After releasing middleweight contender Yoel Romero following a unanimous decision loss to division champion Israel Adesanya, the UFC plans to lighten their labor loads. Dana White, the president of the WME-owned juggernaut announced that they will release around 60 fighters on their roster by the end of the year. The boss served notice at a UFC Fight Night presser on Saturday following the event.
Dana White says Yoel Romero's UFC release was just the tip of the iceberg: "Probably going to have 60 cuts coming up. … You're going to see a lot of names going."#UFCVegas16 | Full interview: https://t.co/oG4bLUMJv4 pic.twitter.com/zdpzUvdLw0
— MMA Junkie (@MMAjunkie) December 6, 2020
White warned that fans may see a lot of marquee names receive their walking papers in a company that may have a chock full of talent, but may not have room to do much with them. For any fighter under contract scheduled for a bout, they may be fighting for their UFC career as they prepare for the worst. For Yoel Romero, his loss to Adesanya for the middleweight title came back in March. It was his third straight lowering his record to 13-5 in MMA and 9-4 with the company. At 43, with a history of missing weight along with testing positive for a growth hormone release stimulator, ibutamoren, it looked to be the right decision for the company.
As for sizing up the status of other fighters, a lot will be taken into consideration. Consistent performance is one thing to ponder as finishing fights is always a factor. White always appreciated a dominant presence in the Octagon. Swinging for the fences for a fighter always benefits in a positive way for them and grabs everyone’s attention immediately. Making weight for every fight is also important as the front office doesn’t tolerate their fighters shirking those duties one iota. Conditioning and proper steps to take help for a fighter to do so. If this isn’t done right while the fighter on the other side is doing so, it’s disrespectful to the process of preparing for the fight and the event collectively.
Also, proper self-care is important as fighters are constantly looking for better and safer ways to do so. Many have resorted to doping and drug use to gain an advantage for their bouts. Sometimes, this is done for personal use and reasoning. Another key attribute is marketability. The fighter may have skill and talent, but if the company is unable to market their talent properly, the product may not be able to convert into a commodity to make a profit for them.
With all these elements into play, the powers that be in Vegas have a lot to think about before releasing their dead weight to test the rest of the market. They may have further plans for the other talent employed, which may help with their decision to let go of fighters that may not be the best fit for the company’s plans. With almost a month remaining, this may be just as exciting for fans to see what happens with this as it may be to stay tuned for the upcoming events before year’s end.