The real world would have us believe that as long as you do your job, your position with the company is secure. There are obvious exceptions to this business paradigm, but for the most part we are rewarded for good work.
Unfortunately, mixed martial arts (MMA) doesn't always conform to this standard. While a sport at its core, MMA is a business in part. It often favors financial benefit instead of spectacle, which is why global promotions like Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) are able to bank millions and put on tremendous fights.
In the most recent example of good deeds gone unrewarded, former UFC prospect Lucas Martins has been released from the promotion, per a report by Combate, following a win over Robert Whiteford back at UFC Fight Night 86. It's a fairly unexpected move by UFC not only considering the Brazilian was coming off a victory, but also because he has recorded 14 finishes through 16 career wins.
On paper, Martins is exactly the type of fighter that the promotion consistently seeks out on a daily basis. The fact that he's only 27 years of age adds to the already mysterious chess move.
"My manager (Diego) Lima was talking to the UFC, and said that the division is full," said Martins in a recent interview with MMA Fighting. "Even though I was coming off a win, my contract is over and they told me to get a couple more wins outside the UFC, two nice knockouts, and they would definitely sign me again. I wasn’t expecting that because I was coming off a win, but it’s fine."
Martins added that he's already seeking out future fights, including a potential deal with Bellator MMA. But despite the surprising cut, "Mineiro" still hopes to return to the Octagon.
"I’ve done a lot of things in there," added Martins. "There are athletes in the UFC that haven’t done half of what I did, and this is happening to me. I’ll keep my head up and continue doing my job. I’m looking at other fights now and go back to the UFC because they pay us better. I don’t fight for status, I fight for money to help my family."