UFC fighters anxiously await their next fight

When Jon Fitch was dropped from the UFC roster, many believed that the decision was unjust based on his high ranking within the welterweight division. Despite the controversy, many of the cuts made by the UFC have gone unchallenged by both the fans and media.

The rapid growth of MMA across all continents has created fierce competition amongst up and coming fighters for a spot within the UFC.  There are only so many events that the UFC can hold each year and it appears that supply is quickly outstripping demand.

Chris Leben who is booked to fight Andrew Craig at UFC 162 on July 6th, recently spoke with “Inside MMA” and stated:

“With all these guys they’ve got right now it’s not like the old days when I can just get a fight whenever I want”. 

With the added weight classes, including the new women’s 135 pound division, it appears that many fighters are waiting anxiously for Joe Silva to call.

The UFC currently has over 450 fighters under contract. In 2012, the UFC held 32 events booking approximately 830 fighters in total.  If there was an even distribution of fights allocated amongst the 450 contracted fighters, it would equate to approximately 2 fights per calendar year for each fighter, not counting layoffs and injuries.

As fans, we now have the luxury of more UFC events than ever before, but are our fighters becoming too disposable? Let us know your thoughts.


9 Comments

  1. Profile photo of codemaster

    codemaster

    March 28, 2013 at 7:15 pm

    I don't think there is any other way for the UFC to be than a shark tank.

    That is what makes this sport so compelling–the unbridled, no-holds-barred competition. The problem of disposability only arises when the fighter who is cut has talent, skills, and a winning record.

    In other words, merit = winning–and that is the only way the UFC should operate–and the only fair way to operate. That was the problem with the Fitch cut. Forget about Fitch's fighting style–he was top ten in one of the premier UFC divisions for years–and still top ten when he was cut.

    If disposable means top ten fighters are cut from ANY division for reasons of fan appeal–that is clearly, unambiguously crossing the line from sport to entertainment.

    Once the line is crossed at that point–who knows who will be cut next. Certainlty not Chael Sonnen–but Cain Velasquez could be more 'out-there' for the fans–right? Brock Lesnar was 'out-there' and look at all the money he brought in?

    As you can see, the logic for who stays and who gets cut in the UFC must abide by the normal rules of any sport–to the winner go the spoils.

    • Profile photo of enjoylife321

      enjoylife321

      March 28, 2013 at 7:50 pm

      @Code: great points. hopefully the Jon Fitch incident is an isolated anomoly for a top ten guy. Whats interesting is the recent criticism of TRT use by Dana White and the number of high value PPV fighters that are using TRT. It seems to contradict the notion that its all about PPVs. But on the other hand, you have examples like Dan hardy who have secured their places despite a string of losses in the past..

      • Profile photo of japanegro23

        japanegro23

        March 28, 2013 at 10:30 pm

        To add to you guy's points about Fitch, I think **** kissing or the lack of **** kissing had a little to do with it as well. We all have jobs right? I'm sure you guys have seen it. I bet if Fitch was up Dana's behind, he would still have a job. Those 2 have had a problem with one another ever since Fitch said he wouldn't fight anyone in his camp. Dana was waiting for any opening he could to release him with one ounce of legitimacy. Fitch's reputation of being a boring fighter didn't help but I thought he was making a real effort to turn that around a little. Haha my point was it's obvious that being on Dana's good side helps with job security. There are so many things wrong with the UFC nowadays and the release of Fitch is one example. I still love the UFC but I can't stand Dana.

  2. Profile photo of Brian Cox

    Brian Cox

    March 28, 2013 at 7:34 pm

    Enjoy!

    Are fighters too disposable? It's the nature of the sport…you're only as good as your last fight….and all the other cliches. In a nutshell, yes. With some exceptions, like Silva and GSP, every fighter is disposable.

    • Profile photo of enjoylife321

      enjoylife321

      March 28, 2013 at 8:28 pm

      @Truth…. Percieved entertainment value has a big emphasis on disposability.

      • Profile photo of Rory Kernaghan

        Rory Kernaghan

        March 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm

        it is a harsh reality, but it is also a pretty harsh business

      • Profile photo of Brian Cox

        Brian Cox

        March 28, 2013 at 10:19 pm

        @ Enjoy

        Very definitely, so. All we need do is consider the case of John Fitch, to establish it.

        Personally, I'd like to see The UFC address the "too many" fighters issue, by developing regional branches of The Promotion. I really don't see how a singular umbrella works for the entire planet. To me, it would make sense if there was a North American UFC, a Brazilian or South American UFC, a UK UFC, a European UFC, an Asian UFC and so on, as required.

        With that, we could have regional Champs and then one global Champ for each division. Or to put it simply, it would work very much like World Cup Soccer.

        To me, I think it makes a lot of sense. It would certainly allow for and accommodate for, a great many fighters. Maybe even John Fitch or fighters like John Fitch.

        And heck, from a business point of view it would be great for The UFC and bad for Bellator. The question a fighter would have to ask himself, do I want to be fighting in a UFC regional promotion, with a shot at a truly global belt or do I want to be fighting in a tournament style promotion? Easy question to answer, It would probably dry up Bellator's talent pool, quickly and I'd find it hard to believe that both Dana and FOX, wouldn't mind doing that.

        Food for thought, at any rate.

        Good article, by the way. :-)

        • Profile photo of enjoylife321

          enjoylife321

          March 28, 2013 at 10:57 pm

          Thanks truth….As the sport grows further we are definetly going to see changes. The model you describe is very common with organizations like Muay thai and Kickboxing. In my home country of Australia, MMA has produced a few good fighters however we don't produce the same number of fighters as north America purely because our population is only 22 million. Because the UFC only visits Australia once or twice per year, events sell out like crazy unlike other home game sports that run most of the year. So the UFC Model is very safe in the sense that they are always moving to different cities and venues which makes it easier to sell out a venue.

  3. Profile photo of Pride4Ever

    Pride4Ever

    April 1, 2013 at 3:27 am

    I love pettis, aldo and henderson and i know you guys are gonna hate on me for this.. but i kinda miss the days when it was lightweights to heavyweight only.

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