(‘The bad news is, you’re fired. The good news is, now you’ll have plenty of time to work on that novel you’re always talking about.’)
Remember when Dana White used to brag in interviews about how many fighters Zuffa had under contract and about how big their organization was? Turns out, they’ve decided they don’t really need so many people after all.
After cutting Jake O’Brien and (more recently and understandably) releasing Kalib Starnes, Zuffa apparently has a taste for downsizing. Dave Meltzer and Adam Swift both report that Zuffa has plans to trim its fighter roster of around 200 down to as few as 150.
That’s still a lot of fighters under contract, even when split between the UFC and WEC. But it may be the case that Zuffa has figured out just how costly and unnecessary it is to keep lower-level fighters under contract, especially when the opportunity to fight on a UFC card is probably enough incentive for most of them to accept one-off deals.
Meltzer also reports rumors that a round of layoffs in the corporate office may be in the works as they try to trim the fat from the Zuffa juggernaut.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the tracks, clothier-turned-promoter Affliction is shelling out the dough for their July 17 show in Dallas. The Fedor-Tim Sylvia main event alone is bound to cost them, with a rumored payout for Big Tim of…(are you sitting down?)…$800,000.
Just imagine what Fedor’s making for that fight.
While no other fights have officially been announced for that card, names like Ben Rothwell, Andrei Arlovski, and Josh Barnett have been floating in the wind. MMA Payout believes that the total bankroll for the event may be in the neighborhood of $5-6 million, which may or may not include annoying extras like production costs and marketing of the event.
Now you know why those Affliction shirts are so expensive.