There's always pressure fighting in the UFC. The organization carries 175-plus contracts and with the downturn in the economy, it's been quick to lop off fighters who aren't winning on a consistent basis. The bottom half of the roster could lose their gig after any fight. That was certainly the case at UFC 97 where five of the losers have now lost their jobs, including one of MMA's good guys, Jason MacDonald.
The Canadian's loss to Nate Quarry was hard to explain. The ground specialist was overwhelmed from the get-go against Quarry, who looked to be made to order after watching him get submitted easily by Demian Maia in his previous fight. MacDonald got the axe over the weekend and went right to his blog to explain his feelings:
"The UFC has been great to me and they’ve been great to deal with, so there are no hard feelings at all. I understand it’s just the nature of the sport. Especially nowadays, with so many fighters, it’s more important than ever to win fights."
MacDonald is 5-5 in 10 UFC fights but has lost 3-of-4. He's fought every major name in the promotion's middleweight division except for the champ Anderson Silva.
Canadian writer James Bryden reacted to the Mac cut by saying the UFC may lose some its fans because of its short-leash mentalilty. It sounds to me like Bryden's letting the Canadian fan in him shine-through because MacDonald and Jason Day were both recently released:
It’s about allowing fans of this exploding sport -- and its top promotion, which does so many things right in terms of marketing -- to follow fighters they like without having to worry that in one month they might not be able to see them on a PPV again.
Bryden suggest that Rich Franklin or Wanderlei Silva should be next. He's upset and says there is no "rhyme or reason" to who stays and who goes.
It'll be interesting to see what happens with the bigger names if they do go into a prolonged losing streak especially with Strikeforce being a legit force that can scoop up free agents.
As hardcore MMA fans, are you upset or losing interest in the UFC because Jason MacDonald, Jason Day, David Bielkheden, Vinny Magalhaes, David Loiseau and
Akihiro Gono were cut? I think 99-percent of the fanbase could care less.