
weatherman2012- November 9, 2008 at 2:42 pm
People, we are talking about the world of fighting here. It's a business with the shadiest history of all the main stream sports. It's obvious that Dana White is a prick, but he's still running the best show in town regardless of his dubious dealings. I have no love for the guy but he does a pretty good job keeping the sport together.

I wish that the fighters were all better paid and treated with the great respect for sure, but after seeing these other company's shit the bed it's clear that running a show like the ufc is no smooth ride.

The truth is that MMA is still very young sport and hopefully it evolves into a past time that is still entertaining for the fans and fair to the fighters. We certainly don't want to be complaining about overpaid lazy athletes that don't show up to fight. Look what happened to Chuck Liddell. After he made his millions he got lazy and lost that hunger that makes the sport exciting.

I'm not saying that fighters should be treated like shit or be paid poorly so they stay hungry, I'm just saying that the way the sport is right now it's still a hustle and there's gonna be some shady play from time to time.
akthor- November 9, 2008 at 2:40 pm
OMG will all you whaaaaa the ufc will be the only game in town whaaaaa people Stfu! all you sound is stupid! The UFC is a business just like all other sports that make money. this ain't mens rec league for fucksakes. the UFC makes decisions based upon money not upon the fighters feelings or needs. just like the NFL or NBA. if you dont like what you are gonna be paid dont sign the contract. if you want to make more money then dont suck and dont lose its pretty godamned simple. you should all kiss the ground Dana White walks on because if it wasnt for him and his hard assed business sense there would be no MMA on tv and all these athletes that would most likely be pushing a shovel somewhere for less money than they are making doing what they love training and fighting. it took decades for NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and even boxers to get to where they were making decent money. Already there are guys making enough to live comfortably and support their families. christ most of these guys would be fighting for free in gyms garages and basements instead they are getting paid pretty damm well by an organization and a sport that is really still in its infancy. you can only pay what you can afford while at the same time growing your business if you do it the opposite way ie: elite xc and affliction you will not stay in business. Dana loves MMA and he loves the fighters if you dont see that your dumb. but he also keeps his eye on the prize to make the UFC as big as the NFL and MLB and he doesnt let personal feelings interfere with that. Thats whats required in running a successful business you should all try to remember that.
polish- November 9, 2008 at 2:37 pm
He got KO'ed, times are tough, he wasn't a big draw, and it's the UFC. What the fuck do you expect? Go out there, do work, hurt people, you get paid.

Get KO'ed for $80k like a bitch, what do you expect to happen.
Vrax- November 9, 2008 at 2:32 pm
I'd be surprised if his deal was ore than three fights in the first place, does anyone know the specifics?

Secondly, I wonder if the two sides' failure to reach an agreement had something to do with Werdum stating that the loss "changes nothing" with regard to an eventual title shot. Like, I wonder if Werdum's management wanted guarantee that Zuffa wouldn't give them.

Still shitty, but I think there's more to this story than simple bullying by the UFC.
TUF Guy- November 9, 2008 at 2:22 pm
They are all overpaid for the type of work they do. Go in that cage and beat each other up. That's it.
I make 120K a year and I have to figure out everyting besides spliting an atom.
TopAthlete- November 9, 2008 at 2:21 pm