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TANNER OUT OF THE UFC – IS BUSTAMANTE NEXT? MMA Weekly is reporting that Tanner is out of the UFC due to money issues. They do not get into specifics, but I have been hearing (unsubstantiated) rumors that the UFC wanted Tanner to fight Liddell for less money than he got to fight Chris Haseman at UFC 38.

This is not a good sign. First the UFC lost its lightweight champion, Jens Pulver, because it did not want to pay him as much as it paid his challengers. Then, it apparently lost Evan Tanner because he would not take a pay cut to fight -arguably- the world’s top light heavyweight fighter. Plus, the UFC is currently stalled in its negotiations to keep its 185 champion, Murillo Bustamante, under contract.

I do not know if this is a sign of money problems, a change in philosophy or just a few cases of fighters over estimating their value. But, the UFC does not benefit when it loses top talent, and it will take an enourmous hit if it loses Bustamante.

I will be waiting with bated breath to see if the UFC and Bustamante can reach a deal.

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