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"War Machine" Released From UFC Contract

After turning down a fight and posting controversial opinions on the UFC and the tragic death of former UFC champion Evan Tanner, Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver was released from his UFC contract.

Koppenhaver first ruffled some feathers with the following post on his myspace page regarding the UFC and the death of Evan Tanner:

“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 [expletive] job for 10 bucks an hour? (This) [expletive] ain’t boxing, and if you’re not Chuck [Liddell] or Tito Ortiz, you don’t get paid dick.”

While the post was removed within hours, the damage had been done. Many in the MMA community where upset and frustrated with Koppenhaver who has had a history of making inflammatory posts.

Not long after Koppenhaver tried to play hardball with the UFC by turning down a fight against Brandon Wolff. It seems that Koppenhaver wanted a bigger name. The UFC told him to take it or leave it. Koppenhaver left it and was consequently dropped from the UFC’s roster.

Koppenhaver addressed the situation one more time in the following myspace bulletin:

“I posted a bulletin after Evan Tanner’s body was first found in the desert. For SOME reason I am getting a lot of flack because of it. I don’t know how anyone got the idea that I was being disrespectful to him in any way. If anything I was talking shit on the UFC. Mostly I think a bunch of FAGGOTS are just looking for ANOTHER reason to hate on me.

Anyway, I am going to go over what I said and why I said it.

Evan Tanner was a former UFC champion, one of the pioneers of the sport. He fought his ass off, losing to only a select few in his career. He was never well paid for his efforts. Only a select few in the UFC are; so basically if you’re not Chuck Liddel or Tito Ortiz chances are you won’t make enough money to retire on. And if you don’t own your own gym you will pretty much find yourself lost and wondering “what next?” Before his death his career was coming to an end. He was past his prime and had no real chance of making a come back. He was also battling his troubles with alcohol. I was there at his last fight when my good friend and brother Kendall Grove won a decision victory over him. I was watching and obviously rooting for Kendall but I remember while in the midst of it all ,that I couldn’t help but feel sad for Evan. I watched him when I was a kid…watched him beat many great fighters, I looked up to him. Seeing him get dismantled by Kendall and then seeing him backstage…it made a lasting impression on me to say the least.

So, with all of this being said, when they first reported that he had gone missing and that they found his body in the middle of the desert, I automatically assumed that he had killed himself. It didn’t sound unreasonable to me and to be honest I still think that trip he made to the desert was, in his mind, perhaps a one way trip. I think that he didn’t want to add extra hardship on his loved ones by making it an obvious suicide. I think maybe he couldn’t have brought himself to do it anyway. I honestly think he was just super depressed and confused on his future and went out there to the desert…truly not caring if he came back or not…and he didn’t.

I also KNOW that MANY fighters in the future will come to the same crossroads as him. Fighting their whole life, no insurance from the UFC, no retirement plan, never being paid what they deserved. And as a result they too are going to find themselves in Evan’s shoes. It’s a sad ending for the life of a warrior. But it is one that is coming for most of us. It won’t suprise me if several fighters kill themselves in the future. I know that when my career is up and if I haven’t made the money I need or if I don’t have the gym that I am planning on owning I very well may do it. And that’s the truth.

So after reading all of this, if you still have a problem with me and what I said about Evan Tanner, I don’t give a fuck. That’s your problem. This is my opinion, deal with it.

Thanks to all my LOYAL fans.