The message coming from the head honcho of the UFC is loud and clear - fight aggressively or you could be on your way back to the minors.
Recently, Dana White has called Nate Marquardt a choker, suggested that Lyoto Machida needs to attack more and dumped Gerald Harris, a fighter with a 3-1 mark with the promotion, after he failed to go for the win against Maiquel Falcao.
White calls it "safety first" fighting and is calling out camps like Jackson's Submission Fighting as a big culprit. Trainer Greg Jackson was in the corner of Marquardt, who fought a measured bout against Yushin Okami at UFC 122.
"I have a lot of respect for Greg Jackson. It's not like I don't like him or I'm trying to say something bad about him, but there's a pattern there. The game plans they come up with and a lot of the corner work is very weird," White told CSN Washington.
White still can't understand how a guy as explosive and powerful as Marquardt is involved in a boring fight.
"You'll see guys who are traditionally exciting fighters, but when they go to the Greg Jackson camp they become safety first fighters," White said. "Why wouldn't you tell him 'go for broke in this third round. This is a close fight.'"
White then tried to back away a bit.
"At the end of the day, my opinion means nothing. I'm not their corner man. I'm not the trainer. I'm just the promoter. I'm just being honest. There's obviously some consistency there with the Jackson camp with the safety first," said White.
Of course, White's opinion means something. And now that available rosters spots are harder to come by since the addition of fighters from three weight classes from the WEC, it means even more.
This is an interesting dilemma that trainers have to deal with now. Fighters should be intelligent in their approach but the promotion is sending the message that just getting wins doesn't guarantee you a long range future with the UFC.
On Las Vegas NBC affiliate KSNV, Cagewriter also addressed fight scoring and the UFC's approach.
Tip via Bloody Elbow