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Tag: firings

BELLATOR BLOODBATH 2014: Promotion Cuts 19 Fighters to Make Room for Tito vs. Kimbo (Allegedly)


(The referee isn’t mad at Eric Prindle. He’s just disappointed. / Photo via Sherdog.)

Hey everybody, thanks for joining me on such short notice. The reason I called you all to the conference room today is because, well, you know with every change in leadership there’s going to be some growing pains. I don’t want to use the word “redundancies,” because I don’t see a single person in this room who I’d call “redundant.” You’re all unique, valuable — we hired you for a reason. And we appreciate what you’ve done to help Bellator grow. By the way, the bagels and cream cheese are for everybody, feel free to dig in. I think there are some plastic knives in that bag over there.

The reality of the situation, however, is this: The current budgetary climate has forced us to get lean and mean. Maybe it’s just temporary, maybe it’s the new normal. But the fact is that we’re trying to stay competitive in the post-Bjorn era, and that means trimming some fat. Well, again, “fat” is a word I don’t like to use because it implies something unwanted that has grown on the body due to excess consumption, or a general lack of movement. So yes, maybe “trimming some fat” is actually the perfect metaphor to use here.

At any rate, the partners have gotten together and pored over every contract, and — look, I’m just going to say it — 19 of you have been fired. The following people will no longer be working here, effective immediately…

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And Now He’s Fired: Jake Shields Cut by UFC Following Loss to Hector Lombard


(Jake’s drowsy-teenager defense was no match for the hard-hitting Cuban. / Photo via Getty)

Jake Shields’s decision loss to Hector Lombard last month at UFC 171 was his first defeat in two-and-a-half-years — and yet, it was enough of a justification for the UFC to cut him from the promotion. Shields’s manager Lex McMahon confirmed the firing with MMAFighting.com this morning, putting out the following statement:

Jake Shields has been released by the UFC. Jake appreciates the opportunities provided by the UFC and thanks Dana White and Lorenzo Fertita. Jake is an elite athlete who is one of the best welterweight fighters in the world with a long history of winning at a championship level. Jake and our team are already exploring options. I’m confident that Jake will have a new promotion to call home very soon. Jake thanks his fans for their support and looks forward to competing for them again soon.

Not since Jon Fitch have we been this shocked and outraged over the firing of a fighter who we didn’t really care for in the first place. Shields was coming into the Lombard match on a two-fight win streak, with split-decision victories over Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley. And he would have been riding a four-fight win streak if not for the mysterious no-contest he caught after winning a decision against Ed Herman in a middleweight bout at UFC 150, then failing his drug test.

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And Now He’s Fired: Bellator Releases Ben Saunders, For Some Reason [UPDATED]


(“You want to put me on a t-shirt? Sure, sounds great buddy!” — Marcus Davis / Photo via topmmanews)

Since his Bellator debut in 2011, Ben Saunders has been one of the most visible and entertaining members of the promotion’s welterweight division. But unfortunately, he was never able to win a tournament, failing to secure the Big Check in three consecutive years. And so, in the wake of his head kick knockout loss to Douglas Lima at Bellator 100 in September, Bellator has released the Killa B. Bjorn Rebney explained the decision in a statement released to MMAMania:

I’ve been a ‘Killa B’ fan for years, and Ben’s given 100 percent of his heart every single time he’s stepped into the Bellator cage. After competing in three Bellator tournaments, Ben could never get to the top of that mountain, and as we continue to grow and expand I spoke to Ben and we both decided it was time to move in a different direction, so we provided Ben his complete release.

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Lavar Johnson Fired Following UFC 157 Drug Test; ‘Big’ Admits to Undergoing Testosterone Replacement Therapy


(“HYPOGONADISM BITCH, ALL DAY!” / Photo via Esther Lin @ MMAFighting)

Though his job appeared to be safe following his UFC 157 decision loss to Brendan Schaub, pissing dirty for steroids turned out to be the kiss of death for heavyweight Lavar “Big” Johnson. In light of his failed drug test, Johnson has been cut by the UFC. In addition, the California State Athletic Commission has hit him with a nine-month suspension, as well as a fine of “around $1,250″ that reflects the cost of the two tests the CSAC used for his drug screening.

MMAJunkie adds some more surprising details about what led to Johnson’s PED bust:

An elevated testestosterone-to-epitestosterone (T/E) ratio of 6.6-to-1 triggered a carbon isotope ratio (CIR) test that confirmed Johnson had testosterone in his system that was “was consistent with the administration of a steroid.” Johnson, though, admitted he was undergoing testosterone replacement therapy in a recent conversation with the California State Athletic Commission, which oversaw the Feb. 23 pay-per-view event at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif., and suspended him based on the results of his test. Johnson failed to disclose TRT on a pre-fight medical questionnaire. A rep for AKA said the fighter may seek an exemption for the treatment.

Here’s how you know TRT is nothing more than a bullshit cheating-method — when a dude who looks like this claims to need it, and then avoids mentioning it during his pre-fight medicals. Ah well. You can’t say the UFC didn’t warn you. In other UFC drug-bust aftermath news…

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And Now He’s Fired: Bellator Cuts Ties with Former Bantamweight Champion Zach Makovsky


“Wait…a ham sandwich walked into a bar? How is that even possible?”

New years often mean new beginnings. For Bellator, this means cutting ties with former bantamweight champion Zach Makovsky.

Makovsky took to his Twitter account yesterday to confirm his release, tweeting “Honestly shocked but thank you for the opportunity @BellatorMMA @BjornRebney.”

A former D1 wrestler for Drexel University, Zach “Fun Size” Makovsky was the face of Bellator’s bantamweight division since the beginning, becoming the inaugural bantamweight champion at Bellator 32 with a unanimous decision victory over Ed West. A pair of non-title fights saw him knock out Chad Robichaux and choke out Ryan Roberts, improving his Bellator record to a flawless 6-0, and the future was wide open for Fun Size.

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And Now They’re Fired: Michihiro Omigawa, Walel Watson, & Others Receive Their Walking Papers


(The punch may have missed, but Dillishaw’s stank bref definitely found its mark.) 

It is not a good time of year to be a struggling UFC fighter, Potato Nation.

Just a day after it was made public that Charlie “Big Hair” Brenneman (nickname pending) had been released from the UFC following a pair of losses to Kyle Noke and Erick Silva, the UFC has announced that four more UFC fighters will have to significantly cut back on their children’s wish lists this Christmas. Spoiler alert: Most of the names will not surprise you, unless you were unaware that some of them were fighting in the UFC in the first place, or even a person at all, which is likely the case with a couple of these guys.

And the nominees for saddest fighter of the day are…

-Michihiro Omigawa: Following an 0-2 stint in the octagon between 2007-2008, the DREAM and DEEP veteran reentered the UFC in February of 2011. Unfortunately for him, his second run didn’t go much better than the first. He would drop his first fight to future title challenger Chad Mendes by way of unanimous decision at UFC 126 and get absolutely screwjobbed out of a victory in his second fight against Darren Elkins at UFC 131. A UD victory of his own over Jason Young at UFC 138 would be his first and his last under the Zuffa banner, as he would suffer back-to-back unanimous decision losses to Iuri Alcantara and former WEC featherweight title challenger Manny Gamburyen at UFC 142 and UFC on FOX 4, respectively. Omigawa’s record currently stands at 13-12.

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And Now He’s Fired (Again): Miguel Torres Released by UFC, Signs With Titan FC


(True story.)

As a wise man once tweeted, “everyone likes surprises.” Nevertheless, Miguel Torres probably didn’t enjoy the surprise he got recently when he found out that he had been cut for the second time by the UFC. Torres confirmed on his official website that he was handed his walking papers following his first-round knockout loss against rising star Michael McDonald at UFC 145. The firing follows a temporary release in December, which Torres caught for rape-joke-related offenses.

At one point the most dominant bantamweight in the history of the sport, Torres ends his UFC stint with an underwhelming record of 2-2, including decision wins over Antonio Banuelos and Nick Pace, and losses to McDonald and Demetrious Johnson. Prior to that, Torres spent three fruitful years in the WEC, where he won the promotion’s 135-pound belt and successfully defended it three times before a pair of stoppage losses to Brian Bowles and Joseph Benavidez permanently dethroned him.

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Firing Roundup: Steve Cantwell Mercifully Released After Five Straight Losses


(We’ll give “The Robot” this, he never left a *victory* in the hands of the judges.) 

Of all the fighters to be kept around by the UFC for longer than they should have, the story of Steve Cantwell‘s inexplicably long run with the promotion is perhaps the most confounding. That is not a knock on Mr. Cantwell, but more of a general observation. After defeating Brian Stann at WEC 35 to win the WEC’s last Light Heavyweight championship (not to mention a bit of redemption), Cantwell kicked off his UFC career in memorable fashion, snapping Razak Al-Hassan’s arm and then gloating over it like a serial killer at UFC: Fight for the Troops back in December of 2008. Unfortunately for “The Robot,” the win would be both his first and last while under the UFC banner.

Cantwell’s next fight would be an entertaining three round kickboxing match with Luiz Cane, a fellow light heavyweight prospect who has fallen on hard times as of late, at UFC 97. It was shortly thereafter where those following Cantwell (including Joe Rogan) began to notice a change in Cantwell’s character, at least when he stepped into the ring. His next four losses, which came to Brian Stann, Cyrille Diabate, Mike Massenzio, and Riki Fukuda, respectively, were marked by an all but total lack of striking defense on Cantwell’s part, who seemed as if he was literally trying to absorb as much damage as possible en route to defeat. All four of those losses came by way of unanimous decision, and all four would see Cantwell fail to engage with any sense of urgency on the feet while having his face put through a meat grinder in the process. None of his fights were incredibly memorable, and most of them took place on the undercard, yet Cantwell stuck around for as long as he possibly could.

Like we said, we’re not here to kick a man while he’s down, but rather to wish him the best at wherever he may land in the future. We just wish we could have seen a little more of that sociopathic fire in his eyes over the last couple years.

News of Cantwell’s release comes amidst a plethora of UFC firings, the complete list of which awaits you after the jump.

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And Now He’s Fired: King Mo Released From Strikeforce Following Twitter Rant


(Now Mo, you’re going to have to be more original than that if you expect to get paid on the streets.) 

Quinton Jackson must be seething with rage right now. As you may recall, following his January 7th second round TKO victory over Lorenz Larkin at Strikeforce: Rockhold vs. Jardine, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal tested positive for Drostanolone. Shortly thereafter, Mo acquired a particularly brutal case of staph infection that nearly took his life, but the bad news wasn’t over yet.

King Mo appeared before the Nevada State Athletic Commission yesterday to receive his punishment, which was rather standard — a 9 month suspension, a 30% fine of his $80,000 purse, the surrendering of his win bonus, and his bout with Larkin being overturned to a no-contest. However, things took a weird turn after chairperson Pat Lundvall, when referring to the information Lawal knowingly falsified on his pre-fight medical documents, called into question that of Lawal’s ability to read and understand English. Needless to say, Mo was rather insulted by such an accusation, and took to Twitter, where he promptly screwed himself royally.

Follow us after the jump for the full story. 

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And Now He’s Unfired: Miguel Torres

Via ArielHelwani:

Dana says Torres is back. Torres has donated money to local rape centers, visited them. Dana says Torres was very remorseful…Dana says Torres handled his business like a man and no one told him to do it. Torres very emotional.”

In the latest example of Dana White releasing fighters in a fit of anger before changing his mind (see also: Jon Fitch, Karo Parisyan), the UFC president confirmed at today’s “Lesnar vs. Overeem” press conference that Miguel Torres‘s tweet-related firing was more like a three-week suspension. Torres apparently did enough to get back in White’s good graces after his rape-joke-gone-awry, and can now return to his rightful place in the UFC bantamweight division.

We’re glad this story got a happy ending. Now can Gerald Harris and Natasha Wicks get some love or what?

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