Dana White, UFC President: Might Release Some of His Most Valuable Fighters.

Jake SauickieCorrespondent IApril 20, 2010

LONDON - JANUARY 17:  (UK TABLOID NEWSPAPERS OUT) (L-R) Brothers and co-owners of the Ultimate Fighting Championship Frank (L) and Lorenzo Fertitta (2nd R), UFC president Dana White (2nd L) and photographer Kevin Lynch attend the 'Octagon' private view at Hamilton's gallery on January 17, 2007 in London, England.  The exhibition showcases work by Lynch documenting the world of Ultimate Fighter Championship (UFC) events.  (Photo by Claire Greenway/Getty Images)
Claire Greenway/Getty Images

Since the Fertittas took over the Ultimate Fighting Championship, the fighting organization has been reborn anew.

Because of Dana White's persuasiveness, the Fertittas purchased the organization from the original owners in an instant.

The UFC can proudly call itself the King of all Mixed Martial Arts Promotions. 

The Pride Fighting Championships, the only promotion that could have threatened the UFC's dominance, has since been bought out by Zuffa.

The only major promotions left to compete with the UFC are Strikeforce and Dream, and they are struggling to even rival the numbers the UFC has.

But one thing I have taken notice of in the UFC organization is how fast they cut fighters from their organization.

I understand that if you don't step up to the plate when the UFC asks you to, you'll be gone faster than they signed you. Most of the time I agree with this.

But is the UFC truly giving fighters a fair chance in the company? Are they giving the fighters enough time to get their feet wet in the organization?

Some fighters I feel didn't get a fair shake were guys like Tim Sylvia, Dennis Siver, and Ken Shamrock.


Tim Sylvia

After Sylvia's two defeats to Randy Couture and Antonio Rogerio Nogueira, the former champion was cut from the UFC without any hesitation. Honestly, Sylvia did have an advantage in those fights, but can you blame him for losing?

Couture is without a doubt a legend in the sport because of his Olympic-caliber wrestling and "Dirty Boxing." Nogueira is probably the best heavyweight fighter on the planet next to Fedor Emelianenko, if he doesn't tarnish all his career accolades by fighting longer than he should.


Dennis Siver

Siver was a lightweight prospect that was thrown to the wolves his first few fights in the UFC. He went 1-3 the first time, losing to the likes of Gray Maynard, Melvin Guillard, and Jess Liaudin.

Since being welcomed back, he has gone 4-1, losing to Paul Kelly in his last fight. It wouldn't surprise me if they cut him again after this loss.


Ken Shamrock

Then there is one of my all time favorites, Ken Shamrock. Following his third defeat to Tito Ortiz, Ken said he would take some time off and contemplate retirement.

But he still had one fight left on his contract. Ken opted for the last fight, but was denied and it erupted in a legal battle between him and Zuffa.

Since being cut from the UFC, Ken has lost to relatively unknown Robert Berry, and finally ended his losing streak to the late Ross Clifton.

It is unknown whether he will continue to fight, since he tested positive for steroids after the Clifton fight and was suspended for a year.

These guys were once top fighters in their respective divisions, but they all fell into a rut at some point and the UFC decided to release them.

What I'm mostly worried about now is, what if the UFC starts cutting top fighters in each division?

A few fighters that come to mind are Gabriel Gonzaga, Anderson Silva, Kimbo Slice, Chuck Liddell, and Renzo Gracie.


Gabriel Gonzaga

The one they call "Napao", was once the No. 1 contender in the heavyweight division. He gained that opportunity by giving Cro Cop a taste of his own medicine with a well-placed right head kick.

After that fight, he was the No. 1 contender against Couture and lost to "The Natural" by third round TKO.

Since losing to Couture, he has gone 3-3. He beat relatively unknown fighters Justin McCully, Chris Tuchscherer, and Josh Hendricks, but he has lost to top 10 heavyweights Fabricio Werdum, Shane Carwin, and Junior Dos Santos by knockout.

I became a fan of Gonzaga after seeing his heart in the fight with Couture. Right now, I think he needs some time off and should fight a heavyweight that isn't in the title picture just yet. Someone like Frank Mir, Minotauro Nogueira, or Roy Nelson.

Honestly, with all the talent the UFC's Heavyweight Division has, they can cut a few, but Gonzaga isn't one of them. If he were cut from the UFC, he'll probably go over to Strikeforce and raise hell on the likes of Rogers, Arlovski, Silva, and Overeem.


Anderson Silva

Silva is without a doubt the pound-for-pound best on the planet, fighting from welterweight to light heavyweight and leaving a trail of destruction behind him.

But sadly, he isn't the fighter he was when he came into the UFC. He's been having odd performances against fighters like Patrick Cote, Thales Leites, and Demian Maia.

Anderson and his manager Ed Soares have made a number of excuses and apologies for these performances, but that doesn't make it up to the fans. Because the truth is, we all know why Anderson is the way he is.

He is bored with the fights he's been given.

In my honest opinion, that is a good enough reason for Dana White to release him. How are you going to pick a profession where you fight for a living and be bored with the person trying to take what is yours?

On top of that, Anderson is no longer a natural middleweight or welterweight like he was years ago, and he has a huge size advantage on the people he's fighting.

In my honest opinion, I feel he should be forced to give up the middleweight belt because nobody is a threat to him there and he should have to fight at light heavyweight because there are credible threats to "The Spider's" reign. (i.e. Rashad Evans, Rampage Jackson, Lyoto Machida, Jon Jones, etc.)

Right now, he is scheduled to face Chael Sonnen, who is going to bring the fight to Silva. And after seeing Silva act the way he did at UFC 112, I hope Sonnen puts a beating on him. But I doubt he will.

The only real threat to Silva at middleweight as of now is Vitor Belfort, and I can't wait for that fight to happen.

Silva is one man the UFC can't afford to cut because it would be one of the biggest mistakes in MMA history. A lot of MMA fans would want White's head if he did that.


Kimbo Slice

The Underground Street Fighter is officially a member of the UFC.

Like White said, "if Kimbo Slice goes through the Ultimate Fighter, then he can fight in the UFC." He never said anything about winning it.

But I fear Kimbo's days at heavyweight are numbered, and that's the only weight class he wants to fight at.

His first fight at heavyweight is against TUF 10 alum Matt "Meathead" Mitrione.

I'm pulling for Kimbo because, like everyone else that watched last season's Ultimate Fighter, I wasn't a fan of "Meathead" (but I did prefer him over "Titties" and Jon Madsen).

If Kimbo wins, I fear for his safety with the tough heavyweights out there like Kongo, Dos Santos, Velasquez, Carwin, Lesnar, etc. If he loses, the UFC can set up a number of interesting fights with Kimbo.

A lot of people would like to see newly acquired professional boxer James Toney face-off with Kimbo. Some have even called for Kimbo to fight Couture and Liddell.

I would like to see any of those fights just for the hell of it, but lets just stay focused on the task at hand: Kimbo Slice vs. Matt Mitrione at UFC 113.

Kimbo is another big draw for the UFC, win or lose. Releasing him would be a big mistake because he could always go to Strikeforce and fight their heavyweights or King Mo.


Chuck Liddell

"The Iceman" is no longer a force in the UFC's light heavyweight division. Just look at the top four fighters in the light heavyweight division: Rampage Jackson, Rashad Evans, Lyoto Machida, and Shogun Rua. Three of them have knocked out Liddell in his last few fights.

Since his last loss to Shogun Rua at UFC 97, White and a number of MMA fans have called for Chuck's retirement, myself included.

Liddell has taken some time off since his last loss and is one of the coaches on the current season of The Ultimate Fighter. He was slated to fight opposing coach Tito Ortiz, but for some unknown reason, Ortiz was removed as coach of his team and Rich Franklin filled in.

Now Liddell and Franklin are the Main Event at UFC 115.

There is both an upside and a downside to this fight. If Chuck wins, he can do a few things: either finish his career with a win over a good fighter and retire, or continue to fight against the best the UFC has to offer him and risk being knocked out again.

As for Franklin, it's a lose-lose situation. If he loses, he lost to an old man that should retire. If he wins, he adds another legend's name to his list of wins, but that legend is now a shell of the man he used to be.

Liddell is both a valuable asset for the UFC and a problem.

If he gets back to his winning ways, he could possibly be the contender and champion he once was. But if he loses, a lot of fans and publications will come after White and the athletic commissions that allow Liddell to fight.

UFC 115: Liddell vs. Franklin. Let's hope for some fireworks.


Renzo Gracie

Renzo is without a doubt the best fighter out of all his relatives. Royce and Rickson don't even come close to being the type of fighter Renzo is.

Unlike Royce and Rickson, Renzo has fought against credible fighters in MMA. Fighters like Frank Shamrock, Matt Hughes, B.J. Penn, Dan Henderson, etc.

Renzo was recently brought back into fighting by the UFC at UFC 112 to fight Matt Hughes. Unfortunately, Renzo lost by TKO to Hughes in the third round. During the fight it was clear Renzo had some ring rust and after the loss Renzo stated he would like to keep fighting.

On numerous websites, Renzo has expressed an interest in dropping down to lightweight, an idea I would like to see come to fruition.

Renzo is no longer a danger at welterweight, but lightweight, that's a different story.

He could very well pose a threat to fighters like Penn, Edgar, and Maynard. Hopefully, this talk of dropping down to lightweight is true, because I would love to see Renzo be a force down in that weight class.


All of these guys are great fighters and have made a name for themselves either in the last few years or almost 10 years ago.

I hope all of them remain in the UFC for a long time and can go out on top like everyone wants to.

Unfortunately, we can't always get what we want, but we can always hope.


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