Dana White on UFC roster cuts: 'There's 100 more guys that are gonna go'

Esther Lin

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Consider it 2013's version of "Do you want to be a f--- fighter?"

The UFC made waves on Wednesday by cutting 16 fighters from the roster, including the stunning decision to part ways with veteran welterweight contender Jon Fitch.

But on Thursday, UFC president Dana White told reporters that the cuts were simply the tip of the iceberg, and that as many as 100 fighters out of a roster of nearly 500 could get their walking papers.

"There's 100 more guys that are gonna go. It's not over," White said following the UFC 157 press conference. "We have 475 guys under contract. We have over 100 guys too many. We have over 100 guys too many on the roster right now. What's going to happen is, if you lose, the blood has not all been spilled yet. There's more coming."

The bulging roster is a result of several factors, including the addition of flyweights, women's competitors, and former Strikeforce fighters of myriad weight classes.

While White won't come right out and say that boring fighters are going to be cut from the company, he did make it clear the company puts a premium on those with crowd-pleasing styles.

"What you should do is try to go out and be the best in the world," White said. "And you should try to go out and whup everybody's ass and impress them. It depends on how much money you want to make. If you want to go around and lay on people, how many people are beating down the door to see any of those guys fight again?"

White mentioned two fighters whose names have been brought up by fans since Wednesday's news came down: Dan Hardy and Leonard Garcia. Hardy was once retained despite losing four straight fights, while Garcia has several losses and a couple questionable decision wins on his record.

"Guys lose some fights and, you know what, Dan Hardy puts it out there all the time, we're going to keep Dan Hardy," White said. "I'm going to keep Leonard Garcia because the guy's got heart. He comes in to fight. And then you get into a situation where, you've got a lot of guys here. I tell the guys on The Ultimate Fighter, every one of you are going to fight on the card. You get in these situations sometime. You go on a f--- skid in this business, you gotta go, and you gotta go win some fights and come back. No different than it's ever been since day one in this company."

The UFC boss also used the performances put on by several former Strikeforce fighters on the UFC 156 undercard as the sort of thing he wants to see from his fighters going forward.

"I go back to Bobby Green," White said. "Bobby Green fought [Jacob] Volkmann. Bobby Green did not f--- quit in the fight. Referee screwed him big-time, right when he gets that top position, and he's doing damage, she stands him up. The kid stays in there, he fought until the end and he fought until he won. If you want to stay in this f--- company, that's how you better fight. That's what you better do. Be Bobby Green. Those kids that came in that night from Strikeforce were so hungry. They were hungry, man. That's what I want, I want guys who are hungry."

While White isn't apologizing for the roster cuts, he was apologetic for one aspect of the news: The fact several fighters found out they were no longer with the UFC through Twitter.

"That was 100 percent my fault, I take full responsibility for it and I apologize for it," White said. "Because first of all, Vladimir Matyushenko, I've known him since we bought this company, I love that guy, I respect him very much as a fighter and have a great relationship with him. It's bothered me for the last two days that I did that to these kids, to find out on Twitter, or through somebody else that you were cut, instead of getting the phone call first. I really do apologize to all the guys that happened to."

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