I normally don’t like to post about who got cut by the UFC – it’s usually minor news in the grand scheme of things – but yesterday Daron Cruickshank got the axe, and he’s a bit of a special case.

Here’s Cruickshank’s tweet on the matter:

These are the facts about Cruickshank:

  • He lost his last three fights by rear naked choke, and hasn’t won since 2014;
  • He was a contestant on TUF 15, but was knocked out of the competition early on;
  • His record in the Octagon was six wins, six losses and one “no contest”; and,
  • There is very little chance Cruickshank was ever going to be a top-ranked fighter challenging for the belt.

Obviously, those are very big strikes against a fighter’s longevity in the UFC. But…

…Cruickshank, more than so many other fighters, is a creative striker capable of some impressive feats. Sure, he may never be among the UFC’s elite, but you know where he’d be considered elite?

Yup. Bellator.

Cruickshank seems like the perfect example of the fighter the UFC would want to sit on rather than let him fight for – and become a star for – their main competitor. Of course, letting someone like Benson Henderson go shows the UFC’s willingness to let their guys roam free. But I guarantee Henderson’s salary was much different than Cruickshank’s, and money played a huge factor in that instance.

If I were the UFC, I would’ve kept Cruickshank, maybe had him be Mr. Fight Pass prelims or something. Never would I have let him be the next “Michael Page” for Bellator. That’s just craziness.

Agree or disagree?