This week a fair number of people went ballistic because a certain fighter wasn’t offered a contract at the end of Tuesday’s “Dana White’s Contender Series” episode. The fighter in question, Brendan Loughnane, battled his heart out, and took the decision–and a ton of punishment–after three hard rounds.
Afterwards, UFC boss Dana White made his on-camera decision, and when it came to Loughnane, he was like, “Nah, kid.”
To make matters worse, Loughnane posted to his Instagram account that he was urinating blood the next day as a result of the bout. Surely, someone who put themselves through such hell deserved employment, no?
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) June 19, 2019
Actually, the answer is no.
Yes, Loughnane gave his all, and put up a heck of a fight. But at the end of the day, it’s not for us to decide who the UFC adds to the roster. And thank goodness for that, because there are a million factors behind-the-scenes that we don’t see that contribute to these decisions. For example, how many other fighters on the UFC roster fight in a similar style to Loughnane? And what are the financial specifics of the contracts for those similar fighters? Does it make sense for the UFC to sign the same kind of fighter when they’re paying “X” amount for dudes that already do that? Wouldn’t it make more financial sense to sign fighters who… I don’t know… fight differently? Appeal to a different fanbase? Finish fights?
When it comes to questioning the decision-making processes of those trying to run a business, we can armchair-quarterback all we want. But our opinions matter little when we don’t have access to the full picture.
The uproar over White not offering Loughnane a contract was much ado over nothing.