First off, here is the lineup for UFC 94, which is set to take place on Jan. 31 (Super Bowl Weekend) at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas:
Georges St. Pierre vs. B.J. Penn
Lyoto Machida vs. Thiago Silva
Stephan Bonnar vs. Jon Jones
Karo Parisyan vs. Dong Hyun Kim
Nathan Diaz vs. Clay Guida
Jon Fitch vs. Akihiro Gono
Manny Gamburyan vs. Thiago Tavares
John Howard vs. Chris Wilson
Jake O'Brien vs. Christian Wellisch
Matt Arroyo vs. Dan Cramer
Do you see anything wrong with this picture? Yes, you caught it. The No. 3 welterweight in the world is on the undercard. Now, this isn't the first time we've seen this. The UFC has already bullied around Fitch once by releasing him from his contract after he refused to sign away the rights to his likeness for the upcoming UFC video game.
When is the last time we have seen this? Let's take a trip down recent memory lane:
- Yushin Okami is a former top contender to face Anderson Silva, as boring as he is, is still a top ranked MW. He was relegated to the undercard for his fight with Dean Lister after his injury that forced him out of the title picture.
- Roger Huerta was not allowed to fight the last fight on his contract until he agreed to sign a new one with the promotion.
- Pretty much all the American Kickboxing Academy fighters were threatened the same way Fitch was when it came to the video game deal. This included Josh Koscheck (top ranked welterweight) and Cain Velasquez (up and coming heavyweight). Dana White even went as far as to say that all current AKA members who want to make it into the UFC for the future may want to consider moving to another camp.
If you are going to take a fight off of the main card to switch, it would have to bee the Bonnar/Jones fight. Bonnar, while exciting, tested positive for steroids and hasn't fought in over a year.
Anyone that tests positive for steroids should automatically be relegated to the undercard for at least their first fight back as a further punishment. Not Fitch though, who has done absolutely nothing except give his all in the Octagon every time he's out there.