Joe Silva Rids UFC of WMD aka "War Machine"

Dorothy WillisSenior Writer ISeptember 13, 2008

Joe Silva, the Vice President of Talent Relations of the UFC (the fight match maker), has cut the loose cannon "War Machine" who was previously known to fight fans, as Jon Koppenhaver. (Warning: Do not call him that now unless prepared for a meltdown!)

After being advised that he could no longer bill himself as "the War Machine" because a professional wrestler in the TNA named "Rhino" had copyrighted that name, Jon went to court and legally changed his name to War Machine.

No copyright can be the boss of him now! Imagine the nerve of those people!

Another rash move War made was to post a bulletin on his MySpace which stated that Evan Tanner had committed suicide in the desert in a way that would appear to be an accident, to prevent his friends and family from suffering the stigma that suicide would have inflicted on them.

Tanner's death was reported on Sept. 8 when Marines found his body 1.2 miles from his campsite in Palo Verde, CA. It has been determined that death was accidental and due to heat exhaustion. Tanner had called a friend on Sept. 4 asking for help.

His posting, which was premature and written before all the facts were known, implied that low pay from the UFC and no benefits or 401K plan to fall back on after being cut from the organization had caused Tanner to become depressed and suicidal.

A lot of the comments he had posted on the web seemed to indicate that he also was very dissatisfied by the UFC's pay and policies, in a rather passive-aggressive manner.

Another bone of contention arose when the fight he was to have had with Matt Arroyo fell through and Joe Silva called to tell him he was to fight with Brandon Wolff, someone War Machine had never heard of, causing him to quickly call his buddy "Rude Boy" Troy Mandaloniz who trains in Hawaii and became his friend on the UFC's TUF 6 show in which they both were competing.

Troy told War that Brandon was "a savage, sick, tough as hell and dangerous fighter out of Hawaii."

Apparently Mr. Machine figured that it would do little for his career to have a win over someone having no name recognition, but that conversely it would not be at all beneficial to be beaten by a "no name" fighter at this point in his career; War is 5-2 in MMA and 1-1 in the UFC. He wanted to fight with Josh Burkman or Dustin Hazelett.

When War informed Joe Silva he would not be taking the fight, the magic match maker cut him from the UFC stable, after wondering with whom the young man thought he was dealing. You do not say "no" to Joe Silva, especially after disparaging the UFC on the web! 

War's response is that he won't take sh*t from anybody, whether it is Joe Silva or Dana White himself!

War Machine stated that "he needed to keep his integrity" and it was just as well that he had been released from his contract, which was for ten fights (signed after TUF 6).

This from a young man who had a hand grenade tattooed on the side of his neck, visible above his collar "so he could never get hired for a 'regular job' and would therefore stay true to his ambitions to become an MMA fighter." As either Dana or Matt Serra stated "that must make you real popular at airports."

He does not claim to be a genius, and with good cause, as anyone can see.

Now this young man says he already has secured a fight "with more money than he had expected from a small show," and feels he will benefit from spending the next two years fighting in smaller venues, winning belts, and making a name for himself.

Then he will be ready to return to the big time, although I am not sure that the big time will be waiting for him.

Ah, the innocence of youth.