If I was a UFC fighter making more than 30k per fight, I’d be a little bit nervous right now. Sure, UFC prez Dana White says the company isn’t tightening it’s belt and no fighters are going to lose their jobs based on the economy. But the truth of the matter is that when the UFC decides to thin it’s herd, there’s nothing worse than having a good paycheck attached to a not so good record.
Case in point: Sokoudjou, 1-2 in the UFC at 40k/40k per fight. He’s just been released from the UFC following a loss last month to Luiz Cane (5k/5k). Fabricio Werdum got it too … his 2-2 record apparently didn’t merit his salary (unknown since all his fights were in places where they don’t release pay), so the UFC asked him to take a 50% cut. He said no, and now he’s gone.
Sokoudjou will be fine … while his less than well-rounded game might have soured the UFC’s opinion of him, my bet is it’s only made him more valuable of a commodity in Japan. The Japanese are amusingly racist in a naive way: they love their big black beasts. Sokoudjou, with his African heritage and dreadlocked hair, fits perfectly into the stereotype they have of what a black fighter should be. So before you lament Sok’s departure from the UFC, think about this: he’ll be fighting in Japan faster than you can “Judo Terry”, in fights much more interesting and entertaining than anything Joe Silva would ever involve him in.