Recent cuts made by the UFC have likely gotten the message across to many fighters: The promotion doesn't want guys who don't entertain crowds.
After all, just look at Jon Fitch.
Despite carrying an impressive 14-3-1 record during his UFC career, he's generally been perceived by several MMA fans as a boring fighter to watch. Hence, Fitch was recently cut loose from the roster, along with 15 other lackluster performers.
English MMA star Dan Hardy isn't surprised though, telling Pro MMA Now that the UFC must be disappointed with fighters who play it safe:
I know the UFC are getting rid of a bunch of guys, and I know that they are disappointed with the way that people are stepping into the Octagon. Maybe it's just a shake-up, maybe they are just trying to show people that we are in the entertainment industry as well as a professional sport.
When people pay a lot of money for a ticket they want to see a performance, and some people are coming to get a pay check and it's kinda disappointing.
Hardy is a clear case of what the UFC wants in "exciting" fighters, as "The Outlaw" has maintained his spot in the company's ranks despite his rather pedestrian 6-4 record since joining the promotion in October 2008.
And even though Hardy has gone to decision six times in his past 10 fights, he's had enough crowd-pleasing battles to keep himself employed.
Is Hardy right about "safe" fighters?
It also doesn't hurt much that he's notched two bonuses for "Fight of the Night" and "KO of the Night" in his past three bouts.
With that in mind, Fitch being cut from the UFC arguably wasn't much of a shock, even though he's a much higher-ranked welterweight than Hardy. When the news first broke, even the Nottingham native said that he would've cut himself from the roster way before Fitch.
Fitch currently has yet to announce where he'll be fighting next, although his UFC name value should land him a job fairly quickly.
Meanwhile, Hardy has his sights set on the upcoming UFC on Fox 7 card at San Jose's HP Pavilion. On April 20, The Outlaw starts off the main card as he attempts to gain his third straight win against fellow veteran Matt Brown, who will ride a 4-0 streak going into the match.