The Chopping Block: Who Could be Next to go from the UFC?

Contributor: Tim Hickey

“We have 470-something guys under contract, okay? We have over 100 guys too many. We have over 100 guys too many on the roster right now, okay? So, what’s going to happen is, when you lose, listen the blood has not all been spilled yet, there’s more coming.” – Dana White

 

With the recent cuts of established fighters like Jon Fitch, Jacob Volkkman and Diego Nunes, it looks as if the UFC is doing some good ol fashioned Miami Marlins type house cleaning. Dana has put the fighters on notice that they are looking at cutbacks, and it seems like higher priced veterans and those who maybe aren’t the most exciting are going to be on the block. Part of this can be attributed to the absorption of Strikeforce and some of their awful contracts, part of is the development of the new women’s 135lbs division, the flyweight division needing new fighters, and rumblings of a 115 lbs men’s division possibly coming. Either way, it got me thinking. If Dana was going to cut 100 fighters, who is on the block? Putting on my Batman man sized onesie, and my Bat cowl (as that is how I do my best detective work) I have gone through the last 18 months of UFC and Strikeforce reported payrolls and came up with a list of 40 potential fighters (and their reported salaries) who could be looking at getting the axe within the next few months.

(All salaries were taken from http://www.mma-manifesto.com/ufc-fighter-salary-database/.)

Evan Dunham

Reported Salary Per Fight: $24,000 to show, $24,000 win bonus

That’s a lot of money for a midtier guy who is 3-2 in his last 5 fights.

Gleison Tibau

Reported Salary Per Fight: $31k to show, 31k win bonus

Dunham’s UFC 156 opponent is an expensive ass gatekeeper. Surprised he wasn’t blown out with Jon Fitch.

Ben Rothwell

Reported Salary Per Fight: 54k to show, 54k win bonus

This boggled my mind. He must have Scott Boras as his agent to be making this much.

Tim Kennedy

Reported Salary Per Fight: 80k to show, 25k win bonus.

Remember when I mentioned awful Strikeforce contracts? This is one of them. While Kennedy is a good fighter, his contract would put him in with some of the highest paid middleweights in the UFC. He is basically a 185lbs Jon Fitch.

Ed Herman

Reported Salary Per Fight: 34k to show, 34k win bonus

Technically has lost his last 2 fights (with the Jake Shields loss overturned due to a failed drug test). This is a lot of money for a low level gate keeper

Yushin Okami

Reported Salary Per Fight: 84k to show, 84k win bonus

Another potential Fitch like victim, he will never sniff a title shot again, is a guy known for a dull style and makes too much money to be a top 10 gatekeeper

Melvin Gulliard

Reported Salary Per Fight: 42k to show, 42 k win bonus

1-4 in his last 5 fights, and while he is a guy who likes to STANDANDBANGBRO, it is hard to justify paying him 42k to show when he will be fighting the lower end of the division.

Leonard Garcia

Reported Salary Per Fight: 20k to show, 20k win bonus

Although he is never in danger of collecting his win bonus, Garcia is making too much money to be on Facebook and prelim cards. No amount of windmilling will save him from the chopping block if he loses again.

Matt Brown

Reported Salary Per Fight: 27k to show 27k win bonus

Although in the midst of a career resurgence, we are talking about a guy who realistically is a mid level gatekeeper.

 

Patrick Cote

Reported Salary Per Fight: 21k to show, 21k win bonus

Another guy who is a middle of the pack fighter, I can’t see justifying this pay if he loses his next fight.

Thiago Silva

Reported Salary Per Fight: 55k to show, 55k win bonus

A guy who has has 2 fights end in a NC when he popped on the drug test, he makes too much money and is too much of a headache.

Takanori Gomi

Reported Salary Per Fight: 50k to show, 50k win bonus

God it pains me so much to put him on here. He put on a FOTN performance in his last fight, but goddamn that is a lot of money to be paying what is left of The Fireball Kid.

Mac Danzig

Reported Salary Per Fight: 27k to show, 27 k win bonus

God there are some awful TUF guys with big contracts.

Riki Fukuda

Reported Salary Per Fight: 28k to show, 28k win bonus

2-2 in his UFC career, with all 4 fights going to decision. Hope you were good with your money Riki.

Danny Castillo

Reported Salary Per Fight: 25k to show, 25k win bonus

A good fighter, but unless they start putting him in with upper echlon guys, hard to justify this for a FB or Fuel fighter.

Dan Hardy

Reported Salary Per Fight: 25k to show, 25k win bonus

I don’t care how much Dana loves him, this is a lot of money for a guy who rarely wins a fight anymore.

Amir Sadollah

Reported Salary Per Fight: 24k to show, 24k win bonus

Does it make anyone else sad that Sadollah makes more to show than Mighty Mouse Johnson?

Matt Hamill

Reported Salary Per Fight: 32k to show, 32k win bonus

I think the last time I enjoyed a Matt Hamill fight was when Jon Jones almost beat him to a living death.

Ovince St. Prieux

Reported Salary Per Fight: 17k to show, 17k win bonus

I like OSP as a good prospect, but this is a lot of money for a prospect who may not be ready for the UFC LHW division

Jake Shields

Reported Salary Per Fight: 75k to show, 75k win bonus

He is 2-2-1 in his 5 UFC fights. He hasn’t put on an exciting fight in years. I can see him in WSOF before the end of the year.

Gegard Mousassi

Reported Salary Per Fight: 175k to show

I love me some Moose Saucy as much as anyone, but paying 175K to a fringe top 10 guy is a lot. To put it in perspective, Gegard makes 25k less to show than Jon Jones.

Brandon Vera

Reported Salary Per Fight: 70k to show, 70k win bonus

Damn. This blew my effing mind. That is a lot of money for a bottom rung guy.

Cheick Kongo

Reported Salary Per Fight: 70k to show, 70k win bonus

Bloated contract for a gatekeeper who occasionally puts on a fun fight.

Dong Hyun Kim

Reported Salary Per Fight: 44k to show, 44k win bonus

A top heavy grappler who rarely finishes. Not a good combo for Mr. Kim

CB Dollaway

Reported Salary Per Fight: 20k to show, 20k win bonus

As always, he deserves the face that God cursed him with. This is a lot of money for one of the most hated fighters on the roster.

Lavar Johnson

Reported Salary Per Fight: 27k to show, 27k win bonus

He loves to bang, which may keep him in the UFC a bit longer than most. But as soon as the fight hits the floor, Big is a lost puppy.

Josh Thomson

Reported Salary Per Fight: 90k to show

While I think Thomson is criminally underrated, his salary puts him in the upper tier of the pay scale for the lightweight division.

Jeremy Stevens

Reported Salary Per Fight: 24k to show, 24k win bonus

Who does these contracts?

Jason MacDonald

Reported Salary Per Fight: 19k to show, 19k win bonus

Another bloated contract from a middle of the road veteran.

Mark Bocek

Reported Salary Per Fight: 24k to show, 24k win bonus

He is a good gatekeeper to test prospects against, but this just seems a tad expensive. His connections to Lorenzo and Dana may keep him around longer than most fighters.

Paulo Thiago

Reported Salary Per Fight: 18k to show, 18k win bonus

He is 1-4 in his last 5 fights, and hasn’t had a quality win in 3 years. I’d be shocked if he is still around in a couple of months.

KJ Noons

Reported Salary Per Fight: 34k to show, 34k win bonus

Another fighter who is 1-4 in his last 5 fights (tho his last loss was a robbery) his salary puts him in the top 10 earners in the UFC lightweight division.

Thiago Alves

Reported Salary Per Fight: 33k to show, 33k win bonus

Alves is no longer the fighter he once was, having only fought 6 times in the last 2 and a half years and going 2-3 since his title loss to GSP.

Kid Yamamoto

Reported Salary Per Fight: 15k to show, 15k win bonus

Another former Japanese legend who has had a tough run in the UFC. He is one of my favorite fighters ever and I would love for him to see a late career resurgence but it isn’t very likely.

Gabriel Gonzaga

Reported Salary Per Fight 64k to show, 64k win bonus

Holy Zombie Jesus! How did you get this contract Gonzaga? Are you still making residual checks from everytime the UFC shows the clip of when you took Cro Cop’s soul? He has had a career resurgence lately, but if the UFC is looking at trimming payroll, this would be the guy.

Manny Gamburyan

Reported Salary Per Fight: 18k to show, 18k win bonus

Former WEC featherweight title challenger has gone 1-2 in his latest UFC run. If he drops his next fight I can see Dana having no hesitation dropping him.

Josh Koscheck

Reported Salary Per Fight: 73k to show, 73k win bonus

No longer a top contender, Kos may not justify his large salary anymore. Getting upset by Robbie Lawler may have been the last straw.

Michael Johnson

Reported Salary Per Fight: 14k to show, 14k win bonus

Johnson has not been overly impressive coming off his stint on TUF.

Clay Guida

Reported Salary Per Fight: 40k to show, 40k win bonus

Guida hasn’t been in a fun fight in about 3 years, and has lost two of his last 3 (arguably should be 3 in a row). He could be gone via the Jon Fitch Precedent.

Hatsu Hioki

Reported Salary Per Fight: 15k to show, 15k win bonus

Hioki has been a bit of a disappointment since coming over from Japan. He was heralded as a challenger for Aldo’s belt but has a 2-2 during his UFC tenure.

So there you have it. I have no idea where they plan on cutting another 60 fighters, but these gentleman would be tops on my list of expected cuts over the next couple of months.

-Tim can be reached @TimHickey80

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3 responses

  1. I have seen some resume foratms that include this option. Some employers prefer this over the regular standard foratmsIf they asked you, then use this particular resume format. It comes after work experience and simply reads Preferred or expected salary requirement Just fill it up with numbers, or if you want to be safe, define the basic range, and put in the extra work that you think should net you more money. If you have not been interviewed yet, you can put the to be discussed here since you have no knowledge of the complete job description.

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