For the most part, the general feeling around the internets to the news that Jake O’Brien was dropped from the UFC is “bye bye blanket!” But there are a decent amount of people who are starting to rally around O’Brien, despite the fact that he made all his UFC fights look so terrible, the UFC started uttering his name whenever they were looking to bury other fighters.
Where’s the indignation for O’Brien, who, according to agent Ken Pavia, was essentially cut out of nowhere? Where are the calls for Dana White to “be a man” and honor his commitment to O’Brien?
The answer, apparently, is that honoring contracts is for fighters, not organizations. For some reason, it’s not a two-way street.
Terminating contracts at any time and for any reason is the UFC’s prerogative. They’ve structured the contracts that way, for exactly this reason. They want to be able to cut a guy like O’Brien â€” who has won in a fashion they found unsatisfying â€” as soon as he drops the first fight of his career. But just because you get someone to agree to sign an unfair contract like that, it doesn’t make it morally justified.
Up until this point, the standard modus operandi of the UFC was to keep a guy around until he lost twice. The fact that O’Brien was shitcanned after his first career loss is kinda unusual. Add the fact that the loss was against someone like Andrei Arlovski, and the fact that O’Brien had just come back from a year’s absence due to a near-career ending injury, and you suddenly start to feel a bit bad the big lug.
The general gist of the situation was that the UFC didn’t really give a shit about the situation … MMA Junkie reports the rumor that Dana’s “Over 200 fighters under contract” brag suddenly became less of a bragging right and more of a problem, so they decided to trim some fat. I am surprised though that O’Brien would get the boot rather than the soft touch of loafer … it would have been just as easy to send O’Brien out into the independent circuit to gain more experience and see what happens. Considering the guy was knocking everyone out in the minors, he might have just have needed more seasoning or a few gift bookings to get on track.
I know, I know. It’s not the UFC’s job to coddle these fighters. But you see so many guys get ditched by the UFC only to end up finding success with other organizations. I’m the last person to be defending Jake O’Brien, but at the same time I find it kind of foolish that they’re outright ditching him when they really need to be working hard to cultivate new talent at heavyweight.