27 year old former TUF finalist and Tristar Gym member, Mike Ricci, has been handed his pink slip by the UFC.
Deleted from the promotion’s roster and as announced by Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports, the Canadian mixed-martial-artists joins a growing list of promotion cast-offs that have been axed this week, most notable of which was Yushin Okami, this past Friday. The total now stands at 8 cuts for the week.
In considering Ricci’s release, he went 1 & 2 in the UFC and most importantly, garnered neither a decisive victory nor a war to remember.
In failing to impress with wins, wars or stoppages, Ricci was cut and in doing so, the UFC continues to send the message that they are looking to trim their rosters of excess baggage, and fighters that neither win nor thrill, are not apt to stay with the promotion.
In stepping back looking at it, and particularly when taking into consideration Okami’s cut (ranked #6 in the middleweight division) , one has to wonder if the UFC might go so far as to cut a fighter like Rory MacDonald.
As we all know, MacDonald infamously failed to impress Dana White with his last outing against Jake Ellenberger and White made no bones about what he thought of the match, and MacDonald’s performance in it. In a word, he thought it was pathetic. For his part, MacDonald was stoic in his response to the criticism and seemed not to care what White thought of it. As such and given Yushin Okami and Jon Fitch’s cuts (both ranked fighters), it might not be beyond the realm of possibilities that the UFC might cut a fighter of MacDonald’s rank and record.
That said, it’s not my contention that he will be cut or that he’s in any serious danger of it, but at the same time and particularly if you’re Rory MacDonald and your best friend, and training partner just got fired by the same promotion you work for, it would be foolish not to consider the possibility and acknowledge the reasoning behind it.
Win or lose, Dana White wants exciting fights and not points sparring matches. That’s a message that even a successful fighter like Rory MacDonald had better hear.
Aside from Ricci and Okami, here are the rest of the cuts for the week:
Yuri Villefort (0 & 2)
Joao Zeferino (0 & 2)
Keith Wisniewski (0 & 4)
James Head (2 & 3 / 1 finish; RNC)
Papy Abedi (1 & 3)
Ben Alloway (1 & 2 / 1 finish; KO)