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Tag: UFC firings

And Now They’re Fired: Ding Dong, Ding Dong, Leonard Garcia’s UFC Career Might Finally Be Dead [UPDATED]


(If there was ever an image that summed up Garcia’s UFC experience, this is it.) 

You know, we may have had our fun at Leonard Garcia‘s expense over the years, but when it was passed along that his fighter profile had finally, mercifully been removed from UFC.com’s master list this morning, we were filled with an unexpected sense of dread — the ending of Old Yeller comes to mind.

While it’s true that you could easily fault Garcia for being entertaining to his own detriment (not unlike Chris Lytle, although “Lights Out” did manage to break the .500 mark by the end of his UFC career), it would hard to blame the man himself for being gifted a few decisions or overstaying his welcome in the UFC; Garcia simply showed up when told, always made weight, and put on as entertaining a fight as humanly possible. That’s more than most past or present UFC employees can say, and the fact that Leonard managed to do all this without once testing positive for a banned substance or steroids* should only improve his much grumbled about reputation in the organization.

Unfortunately, Garcia’s 2-7 record in the promotion did little to raise said reputation, hence the removal of his profile — along with the profiles of a few other fighters that we’ll get to in a second — from UFC.com. Dana White had mentioned that Garcia’s UFC future was “not looking good” following his fifth straight loss to Cody McKenzie at UFC 159 last month, so it was only a matter of time before this news broke. With the loss, Garcia joins such company as Steve Cantwell, Elvis Sinosic, and John Alessio as the only UFC fighters to suffer five straight losses in the UFC.

Best of luck, Leonard. Hopefully you can get a couple confidence-boosting wins on the local circuit and work your way back up to the top, because the UFC could always use another fighter who puts the fans before him/herself.

As we mentioned, Garcia’s profile was only one of many to be removed from UFC.com earlier today, so join us after the jump to check out the full list of vitims.

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And Now They’re Fired: Pablo Garza and Clifford Starks Axed by UFC After Recent Losses [UPDATED]


(Good enough to beat up a former title contender. Not quite good enough to remain employed six months later. / Photo via Getty Images)

After losing to Diego Brandao by first-round arm-triangle choke at UFC on FUEL 9 last month, UFC featherweight Pablo Garza has been released by the UFC. Garza confirmed the bad news yesterday, saying that he will focus on coaching and competing in jiu-jitsu for the time being, although he didn’t rule out a return to MMA competition.

Though Garza kicked off his pro career with seven consecutive wins, he endured a couple of setbacks before making it into the UFC. First, he was selected for the TUF 11 lightweight cast, but lost a decision to Michael Johnson in the elimination round before making it into the house. After winning a couple more fights in his native North Dakota, Garza was brought back to the Zuffa fold as a featherweight injury replacement for Jason Reinhardt at WEC 51, and was quickly guillotine choked by Tiequan Zhang.

But the UFC gave him another chance, bringing him into the big leagues after the WEC closed its doors. Garza went on to score back-to-back wins over Fredson Paixao (via Knockout of the Night-earning flying knee) and Yves Jabouin (via Submission of the Night-earning flying triangle). A pair of losses to Dustin Poirier and Dennis Bermudez followed, putting the Scarecrow on thin ice again. But Garza redeemed himself by dominating Mark Hominick in a gritty decision at UFC 154 last November.

The April loss to Brandao sunk Garza’s UFC record to an even 3-3 — not the most impressive tally, but then again, all of Garza’s wins were pretty damn fantastic. Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to keep him on the roster. Bummer. In other firing news…

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And Now They’re Fired: Phil De Fries and a Slew of TUF 17 Alums Among the UFC’s Latest Batch of Roster Cuts


(1-0 over constrictive tanktops, 0-1 over actual competition. You will be missed, Gilbert. Photo courtesy of UFC.com) 

The UFC continues to steamroll ahead with its massive roster cuts, Potato Nation. And while we are never one to praise the departure of a Zuffa employee (unless it’s Paul Daley, of course), we should at least be able to take comfort in the fact that there are no Jon Fitch level mind-bogglers for us to mourn this time around. However, the UFC’s most recent list of firings does feature — somewhat unsurprisingly — every TUF 17 alum who came up short in the season’s finale earlier this month, as well as a couple other guys who have had less than successful UFC runs as of late.

Taking out the trash is never fun, so let’s just get this thing over with…

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And Now He’s Fired: Josh Neer a.k.a The Missing Diaz Brother Gets Axed by the UFC for the Third Time


(Seriously, all he’s missing is a lisp and an army of lawyers to enable his incoherent conspiracy theories and he’d fit right in with the 209 crew.)  

We’re not ashamed to admit that — despite his many shortcomings both inside the ring and outJosh Neer will always be one of our favorite fighters. Embracing an “old school,” entertainment over strategy mentality that saw him score back-to-back Fight of the Night awards during his second run in the UFC, the Iowa native has been throwing caution to the wind since 2003 and holds nearly 50 fights to his credit (including notable victories over Mac Danzig, Melvin Guillard, Duane Ludwig, and Joe Stevenson) despite his relatively young age (30).

Unfortunately, it seems as if the third time was not the charm for Neer, as he was recently listed among the UFC’s latest batch of now unemployed fighters, according to MMAOpinion:

Josh Neer (33-13-1) has been released following 3 straight losses inside the Octagon. ‘The Dentist’ a veteran of the sport, was last in action at UFC 157 where he lost a decision to Court McGee. Prior to that Neer had been finished by both Justin Edwards and Mike Pyle. 

Also among the fallen…

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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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Off With Their Heads: Who Deserves the Axe When the UFC Roster Trim Is Looming?


(Wow! Booster seats and sporks at McDonalds looked really weird back in the old daysPhoto via idahogirlinalaska)

By Nathan Smith and Josh Hutchinson

Being a “contributor” for CagePotato.com is kind of like being a barback at a seedy nightclub in Tijuana. We stock the bar with booze, ice, and clean glassware while staying in the shadows hoping to God that we don’t get yelled at. We try to help out wherever we can so the star bartenders (Ben Goldstein, Jared Jones, Elias Cepeda and Seth Falvo) can toss bottles of shitty Tequila like juggling pins while they pour fruit-flavored cocktails to semi hot chicks that they will inevitably hump later on. A contributor cleans up puke, empties ashtrays and eats shit from all the “made men” (both writers and tenured comment section dick-heads) here at CagePotato but it really is a great gig. Can you imagine the sloppy seconds that Danga sends our way?

Needless to say, most of the day-to-day MMA related news topics are taken care of by the staff writers and that leaves aspiring dipshits like me and Hutchinson to try and come up with a fresh or entertaining story idea on our own. Well, this idea is not fresh but it could be entertaining (at least my portions will be, but I have hope for Hutch since he is the guy who brought the word “dicknailed” to the CP). When Jon Fitch was released from his UFC contract last week, I wanted to write a piece on which higher profile fighters I would cut next if I were part of the UFC brass. Because opinions are like buttholes, Hutch had a thought to debate several of the choices in a YAY or NAY style. Before anyone starts hollering about Clay Guida, Jake Shields or the entire cast from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter (that means you Koscheck) take note that we agreed on more than we disagreed and in the spirit of pointless arguments opted to leave the most obvious offenders out. Let’s get started.

FRANK MIR – last disclosed salary: $200,000

(Photo via MMAWeekly)

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Will You Be Fired After Your Recent Loss in the UFC? [FLOWCHART]


(Yes, Brendan. You certainly *are* a stinker. Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.com)

With their talent roster about 100 bodies over-budget, the UFC has had to make some hard decisions lately. Every fighter who doesn’t win impressively, or lose really impressively, is potentially on the chopping block. Which is why it surprised me today to see that Lavar Johnson will be keeping his spot in the UFC heavyweight division despite suffering his second consecutive loss against Brendan Schaub at UFC 157.

As we all know, Johnson loves to stand and bang. Unfortunately, he didn’t get much opportunity to do either against Schaub, who repeatedly took Johnson down and laid on top of him. The ease with which Schaub executed this “cerebral” game plan suggested that perhaps Johnson wasn’t aware that takedowns would even be allowed in the match. When the dust had settled, Schaub had won ugly, and Johnson had lost uglier.

So why is Lavar keeping his job, when so many others have been cut loose? There are countless factors involved in the UFC’s firing policy these days, so we tried to make some sense of it by putting it into flowchart form. Click the image below to enlarge. We hope this can be of service.

(BG)

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And Now He’s Fired: Matt Riddle Cut From UFC After Second Positive Marijuana Test


(Matt’s actual marijuana card, via @riddletuf7)

For the second time in less than a year, UFC welterweight Matt Riddle has tested positive for marijuana in a post-fight drug test, spurring the UFC to release him from his contract. Riddle’s latest failed test followed his split-decision win over Che Mills at UFC on FUEL 7 in London on February 16th, which came just seven months after his 90-day marijuana suspension following his UFC 149 win over Chris Clements. That victory was later changed to a no-contest, and it’s likely that Riddle’s latest win will be overturned as well.

Riddle was already on thin ice with the UFC because of the quality of his recent fights. Here’s Dana White calling him out by name while discussing the UFC’s decision to cut Jon Fitch: “Riddle fights just like Fitch. Has been lately, anyway. He went from being super exciting to now he wants to grab your legs and hold you down.”

Riddle had long maintained that he doesn’t use marijuana to get high, but for therapeutic purposes. As Riddle explained on The MMA Hour last October:

“I do smoke but I’m not smoking to get stoned. I’m smoking so I can finally relax, sit back and just not worry about things. People, maybe they did it in college one way, but for a guy like me, for a professional athlete that goes through what we go through, it’s medicine for me. Maybe for some little stoner sitting on the couch playing XBox, for him, it’s a drug. For me, it’s medicine…

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Wow, Even Urijah Faber is in Danger of Being Cut at UFC 157


(The relevant ranting starts around the 20 minute mark, but scroll back to the 12:40 mark if you want to see White basically have a mental breakdown when discussing Jon Fitch.) 

When the UFC announced that their latest batch of mass firings included none other than former #9 ranked welterweight Jon Fitch, the MMA community responded somewhat alarmingly to say the least. When Dana White stated that the decision came as a result of Fitch’s price tag being too high — at a paltry 66K no less — it revealed a bigger problem that could be looming on the horizon for the UFC: Overspending. As BG pointed out, multiple television deals and decreasing pay-per-view buys could at least be partly to blame for the UFC’s recent string of…let’s just call them frugal decisions.

But as it turns out, Fitch & Co.’s departure is just the beginning. Oh yes, a great deluge of firings is headed our way, Potato Nation, one consisting of up to 100 UFC fighters. And if you think the first name that Dana White would place on the potential chopping block would be one of the Shane Del Rosarios, Keith Wisniewskis, or Leonard fucking Garcias* who are currently winless in the promotion, well you just don’t know how The Baldfather thinks. Believe it or not, former WEC champion Urijah Faber was the first to be mentioned as in danger of losing his job with a loss at UFC 157. When asked if his “down the ladder” argument in relation to Fitch applied to guys like Faber, White was characteristically frank (24:50):

Could be Saturday [that he's cut]. You never know, There’s over 100 guys. We’re heavy. 

The argument to cut Faber instead of Fitch already makes sense when considering both fighter’s records in the promotion (Fitch: 13-3-1, Faber: 2-2), and that argument only gains more momentum should Faber lose to Ivan Menjivar — who he is currently a 3-to-1 favorite over — tomorrow. But from a business standpoint, releasing as hot a commodity as Faber (or fighters like him) into the arms of “Viacom MMA” seems like promotional suicide, does it not?

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Jon Fitch Was Too Expensive For the UFC, and Bellator Doesn’t Want Him Either [SAD]


(Fitch finds himself on the wrong end of a Fitch’ing against Demian Maia at UFC 156. Photo via Getty Images)

In the wake of Jon Fitch‘s surprise firing during the Great UFC Bloodletting of February 2013, even die-hard Fitch-haters criticized the move. As the general argument goes, how the hell are you going to cut a fighter who’s one of the ten greatest welterweights in the world by your own rankings, and whose last victory over Erick Silva was a Fight of the Night performance that proved he still has greatness left in him?

UFC president Dana White explained the decision to media yesterday at the UFC 157 press-conference in Anaheim, calling Fitch “super f—ing expensive,” then laying out exactly why he’s not worth the money:

Jon Fitch was ranked number nine, OK, however you want to look at that, he’s ranked number nine, whether it’s right or wrong or the rankings are bullshit or whatever. Ranked number nine right now. Now, this isn’t a case where Jon Fitch was ranked No. 9, No. 7, No. 6, No. 4, No. 2 and then we cut him. He was ranked No. 1, fought for the title and then he was ranked No. 2. He was ranked No. 3, 6, 7, and now he’s 9. That’s called the downside of your career. He’s on the downside…

He had a draw, then a loss, right, then a win, then a loss. It’s good, he got more money. He got Fight of the Night because it takes two guys to do that. Right? If Erick Silva’s wrestling wasn’t right there, that wouldn’t have been Fight of the Night. At the end of the day, when you really break it down, who did Erick Silva beat? This was Erick Silva’s first real big fight and big test. And it was a damn good fight. That’s called the downside. He’s not buzzsawing through guys, he’s not doing a [Johny] Hendricks. So it’s not like Jon Fitch was on this incredible fucking winning streak and ‘the greatest fucking welterweight in the history of the world and a fucking Hall of Famer. The guy’s never won a fucking title in his life.

In other words, Fitch is #9 with a down-arrow, and Erick Silva was never that accomplished to begin with, though Silva nevertheless deserves all the credit for how good that fight was. [*I promise this is not a Scanners gif*] But let’s get back to the more important issue: That Jon Fitch, who makes $66,000 to show, is “super fucking expensive.” Please take a moment to realize what an absolute joke your favorite sport is. Ben Fowlkes puts it best on MMAJunkie:

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