The UFC regularly cuts fighters on losing streaks as they add new ones, but when they rarely cut ranked fighters. Middleweight Yushin Okami became the exception to the rule when he was released yesterday by the promotion despite winning three of his last four and going 13-5 over his seven-year tenure in the UFC. Kevin Iole of Yahoo Sports asked UFC president Dana White for an explanation of why they'd cut a guy like Okami, and he offered up a pretty reasonable one:
"He's been with us forever," White said of Okami, who first fought in the UFC in 2006. "He was always a tough guy and was right up there, but it's almost like he'd become a gatekeeper. I like Okami, and you've heard me say this many times, that a win over Yushin Okami meant something
"But he was never able to get over the hump and win one of those [significant] fights. We have a lot of guys coming in and I've been saying this all year: We have a full roster and there are guys who deserve opportunities. When you bring guys in, someone has to go. That's why these fights are so meaningful."
It just goes to show that very few people have absolute job security in the UFC, especially if you've worked your way up to a title fight in your division and were unable to pull it out.