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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?

Sure, Faber’s on the downside of his career and is far from the most consistent fighter in the UFC, but we’re talking about one of the WEC’s biggest stars here, one who has only dropped decisions to the bantamweight champion and, well, the other bantamweight champion. We’d like to argue about the significance of Faber’s placement on the UFC’s official bantamweight rankings list (he is currently ranked #2), but that debate belongs right up there with “has _____ earned his title shot?” on the list of pointless arguments to be had in today’s MMA landscape.

While we understand the UFC’s need to cut back financially in the face of falling profits, their justification for cutting or keeping a fighter could not be any more nonsensical. I say this with all due respect to the fighters I’m about to mention, but you mean to tell me that it makes sense to cut guys like Faber and Fitch ahead of guys like George Roop, Matt Grice, Nam Phan, and Tiequan Zhang?

Although Bellator has stated that they aren’t interested in Fitch (which we’re calling bullshit on right here and now), they’d have to be insane not to snatch up a name like Faber were he to be released. And while Faber may not be at a championship level in the UFC anymore, the combination of his name and some of Spike TV’s relentless UFC counter-programming could easily snatch up those viewers who don’t feel like shelling out fifty dollars every other weekend for a UFC PPV. For a guy that prides himself on devouring the competition, White/the UFC would be doing just the opposite with a move like this.

Then again, Dana White runs the biggest MMA promotion in the world and I am currently eating a leftover ham sandwich in my underwear, so what the hell do I know?

*I understand that Garcia holds victories over Nam Phan and Allen Berube, but the former was the result of horrendous judging and the latter happened in 2007. So yeah, winless. 

-J. Jones

Cagepotato Comments

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realfighterfan- February 25, 2013 at 5:39 am
I'm so friggen glad UFC finally got rid of Fitch, its been a long time coming and only thing that upsets me is it took so damn long. Fitch is a disgrace to all the REAL FIGHTERS which he will never be. Ficthed used his FREAKISH weight cutting skills to atke advantage of flawed rules without any anti-stalling or yellow cards to EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEK out boring a'ss decsions amost hsi entrie career. His resume is lttered with wins over subpar fighters and he has lost to all the TRUE top 10 fighetrs he has ever faced. If Fitch fought at his natural weight of well over 200 lbs he would probably have a record of 2-24. I haven't stopped celebrating since his release was announced. I have already talked 3 differnt former UFC fans into giving UFC another chance as tehy all quit watching 5 years ago because of Fitch. Thank you Joe Silva
WORLD CHUMPION- February 23, 2013 at 4:25 am
Dana is right. This sport is a business and the guys that got cut had very little chance of becoming champions. You want guys on the way up, not on the way out. Dana has done a lot to bring the sport into the mainstream and I hope the UFC makes lots of money, that way they stay in business and we get to see great fights!
Mr_Misanthropy- February 22, 2013 at 1:48 pm
*don't need my money*
Mr_Misanthropy- February 22, 2013 at 1:47 pm
Fuck it, who cares? I hope the UFC loses money. I don't really give a shit about all the drama, I have more important shit to worry about. I'm a fan of good fights and somebody will put those together because they can make money off of it. I rarely ever pay for pay per views anymore because Dana and the Fertitta's are douchey fat cats who doesn't need my money, they can get paid by swindling some poor schmuk out of his kids college fund at a craps table. Let them figure out how to make this shit work off ticket sales and advertising dollars like other main stream sports. There will always be somebody around to get punched in the face for peanuts. If the fighters feel underpaid then I guess that's their problem.
Alan K- February 22, 2013 at 11:27 am
Anymore? Faber was never championship-level in the UFC to begin with. He was a world champion in 2008. He isn't anymore. Why would it be promotional suicide to let him go? I like Urijah and he's a a good fighter but he's not a draw in the UFC and he'll never be a champion in the UFC so what is really gonna come out of cutting him? Maybe it gives Bellator a boost. Maybe it doesn't. One thing that is for certain is that they or any other promotion won't automatically become an immediate threat to the UFC's supremacy if they add Faber's chin to their roster.

Note that I don't think he should be cut. I just think the idea that it'd be "suicide" to cut him is completely ridiculous. Then again, you do like to over-exaggerate.
mma4ever- February 22, 2013 at 11:13 am
Faber is very weird to look at.....freaks me out
realfighterfan- February 25, 2013 at 5:42 am
Did you see Faber sitting one seata way from Carmouche at the post fight conference UFC 157. Faber and Carmouche look like twins except carmouch is much taller
KungfuJaysus- February 22, 2013 at 10:57 am
I guess the UFC finally discovered that Faber was actually ALF from the 80's TV show and wasn't sure if aliens were allowed to fight humans yet or not. Which I'm sure will become legal before MMA in NY does.
PingPong- February 22, 2013 at 10:38 am
Thales Leites killed MMA, I remember waiting all day for him and Silva fight, and I was so crestfallen after that debacle. Never been the same since.
algiersheadkick504- February 22, 2013 at 10:01 am
Eduardo dantas would smash Faber...stay fighting pillow fisted Cruz or inconsistent menjivar
The12ozCurls- February 22, 2013 at 9:58 am
JJ - I only have one question:

Skid-marked Boxers or Skid-marked Briefs?
J.Jones- February 22, 2013 at 11:46 am
Trick question: Skid-marked BOXER BRIEFS.
The12ozCurls- February 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm
Well played.
phil-th- February 22, 2013 at 9:50 am
I'd pay money to see Faber lose rather than pay to see Jon win
Fried Taco- February 22, 2013 at 9:42 am
The UFC pays $66K just for Faber's chin alone.