UFC Fighter Contract Cuts: What Lies Ahead!


UFC,MMA,Bet on UFC,Matt Mitrione,Philip DeFries

Cheick Kongo – the big Frenchman looks like a million bucks, but the picture you are looking at has as much action as some of his recent fights.

With the UFC’s plan of trimming their roster by 100 fighters this year in full swing, some of the online sites are starting to take prop bets on who will be cut from among the 450+ contracts the UFC has in effect.   February and March have seen almost 20 fighters cut, including former welterweight contender Jon Fitch, veterans Riki Fukuda and Josh Neer just to name a few.  Looking ahead to April, the UFC has 4 events on the calendar, which means a handful of fighters will enjoy the suspense of waiting for Dana White’s ax to fall!

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The UFC will go to bat from Sweden with UFC on FUEL TV 9 on April 6th, and the card has one fight in the Heavyweight division between Matt Mitrione and Philip DeFries where the loser is definitely a candidate for a loss of his contract.  Mitrione in particular is at risk, as the days of his run on the “TUF” reality series are long gone.  He is in his mid 30s and has less than 10 MMA fights.  He has dropped two in a row and has very little upside.  DeFries is almost 10 years younger and is from England, a market the UFC wants to be stronger in, so he has that going for him.

The Ultimate Fighter 17 Finale is next up on April 13th, and two undercard fights in particular stand out as having fighters at risk.  Both Cole Miller and Bart Palaszewski enter their Featherweight bout having lost 2 in a row.  It is almost an identical scenario for the bout between Sam Sicilia and Maximo Blanco.  Blanco has dropped 2 in a row, and perhaps Sicilia can breath easier with only one loss in a row, but the losers of both of these matches should be looking over their shoulders.

On April 20th the UFC goes with UFC on FOX 7, and everyone on the card is either safe or in good shape to get another chance to prove themselves.  The x-factors to watch here might be Lorenz Larkin, Jorge Masvidal and Josh Thomson, all transfers from the SF organization.  Who knows what Dana might be thinking in each individual case, but the axe may fall quick for some of the former SF roster.  It is very unlikely that Frank Mir will be cut, but if he comes in fat and gets pounded out quick again, shouldn’t he be?

Finally, on April 27th, the UFC 159 event will take center stage.  This card features another Heavyweight battle, this time between Roy Nelson and Cheick Kongo.  Nelson is still very popular, and he is coming off two first round wins a row so he is likely safe.  Kongo is at risk however, as he has been very flat and boring in his last two wins against Mitrione and Shawn Jordan.  A loss to nelson could see the big frenchman get his walking papers.

This process could be refined too.  There is a lot that goes into cutting someone from the roster at UFC, from their salary, their popularity, their willingness to fight, whether Dana likes a fighter…. etc.  What if we could pick why they were cut as an additional bet?  You could pick ‘Cut due to drug suspension’ or ‘Cut due to sucking in last fight’.  Now that would be fun!

Here is another idea for more action!  Someone should take odds on the first woman who will be cut from the UFC roster.  One thing is for sure, I would bet it isnt going to be Ronda Rousey.


About Miguel

MMA matchmaker since 1997. No one besides Joe Silva has made more fights than me.
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