The UFC released 16 fighters this week in an effort to purge a bloated roster, and more cuts are on the way.
UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch was probably the most shocking name on the list, but other UFC mainstays like Jacob Volkmann also found themselves without a job as of Tuesday.
With a list of Strikeforce fighters coming to the UFC, a brand new women's division and 14 fighters from this season of The Ultimate Fighter all promised at least one more bout in the UFC, the promotion has a huge roster right now.
Somebody has to go.
If you were shocked with this week's releases, UFC president Dana White says hold on because the UFC isn't done handing out pink slips yet.
"We have 470-something guys under contract. We have over 100 guys, too many on the roster right now," White explained when speaking to reporters after the UFC 157 pre-fight press conference ended. "The blood has not all been spilled yet. There's more coming."
A standard fight contract in the UFC states that a fighter will receive three bouts within a calendar year. Obviously, injuries and other situations arise that could prevent a fighter from actually competing that many times, but matchmakers Joe Silva and Sean Shelby are required to get as close to that number as possible with every fighter under contract.
With nearly 500 fighters under contract and just over 30 shows per year with 12 fights per card, some additional bloodletting will be necessary to trim the fat and make room so everybody has the chance to fight.
Like a horror movie from the '80s, White's cut-and-slash plan with the UFC roster means nobody is safe. When talking about why former welterweight contender Jon Fitch was cut, White said he was a fighter making a lot of money who was dropping down the rankings instead of moving up.
One interesting name that came up during the discussion on Thursday was former WEC champion Urijah Faber, who battles Ivan Menjivar on Saturday at UFC 157. Faber is a perennial contender but has lost in his last five title fights between the UFC and WEC.
White isn't saying Faber's on the cut line, but his point is no one is guaranteed a job right now. "The California Kid" could join Fitch if certain situations play out.
"He's in one of those situations, too," White said about Faber. "Saturday could be a bad day for him."
The message is clear, and White isn't pulling punches with the fighters on his roster.
"Any guy out there. Let me tell you what you better do—you better fight your f—king ass off and make it good and win," White said emphatically. "That's the only way people want to see you."
Damon Martin is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report, and all quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise note.
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