War Machine Out of UFC

Written by Tom Ngo
September 12th, 2008

Former “Ultimate Fighter Season 6” contestant War Machine, previously known as Jon Koppenhaver, has been released from the largest MMA organization in the world. Koppenhaver recently had his name legally changed to War Machine for trademark purposes. The UFC has yet to officially announce his release, however War Machine has confirmed his release and believes that the reason is two-fold.

First, he declined a match that was presented to him, stating that the opponent was a no-name and would not benefit his career one bit. He wanted to take on a tougher competitor, one that would advance his career if he were to win.

“‘Who in the hell is [Brandon] Wolff?,” War Machine told MMAJunkie.com. “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… I want to fight someone with a name. I said, ‘Give me Josh Burkman. Give me Dustin Hazelett. Give me someone with a name.’ ”

Then, War Machine posted a blog on his MySpace page expressing his opinion on how little MMA fighters south of Chuck Liddell and Tito Ortiz actually get paid. In addition, he commented that he felt the death of former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner was a suicide, not an accidental heat exhaustion.

“What else is an underpaid fighter supposed to do at the end of his career?” War Machine stated on his MySpace page. “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 [expletive].”

When War Machine approached the UFC about taking on Matthew Riddle, they scoffed at him, stating that they already had a match for him, and it was a take it or leave it situation. Little did War Machine know, it was take it or leave the UFC.

“Joe Silva (UFC matchmaker) — he was pretty much on a power trip,” War Machine said. “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.”

War Machine leaves the UFC with a 1-1 record. Based on the notoriety that he received on the successful reality show, one of the smaller MMA organizations is sure to pick him up.

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