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Jake O’Brien gets fired and some people actually seem to care!

For the most part, the general feeling around the internets to the news that Jake O’Brien was dropped from the UFC is “bye bye blanket!” But there are a decent amount of people who are starting to rally around O’Brien, despite the fact that he made all his UFC fights look so terrible, the UFC started uttering his name whenever they were looking to bury other fighters.

Where’s the indignation for O’Brien, who, according to agent Ken Pavia, was essentially cut out of nowhere?   Where are the calls for Dana White to “be a man” and honor his commitment to O’Brien?

The answer, apparently, is that honoring contracts is for fighters, not organizations.   For some reason, it’s not a two-way street.

Terminating contracts at any time and for any reason is the UFC’s prerogative.   They’ve structured the contracts that way, for exactly this reason.   They want to be able to cut a guy like O’Brien — who has won in a fashion they found unsatisfying — as soon as he drops the first fight of his career.   But just because you get someone to agree to sign an unfair contract like that, it doesn’t make it morally justified.

Up until this point, the standard modus operandi of the UFC was to keep a guy around until he lost twice. The fact that O’Brien was shitcanned after his first career loss is kinda unusual. Add the fact that the loss was against someone like Andrei Arlovski, and the fact that O’Brien had just come back from a year’s absence due to a near-career ending injury, and you suddenly start to feel a bit bad the big lug.

The general gist of the situation was that the UFC didn’t really give a shit about the situation … MMA Junkie reports the rumor that Dana’s “Over 200 fighters under contract” brag suddenly became less of a bragging right and more of a problem, so they decided to trim some fat. I am surprised though that O’Brien would get the boot rather than the soft touch of loafer … it would have been just as easy to send O’Brien out into the independent circuit to gain more experience and see what happens. Considering the guy was knocking everyone out in the minors, he might have just have needed more seasoning or a few gift bookings to get on track.

I know, I know. It’s not the UFC’s job to coddle these fighters. But you see so many guys get ditched by the UFC only to end up finding success with other organizations. I’m the last person to be defending Jake O’Brien, but at the same time I find it kind of foolish that they’re outright ditching him when they really need to be working hard to cultivate new talent at heavyweight.

  • Random Acts Of Kindness

    The purist part of me wants to hop on the Joe Rogan bandwagon and say “hey, if the fight’s on the ground, let it happen like that. If this was a real fight, there’d be no ref to stand ‘em up”. But on the other hand, every time I hear that a Jake O’brien type person is on a fight card I say “Dear lord in heaven…. please let this wanker be on the undercard so that I’m not paying 50 weak American dollars to watch the dreaded LnP”. I’m stuck in the middle on this one…


    O’Brien hasn’t been stellar at all in the UFC, but the last thing they should be doing is cutting HWs, unless they’re just planning to get rid of the whole division.

  • Mike_N

    I always thought he was boring, but that’s not a crime; I mean, the guy’s in his early to mid-20s and obviously still developing. As much as I enjoy making jokes about O’Brien fights making excellent sleep aids, I think they may have pulled the trigger a little too soon here.

  • Tertio

    I really think its a good thing for the UFC.

    What do you think the next wrestler laying on top of his opponent is gonna be thinking in between weak ass punches that do no damage ?

    – Holy shit i better start doing something or Dana is gonna fire my ass.

  • danaunclefesterwhite

    My Opinion on this matter is
    1) It’s bullshit that the UFC can cut a guy anytime they want and not stay committed to a deal they signed while fighters are forced to honor their end of the deal. Unless they split amicably (ie. cro cop and sylvia). So I feel bad for O’Brien because of that.
    2) O’Brien is a boring lay n pray artist so I don’t care to see him again. Let him season his game in the indy circuit and then he can come back and fight instead of lnp. O’Brien used to KO guys in the minors so maybe this is what he needs to up his game.

  • Atom

    I think it all comes back to the Herring fight. The UFC signed Herring, and figured that he would be able to beat O’Brien. That didn’t happen, so they lost some of their investment, and the fight was awful, so they didn’t even get a new prospect out of it. I’ve wanted to see him cut ever since. He fucked up the plans. Fuck him. And I’m not joking. Should they have kept him on the roster, but stuck him on undercards everytime? Then what? What if he keeps winning, but stays boring? Eventually the “MMA NEEDS TO BE A LEGIT SPORT” crowd would complain that he was due for a title shot. NO! I’d like to see the sport legitimized, but NOT at the expense of exciting fights.

    The UFC did the right thing by giving him 5 chances to be impressive, and then cutting him at the first excuse they had.

    One exciting fight out of five would have saved his UFC career.

    UFC contracts might come with risks, but no one can argue that the possible rewards aren’t higher than anywhere else.

  • cyph

    Tertio, your counter argument on thefightilinglife was extremely well thought out. You should stop by fightopinion some time.

    We don’t know what the balance sheet on the UFC shows. We know they’re expanding overseas. We know they’re signing new talents. We know they will have about 12 UFC events this year. There are only so many fighters that can fit on a UFC event. Hard decisions must be made. There’s no point in having dead weight on the rosters without a way to sell that fighter. They can either cut someone like Herring to clear up the roster and push O’Brien, or they can cut someone with potentially but have virtually no fans. O’Brien got cut. Business is business.

  • sonzai

    How is this any different than some NHL/MLB player getting cut or sent down to the minors? And that doesn’t just happen to players who “need more seasoning”. It also happens to players who don’t fit the NHL team’s needs at that time. What happens to NFL players who get cut? Probably same thing as fighters: go find another org to pay you. Pro sports is a tough business. I think a lot of the fans on the internet are waaaay too sensitive about certain things and take them far too personally. It’s all bidness, baby. Michael Rome’s article at bloodyelbow sums up the UFC’s position on this nicely.

  • Xavier

    There are many people to take up torches for.

    Jake O’Blanket is not one of them.

  • kentyman

    Free Jake!

    Oh, done.