I’ve wondered several times if the UFC is trying to make their middleweight division suck. They’ve lost Mayhem Miller, let Frank Trigg slip through their fingers, and can’t convince Dan Henderson or Mike Swick to return/stay at MW. David Terrell is perma-injured as always, and the only good news is that Evan Tanner has signed a new deal. Although the UFC hasn’t mentioned it on their main page … my bet is they’re waiting a month to make sure he doesn’t do anything crazy.
More bad news comes in the form of another potential middleweight star not signing with the UFC … this time it’s BJJ sensation Ronaldo Jacare. Rumors hit an all time high last month with everyone coming out and saying Jacare had signed with the UFC but obviously he hasn’t because he’s now with crazy motherfucker Wallid Ismail’s Jungle Fight promotion.
To me, this is just another sign that the UFC wasn’t willing to pony up the cash they needed to sign a jiu-jitsu guy like Jacare. While on one hand I understand that you don’t want to sink a ton of money into a guy who’s relatively untested in MMA, I also think you need to take circumstances into account.
The UFC needs middleweight contenders like a diabetic needs insulin. Jacare could easily burn through the division and be ready for a title shot in six months. If he flops, who cares? It’s a few extra dollars but barely a drop in the bucket that is the UFC’s financial intake.
It’s time for the UFC to start putting it’s money where it’s mouth is and pay what it needs to in order to lock up these guys and fix their middleweight division.