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From title contention to unemployment

I know the UFC is trying to slim down on it’s roster, but just like losing weight there’s a right way to do it and a wrong way to do it. Proper nutrition and a reasonable training regiment is the right way. The two finger trachea tickle every time you’re feeling pudgy is not the right way. And to continue this weak comparison (I’ve invested too much time now to give it up), taking the winner of the Ultimate Fighter 4 and also the only guy to give Anderson Silva the smallest iota of trouble and cutting him from the roster for losing to Rich Franklin is NOT the right way either. The UFC has officially released Travis Lutter, which seems like a very bipolar thing to do if you re-watch the Countdown to UFC83 show.

This just goes to show you that if you’re a fighter you better be fucking careful about who you agree to fight. Lutter had been set up to fight Ryan Jensen a few events back- most likely on the undercard. I’m sure if he lost that one he’d have been cut, but there’s a big difference between losing to some nobody named Ryan (what a stupid name) and losing to someone like Rich Franklin. The indication here is if the UFC calls you up and offers you a hard fight, you better think twice or you’re liable to get “Jake O’Brien”ed.

Now of course you can make the argument that Lutter gassed out and that’s simply unforgivable in the UFC. But the list of shit that can get you dropped from your contract seems to be getting longer and longer with each event. Want a raise? You’re fired. Have a boring match? You’re fired. Blow your load in the first round nearly finishing off a future hall of fame fighter? YOU’RE FIRED! Get caught with a stray knee and lose a bout? Oh, you know the drill. There’s so many ways to get let go from the UFC now. But hey, job security is over rated anyways.

  • Tertio says:

    I think Dana is sending a message :

    Show up for your fights PREPARED (wich includes making weight and not gassing after 3 minutes) and try to be exciting (wich includes trying to avoid running away from your opponent for 15 minutes and keeping the dry hump to a minimum)

    I think in the end when all the fighters get the point we the fans are gonna be happier.

  • FRANKIE says:

    That’s ridiculous. Fighters gas all the fucking time. The LW champ is famous for it. I think Dana’s message is more along the lines of “Win or get the fuck out unless we like you.”


    People that refer to any form of grappling as dry humping are fucking morons. Do you idiots refer to the guard as the missionary postition?

    Fence hump = acceptable, Dry hump = no.

    Dear Tertio,

    I hope you get cancer.

    Love, Fightlinker Is Wrong xoxo.

  • Tom K says:

    Maybe his going on the internet and calling MMA fans idiots didn’t really help his cause? Granted, he was only referring to some idiot fans and not all, but after not making weight against Silva and then gassing against Franklin, I think running his mouth about MMA fans wasn’t a good idea. Dana does it all the time, but he’s Dana — he can’t (or is unwilling to) fire himself.

  • tertio says:

    If the fighter shows heart and fight exciting fights he can afford to lose a few fights. Look at Goulet or Coté. they both lost a shitload of fights in the UFC but they keep calling them back. Why ? They (usually) are exiting.

    And its not only about being a standup fighter. Look at Guida. This guy can lose 2 fights (maybe more) in a row if he keeps giving all he got in the cage.

    I bet if Herman or Grove lose their next fight they will still fight for the UFC.

  • Tertio says:


    I think your stupidity just gave me cancer. Thanks a lot.

    I love to see a good grappling match. When it involves the fighter on top trying to actually finish the fight. GSP, Maia, McDonald all gave super exiting performances.

    Surelly you can see the difference between them and ooooh lets say, O’Brien or McCully ? Maybe not.

  • x5BoltMainx says:

    If you go balls out, no one cares if you get KO’ed, they just remember that you went balls out. People want exciting fights, not guys who gas out after the first round.

  • Márcio says:

    It seems to me that the UFC rooster is way larger than it should be. They have five weight divisions, so it seems to be that 30 fighters for weight class is more than enough. Being that nowadays they have close to 200 fighters under contract there’s still a lot to do. I was pissed when they sacked O’Brien, because he really didn’t deserve it. As for Lutter and Starnes… no complaints.

  • NickRE says:

    I disagree about Grove. I think if he loses to Tanner he is the second TUF winner out of the UFC joining Lutter. Not sure what happens if Tanner loses. His name still draws with hardcore fans but he has to win sometime. Maybe he could be on some prelim fights against cans to get him back in shape. As far as Herman I have him at 3-3 in the UFC so he probably gets a newcomer or someone else coming off of a lose in his next match. If thats the case if he loses he is probably out also. However, if he loses to a decent opponent he probably gets one more chance if he puts on a good show.

  • dignan says:

    Lutter was in such terrible shape, it makes you wonder if the axe was coming anyways, so he said fuck it.

    Franklin is a stud and whooped him, but Lutter looked like a lazy sack of shit.

  • winklepicker says:

    Dick cancer?

  • My problem is it’s “Go balls out. Oh, but if you get caught, you’re still fired”.

    That’s a contradiction right there.

  • Tertio says:

    I don think its go balls out if you get caught you re still fired.

    Gimme one main card agressive balls out fighter that has been released by the UFC since that whole downsizing charade started.

  • dumdum says:

    poor Yellow Bastard… adios!

  • Jeremy (not that Jeremy) says:

    I think it’s more cost-cutting and card pumping than anything else.

    If you have a lot of fighters, then you have a lot more overhead involved in just keeping them informed, putting them on cards, dealing with their sponsorships etc.

    Meanwhile, if you cut back on the number of fighters, you can improve the strength of your cards and the recognition of your fighters by having brand fighters fight more often. Just repetition tends to create fighter names in a lot of respects.

    I mean, take Kenny Florian. Is he anything particularly special? Maybe not, but he has fought four times in the last year in UFC, and combine that with his color appearance on the last PPV, and you have a growing brand.

    Cut back on fighters, and as long as you keep decent fighters, you’re going to create better cards, or the appearance of better cards (due to repetition).

    I think we’re also seeing a trend of some of the higher paid guys walking, and UFC’s taking the opportunity to dump other guys who might be making decent money who aren’t performing. If you’re being forced to retrench, you might as well do a good job of it.

  • Lutter went balls out in the first. So you gonna say now “Go balls out, and you’ll be fine, so long as you don’t get knocked silly and then look not so good later in the fight”. Remember everyone harping on Hendo for ‘gassing’ against Anderson Silva? Same dilly if you ask me.

  • Tertio says:

    Cant compare Lutter with Hendo.

    Hendo was comming off a very competitive 5 round championship fight. He got dazed by Silva and submited. I dont remember his conditionning playing a huge role in his loss.

    Lutter was comming off a championship fight he didnt even managed to make weight for. In his fight against Franklin Lutters lack of conditionning was the obvious cause of death.

  • x5BoltMainx says:

    I don’t remember hendo gassing out against silva. He just got owned in the 2nd round. Nothing wrong with getting owned. Plus how could he be gassed if he just layed on silva in the first round. Didn’t do any damage & didn’t use alot of energy.

  • Michaelthebox says:

    Much ado about nothing–the writing was on the wall for Lutter when he failed to make weight against Silva, then he pulled out of a gimme fight. Then he gassed against Franklin and insulted the fans. He was asking to get cut.

  • everyone's wrong!!! says:

    “But the list of shit that can get you dropped from your contract seems to be getting longer and longer with each event. Want a raise? You’re fired. Have a boring match? You’re fired. Blow your load in the first round nearly finishing off a future hall of fame fighter? YOU’RE FIRED! Get caught with a stray knee and lose a bout? Oh, you know the drill.”

    Want out of your contract though, because the uptight UFC can’t give you the only meaningful fight left for you, and don’t pay you as much as they should their champion? They’ll find every excuse to force you to hold to that contract. Sweet double standard. Fighter’s Union what?

    As for Lutter’s interview making an impact, the headline is what did it. If you read the whole interview, he’s referring to UFC fans, and states how much he loves MMA fans, the hardcores.

    and tertio…
    “Hendo was comming off a very competitive 5 round championship fight. He got dazed by Silva and submited. I dont remember his conditionning playing a huge role in his loss.”

    So, everyone’s an expert on determing the difference between a fighter getting dazed by punches and gassing? Cause, I noticed Franklin seems to have some heavy hand (the running man atesteth!), and I remember Lutter eating those punches until it got to the ground, then eating some more in the second round. He got outclassed on his feet, but since that doesn’t give an opportunity to rag on the guy for past problems, everyone jumps to the “lutter has shit conditioning” bandwagon.

    The difference comes down to popular perception after the not making weight fiasco. If he’d made weight, and then lost like he did to both silva and rich, he’d still be in the ufc.

  • You_EEEeeediot says:

    Lutter deserved to be cut in my opinion. I went back and watched the pre-show interviews and I couldn’t believe how much Lutter had to say about his abilities and how he’d walk right through Franklin and beat Silva in a rematch. I laughed my ass off, literally.

    Whatever Kool-Air he was drinking certainly did the trick, cause he *believes* he is the best MW fighter.

  • throken says:

    I’m torn. I was cheering for Lutter to lose because I thought of him as a guy who gases, and makes for boring fights after the first round. So I wanted to see him be defeated. At the same time, the UFC MW division isn’t exactly stacked, so I wouldn’t have minded if they kept him on “Gatekeeper” style. Going round and round though, would you really want a guy acknowledged, or perceived, as boring, to knock off your up and comers?

    Linker, I don’t think the UFC will cut you soley for going balls out, and losing. They seem to keep people like Leben around, with plenty of losses, but the potential for a high-light knockout. I think alot of factors go into cutting and keeping a fighter.

    If the UFC is altering their roster to allow for the best fights possible, then this is great. I am hoping that the money that would have went to Lutter gets spent on an exciting up and coming fighter.

    On the other hand, maybe it’s just a dick move from a dick company.

  • sonzai says:

    The list of guys who go balls out, lose and haven’t been cut is much longer than the opposite. Some were eventually cut or released because 3 losses is just too many.

    Pick better fights, Linker. Remember how incensed everybody was that the TUF 4 winners were gonna get title shots? The UFC put a lot on the line with that and how does Lutter repay them? Not making weight. Then he talks all this shit about how he could beat Silva and, if you re-watch his pre-fight for Rich, how he was gonna wear Rich down!! Of course moron gases after a round. He just doesn’t seem like a professional fighter. Why waste a spot/money on him? Or are you a believer in 3 strikes?

    And Hendo… Apples and oranges. Only some people on internet forums (and Matt Hughes, who thinks EVERYONE who loses did so ’cause they gassed) were convinced that Hendo gassed. Sure looked like he just got beat to me: a split second opening, Silva pounces and that’s it. Not crawling around on the ground desperately searching for a single leg like an old rummy looking for a penny. And then bobbing his head back and forth trying to avoid punches. Lutter looked like shit. Glad he’s gone.

  • kentyman says:

    “…the only guy to give Anderson Silva the smallest iota of trouble…”

    I guess you started watching the Silva/Henderson fight when the second round bell rung.

  • Hendo did well in round 1 but he didn’t get mount or anything

  • kentyman says:

    No full mount, but side mount with many-a hammerfist.

    I’m just saying, he handedly won that round, so I think that classifies as at least an iota of trouble…