RYAN BADER ($47,000 show with $47,000 win bonus)
(Photo via MMAWeekly)
HUTCHINSON: CUT ‘EM
Let’s start off with a memory exercise. When the name Ryan Bader is uttered what is the first thought you have. If your answer was anything other than “he was the last person to lose to Tito,” then allow me to be the first to welcome you to CagePotato Mrs. Bader. That is really the most memorable thing he’s done. Sure, he won The Ultimate Fighter…season 8. You remember? The season that was supposed to produce the next Anderson Silva, and instead produced…well, Ryan Bader? In fact, without looking it up, and excluding Junie Browning, can anyone out there name 5 guys that were on that season? I didn’t think so. [Ed. note: George Roop...George Roop...George Roop, George Roop, and George Roop, because he spit hot fire.]
Beyond the show you could argue that he only has three loses, and has four wins by stoppage. The problem I have with that is that none of those victories have been remotely interesting. So again we fall back to his highest profile performance being a loss to a guy who was on a five-year losing streak before that fight and subsequently retired after losing three in a row. Compound that by the $47,000 he makes just to show up and you can bet your ass that “Darth” will be getting cut quicker than a white boy in the 209 after Glover Texiera whoops his ass in a couple of months.
SMITH: KEEP ‘EM
Bader is 8-3 in the Octagon with his only losses coming to LHW Champ Jon Jones and #1 contender Lyoto Machida (oh and a quick first-round submission loss to a seasoned orator but let’s not get into that one). He has beaten the likes of Antonio Rogerio Nogueira and Quinton Jackson. Do I ever think he will be a champion? Probably not, but he is only 29 years-old and his salary is not quite Fitch-esque so why not keep the TUF winner around regardless of the outcome of his upcoming scrap with Texiera, just to see if he progresses? Physically, Bader looks good on a UFC promo poster and his name does carry minor weight even if he is a B- fighter in the LHW division (at best). If/when he is released; he will probably have a career as a male model selling skimpy jorts to the masses that demand a tight pair of denim that can double as a sling shot in a pinch.
HUTCHINSON: CUT ‘EM
Yet another former Ultimate Fighter winner (I’m just going to say it, Fuck The Ultimate Fighter), but also a former one-and-done paper champ. For this entry I will forgo the history lessons and keep it short and sweet by using Dana White’s own logic in firings. Half of his UFC fights have ended via decision. So that equates to being boring. He’s 0-2 in his last two fights, and has looked like shit since joining the Blackzilians and is on a downward slide late in his career. Then of course there is the money. That “impressive” performance against Nogueira at UFC 156 sent Sugar home with a cool $300,000. That’s $300,000 American fucking dollars. If Jon Fitch was too expensive at $66,000 I have no idea how Zuffa is justifying this sort of paycheck. The floor is yours Nate, good luck.
SMITH: KEEP ‘EM
I will be honest with you guys (and ALF); I had NO idea that “Suga” was making that kind of crazy cheddar when I opted to defend keeping his contract under the UFC banner, and unless he is doing some crazy magic tricks behind the scenes, Rashad ain’t worth that price tag. All I can do is say one word. Blackzilians. Seriously – click that link and look at that stable of fighters in the Blackzilian’s camp and try to NOT notice why in the SAM HELL Roy Jones Jr. is on the list. All of them have been reduced to glorified sparring partners. Yes, even CP’s beloved dancing machine Ryan Jimmo proved the point in his last fight a couple weeks ago. All of them are talented with KO power but they turn into one-trick ponies with a lack of cardio and all of them look like a freaking He-Man action figure. Coincidence? Probably not – just sayin’ (again). That is all I have for defending Evans because he really IS an athlete with skills. He needs to get out of the Blackzilians camp, move away from his palatial estate in Florida, give my man GSP a call and move to a studio apartment without heat in Montreal where Tri-Star is located and try to rediscover The Eye of the Tiger. Evans already burned his bridges with the infinitely intelligent Mogwai Greg Jackson when he couldn’t coexist with Jon Jones, and he has trained at Tri-Star before. Rashad has never been super ripped physically, and could stand to lose a couple pounds, so a hard weight cut mixed with a run at middleweight is not out of the question, and a fight pitting him against Bisping (again) or Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza or a swan song bout for Rich Franklin (at a catch-weight of course, and ACE should be cut too, by the way) would totally bring eyeballs to boob-tubes. All three of those bouts are main event (or at least co-main event) caliber for a UFC on FOX card which could (kinda . . . . . . not really) justify his crazy salary. Ah FUCK IT! Cut him. Are five Jon Fitch losses worth more than one Rashad Evans fight? Queue head explosion. You’re welcome JJ.
At the end of the day nobody is completely safe from the chopping block. A fighter is one bad loss or one failed drug test or one declined fight request from being in the proverbial UFC doghouse and considering these athletes choose a dangerous occupation, it only makes sense that there is little margin for error both inside the cage and out. We are just a couple of barbacks spewing our opinions in between fetching BG’s coffee or cleaning Cepeda’s bathroom after a Taco Bell bender but since the flowchart of doom was recently released, at least all of us have a better understanding of what is required. If you really want to know how to stay employed as a fighter under the Zuffa banner, Wanderlei Silva told Kevin Iole from Yahoo! Sports this little slice of heaven earlier this week.
“You can’t fight like a machine, like you are worried about what the promoter is going to think,” Silva said. “[UFC president] Dana [White] isn’t really the one who is going to [cut] you. You cut yourself. I talk to my guys and I tell them, ‘You have to fight in a way that you don’t give the promoter a choice but to bring you back.’ If you go out and make a show and put your heart on the line every time, the people will respond to that and the promoter won’t be able to say anything.”
Amen, Axe Murderer. Amen, you happy-go-lucky son-of-a-gun.