Proving that life in the UFC resembles a game of Russian Roulette more than it does a stable career, Fabricio Werdum has been released from his contract over the weekend. This might come as a shock to some, as Werdum had just signed a new contract with the promotion over the summer and was focused so hard on a guaranteed title shot that he didn’t see the uppercut from Junior Dos Santos that knocked him out of contention and now out of a job.
Two factors may have played a part in all this (well, three if you count getting smashed by Dos Santos, but it’s the fight game and that shit happens):
According to the report, a failed attempt to re-negotiate Werdum’s contract is considered the primary reason why he has left the organization. While the report does not state as much, it is believed that the UFC attempted to reduce Werdum’s pay rate on the heels of the loss to dos Santos.
It appears that the offer may have been merely discussed and/or was contingent on a win in the “Windy City.” He also could have ruffled some feathers when he voiced his displeasure about being excluded from the mini heavyweight tournament put together to declare an undisputed division champion.
If Werdum’s low-profile grousing had anything to do with his getting released, I’m officially upgrading Dana White’s status from benevolent dictator to full on tyrant. The UFC has never shown any hesitation in taking fighters on the edge of the promotion and shoving them off a cliff for saying the wrong thing, but in Werdum’s case it’s hard to agree with the company since Werdum was already getting bent over and fucked like a bitch. To then be placed in the ‘expendable’ pile because he dared make a peep about the situation is lame.
As for the ‘renegotiation’, here’s how it probably went: “Hey Fabricio how you doing! Hey, we want to pay you half what you’re making now and if you don’t agree we’ll bench you until your new contract expires in 2010. But because we’re such nice fucking guys we’ll also agree to release you from your contract if you want. But only if that’s what you really want, pal.”
It’s contractual rapings like this that make me nervous that the UFC is probably going to be the only major game in town soon. At least in the past, fuck-overs only occured when fighters were being complete cocks or looking for insane pay bumps. Now with Werdum it seems like you’re only one excuse away from ending up in the headlights of the Job Cut Express.