The shockwaves are still being felt by the mixed martial arts (MMA) community after today's (Feb. 20, 2013) announcement that Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) cleaned house and released 16 fighters from its roster following their latest losing performances.
Among the group that included Che Mills, Jorge Santiago and Wagner Prado; the firing of Jon Fitch, the biggest ‘name' of all fighters relieved of their duties from the world's leading MMA promotion, is the one that caught just about everyone by surprise.
See the full list here.
Perhaps the fact that Fitch was recently ranked the number nine welterweight on the UFC's roster and has been with the promotion for over seven years, losing only three times during that span, left plenty of people scratching their heads.
UFC welterweight contender, Dan Hardy, too, was caught off guard by the promotion's move to cut Fitch and took to his Twitter account in defense of his former colleague with a humble, yet, rather surprising comment:
Perhaps the obvious, yet, unfair reason why people give "The Outlaw" so much "shit" after fighters get cut, is the fact that he was kept on the roster after losing four consecutive fights under the UFC banner during a 17-month stretch from March 2010 and August 2011.
However, the fact that the promotion chose to keep him around after his bad run wasn't Hardy's choice, he was just rolling with the punches and you'd be hard-pressed to find any athlete who would turn down any lifeline given to them.
The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product was often scrutinized -- fairly or not -- for his fighting style, who many felt was a ‘safe' or 'lay-and-pray' method to earn a victory, instead of seemingly avoiding risks in attempts to finish his opponents.
Whether or not those constantly echoed-sentiments actually had any bearing on the UFC's decision to let him go, will for now, remain a mystery.