Word of warning for recently hired UFC employees: don't mess with matchmaker Joe Silva, ya' hear?
Former Maximum Fighting Championships (MFC) Lightweight Champion Antonio McKee knows all too well what happens when you cross the boss -- you get the axe.
After a stellar run through the regional circuit that included 11 consecutive victories and 14 of 15 overall, "Mandingo," at the age of 40, was finally awarded a UFC contract.
Upon signing his deal, his quickly started popping off at the mouth going so far as to say they "f*cked up" bringing him to the world's largest fight promotion.
While he may have said that in jest, apparently Silva wasn't laughing.
"You just don't bring a guy that far and just cut him on a split decision," McKee tells Sherdog.com. "I just didn't understand that. That hurt more than anything. OK, now I made it, and then you cut me on a split decision? It just wasn't fair to me when I've seen some of the guys in the UFC that have a really, really, really long streak of losses. ... I think they were expecting a little bit more from me as far as directly connecting with Dana White and Joe Silva. Because Joe Silva said something to me before the weigh-ins. He came up to me and he goes, ‘Aren't you going to thank me?' I didn't quite really understand what he was talking about. I was like, ‘What do you mean?' And he goes, ‘I heard that you said I f--ked up letting you in the UFC.' I'm like, ‘What are you talking about?' So after the weigh-ins and I ate, that was really heavy on my mind because he struck that conversation with me. So then I remember an article or an interview that I did and I said, ‘Oh yeah, Joe Silva's f--ked up now; McKee's in the UFC.' He took that in a derogatory form. I didn't mean it like that. ... I think a lack of communication, a misunderstanding -- I may have rubbed Joe Silva the wrong way. I don't know."
McKee was originally signed to a four-fight deal and expected to make a splash in the crowded lightweight division. He was placed on the undercard of the UFC 125 New Year's Day show against the unheralded Jacob Volkmann to showcase his talents.
He lost a grappling-heavy -- and incredibly tedious -- fight by split decision and was promptly released from his contract.
Shortly after he was stripped (or vacated, depending on who you believe) of his MFC lightweight title and a planned match-up against Shinya Aoki in Dream fell through just last week.
When it rains it pours.