According to the folks at MMA Junkie, Jake O’Brien has been dropped by the UFC. The report states that O’Brien had recently inked a new deal with the UFC and had two more fights on his contract. Ken Pavia, his agent, made some comments to Junkie in regards to how surprised they were by the move:
“Yes, you could say we were surprised by the UFC’s decision,” Pavia said.
“Jake really wanted that fight at UFC 82,” Pavia said. “However, had we known that his tenure with the organization was at risk when we were presented with the Arlovski fight, we may have approached it differently.”
“I don’t think they’ve seen the true Jake,” he said. “He’s still a kid, and he’s still learning. He has an identical twin brother who’s a Golden Gloves champion, and Jake handles him. However, when he’s fighting and when you put him in a high-pressure situation with a big-name opponent, like most fighters, he goes back to what’s comfortable for him. His element is wrestling.”
O’Brien has also agreed in principle to a new deal with Palace Fighting Championships in California. O’Brien is expected to make his appearance for the promotion on their July 19th card in Lemoore, California against an opponent to be determined.
I honestly feel that this is in O’Brien’s best interest. Lay ‘n pray decisions are just not acceptable at this level of the sport. There’s a difference between controlling position and working on the ground and getting someone down and simply holding them there. O’Brien was a practitioner of the latter and if he wants to be able to compete on a higher level then he will ultimately need to round out his entire MMA game. He has great foundation being from a collegiate wrestling background as well as a former Golden Gloves champion but he needs to learn to put it all together in one package. This opportunity will allow him to do just that.