UFC and TUF veteran Jon Koppenhaver (aka War Machine) has been released from his extensive contract for making some extremely untimely and ignorant comments about Evan Tanner’s death and for his refusal to fight an opponent offered to him by UFC matchmaker Joe Silva. War Machine is no stranger to controversy. As many of you will remember he was in a near brawl with Jared Rollins during his stay at the Ultimate Fighter house and more recently when he was arrested for choking the crap out of some guy outside of his fight school. These most recent incidents seem to have been the last straw for the UFC.
In a reent blog on Koppenhaver’s Myspace account, he speculated that Evan Tanner had commited suicide before it was reported that Tanner had in fact succumbed to heat exhaustion. Talk about terrible timing, it seems as if Koppenhaver doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut. Here is an excerpt from the blog in question that was later deleted from his Myspace account-
“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.”
If that wasn’t enough, when offered a fight with relative unknown newcomer Brandon Wolff, Koppenhaver flat out turned down the fight and demanded a more recognizable opponent. For some bizarre reason Koppenhaver feels as if he has earned the right to choose who he fights in the UFC, unsurprisingly Joe Silva disagreed and instead of finding a different opponent for Koppenhaver, Silva decided to show him the door. Here are some recent comments that Koppenhaver has made about the incident to MMAJunkie.com-
“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.”
The future doesn’t seem very bright for War Machine after being cut from the worlds biggest MMA organization and disrespecting one of MMA’s fallen heros. Honestly, it’s kind of hard to feel sorry for him.