“Make no mistake about it, the UFC is a business.” Those were the words of UFC president Dana White, following the cut of 16 of the promotions fighters. Reassuring the new ‘Jon Fitch policy’ (as I call it) is UFC Tonight anchor Kenny Florian, as he tells MMAMania the new mindset of the organization going forward.
“I would have liked to see Jon Fitch stick around.” Florian told MMAmania.com. “I hate seeing any fighter get cut to be honest, that’s just obviously the fighter in me — my heart goes out to him. It’s got to be very difficult. The other side I do understand is that it’s a business and you do have to put on exciting fights and not a lot of people are willing to pay 50 dollars — 50, 60 dollars for a guy who is boring them or whatever.”
“Jon Fitch in my opinion was one of the best fighters in the UFC, he was extremely consistent, had a phenomenal record against excellent competition and was a top-ranked guy. But of course it’s the UFC’s decision, they can do whatever they want and Jon Fitch did lose his last fight pretty convincingly to Demian Maia, and you know, they have that right, they have that right as they do with everybody and everybody who is fighting for them.”
“That’s got to be pretty heavy to take and understand, ‘Hey listen, every single time you go out there you could be cut,'” he said. “Hopefully it becomes a motivating factor for them in a positive way than kind of get them to retreat and be more conservative. So, I think that right now the business for the UFC is that they do have a lot of shows but they have a lot of fighters on their roster right now and it’s a numbers game.”
“They need to get rid of some people so they’re going to get rid of the guys who aren’t going to be the most exciting,” the three-time UFC title challenger said. “They want people who are going to tune into the pay-per-view, watch the fights, they’ll want guys to follow certain fighters and they’re going to get rid of the guys who are boring — and as a business guy I understand that.”
“As a fighter and as a business, you’re looking for patterns and if you see a guy who consistently is having boring fights, a guy who is consistently getting booed, a guy who is not moving the needle and losing, then they’re out of there.” Florian explained. “Even after one loss or two losses, that could be it. The style that they want to promote is one that’s exciting for the fans.”
“There needs to be some kind of balance and I think this next year or two is going to be interesting in finding that balance and finding that there’s fighters that kind of do both. And of course for a lot of these guys who just want to wrestle and whatever will not engage, there’s other sports for them to compete in I guess.”