Bad news for the fighter whose momma named him Jon Koppenhaver: The UFC has decided to fire “War Machine“ due to an insensitive blog post he made in the wake of Evan Tanner‘s death, as well as his refusal to take a fight with an Octagon newbie. Machine confirmed his cut with MMA Junkie.
Following the tragic news of Evan Tanner’s death, Machine posted the following on his infamous MySpace blog:
No one is sure yet but it sounds like it was a suicide. Sad thing is that it makes sense. What else is an UNDERPAID fighter supposed to do at the end of his career?
Cash in his 401K? Collect social security? Start to work some shitty job for 10 bucks an hour?
Shit ain’t boxing and if you’re not Chuck Liddell or Tito Ortiz you don’t get paid dick.
Wasn’t like he made MILLIONS and blew it all like Mike Tyson, this guy fought his entire life and didn’t have shit.
No wonder why he took off to the woods.
Prolly reminisced on the days when he was champ, the days when growing old didn’t matter and took his life.
Severe depression plagues MANY fighters at the end of their careers. Mark my words when I say that “HE MAY BE THE FIRST, BUT HE ISN’T THE LAST.”
Machine removed the posting when it was reported that Tanner’s death didn’t appear to be a suicide, but he told MMA Junkie that he still kinda believes that it was:
“I still believe in my heart it was a suicide…maybe he didn’t shoot himself in the head, but I think he went up there maybe with plans not to come back…He was depressed, guaranteed. He had just lost to Kendall [Grove]. He was getting older. He knows he has no retirement plan. He had nothing, dude. That could be the outcome for a lot of fighters, myself included. I for damn sure guarantee you that if I’m in my 40s and I didn’t make enough money and I don’t have my own gym to support myself or whatever, I’ll probably kill myself too.”
Of course, his firing appears to be equally motivated by an ill-advised clash with UFC matchmaker Joe Silva.
Coming off a 56-second choke-out loss to Yoshiyuki Yoshida in May, Machine was recently offered a fight against Rumble on the Rock/X-1 standout Brandon Wolff, a new signee to the UFC’s welterweight division. As Machine tells it:
“I said, ‘Who in the hell is [Brandon] Wolff?’ So, I looked him up and made some phone calls. I’ve got a lot of friends in Hawaii — ‘Rude Boy’ (Troy Mandaloniz), Kendall Grove, my trainer. I got the same thing from everybody. They all said the guy is savage, sick, tough as hell, a really tough fighter and a really tough fight. Basically we all came to the conclusion that I have nothing to gain from the fight. He has no name, no fans other than the guys in Hawaii, and I thought that if I beat him, then no one is really going to care because I beat someone with no name. And if I lose, everyone is going to say I lost to a guy with no name, so I said [expletive] that.
“I want to fight someone with a name. I said, ‘Give me Josh Burkman. Give me Dustin Hazelett. Give me someone with a name.’
“They went back to the UFC, and Joe Silva said, ‘No. That’s the best fight I’ve got for him; take it or leave it. It was kind of threatening — like if I didn’t take it, they’d kick me out of the UFC. So, I was kind of pissed off and decided to play hard ball too. I said I’d wait for another opponent.
“Joe Silva — he was pretty much on a power trip. He was like, ‘I already told you that I already have Wolff for War Machine. I don’t know who he is thinking he’s negotiating with me. You know what? I’m sick of this guy.’ Then he brought up the Evan Tanner thing. ‘He made a dumbass comment on Evan Tanner. He’s not supporting the UFC. You know what? War Machine is cut.’ And they cut me.”
In other words, War Machine felt that at this point in his career, he should be allowed to pick his opponents, and he doesn’t need to prove himself by taking challenging fights. Makes sense, if you reside in WarMachineland. But don’t cry for War, because he already has his next fight lined up, which will go down at a small show next month:
“[T]o be honest, I wasn’t going to be a contender in the UFC anytime soon anyway. This is a way for me to go out there, maybe win a few smaller belts, get some more wins, get my skills up better, and before I know it, after a few years have passed, I’ll be ready to fight anyone. … Plus, I was really surprised by how much money they offered me for a small show.”
Godspeed, young man.