Wednesday, April 23, 2008

UFC: Dana White Says Either Fight Or Go Home, by Garrett Gonzales - Bleacher Report - 21st April 2008

After just learning through Dave Meltzer's Wrestling Observer newsletter that the UFC was trying to cut down from 200 fighters by about twenty five percent, I noticed today that Kalib Starnes was part of that twenty five percent. Just two days after his decision loss to Nate "The Rock" Quarry at UFC 83, Dana White confirmed with Yahoo! Sports writer Kevin Iole that Starnes needed to "consider a new line of work".

During the three round match-up, Starnes, a native of British Columbia, was being booed by the crowd at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, because of his unwillingness to fight. In the first round, Starnes seemed to be trying to get Quarry to tire by running him around the octagon. But in the second round, his strategy was the same. Quarry would circle and stalk Starnes, trying to get the former TUF Season 3 contestant to mix it up, but to no avail. At the end of the third round, Quarry, frustrated because of Starnes' lack of testicular fortitude, started to mock him. He first pretended as if he was running a race, chasing Starnes around the cage. He then covered up his eyes with his inner right elbow and threw his left arm out as if to pretend he was going to fight him blindly. Starnes didn't take advantage of either ploy and simply continued to backpeddle.

Quarry won the three round decision unanimously, with one judge scoring it 30-24, which meant that either he scored each round 10-8, or that he docked Starnes heavily in the third round for his non-fighting.

Dana White gave $75,000 each to Jonathan Goulet and Kuniyoshi Hironaka for having the best match on the show. Most of the scuttlebutt after the event was about how Starnes had to be fired because of his lack of performance if White was going to put so much importance on having exciting fights. And just like that, it happened.

I believe that the UFC has the power to cut any fighter after a loss. They also could simply not renew an expired contract. I'm not sure which avenue they chose as I don't know Starnes' contract situation, but fighters should've learned a few important lessons based on this.

1. You're only as good as your last win.
2. It's better to lose swinging than to win a boring fight (in case you lose in the future).
3. When you are put on PPV, be entertaining.

But maybe the biggest lesson learned is that it is best to fight hard or risk going home. Kalib Starnes learned the hard way.

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