Jon Koppenhaver released by the UFC

The UFC has released Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver, a former season six contestant from “The Ultimate Fighter” reality television show.

Koppenhaver, who recently legally changed his name to “War Machine” over trademark issues, revealed the news in an exclusive interview with MMAjunkie.com.

The UFC has yet to formally announce the release but Koppenhaver indicated that he believes the move to cut his contract is based on his recent decision to decline a match and also a recent blog posting in which he commented on the death of former UFC middleweight champion Evan Tanner.

“What else is an underpaid fighter supposed to do at the end of his career?” Koppenhaver speculated in a bulletin distributed via his account on MySpace. “Cash in his 401K? Collect social security? Start to work some s— job for 10 bucks an hour? (This) s— ain’t boxing, and if you’re not Chuck [Liddell] or Tito Ortiz, you don’t get paid dick.”

Regarding his decision to turn down a recent offer for a fight, Koppenhaver revealed that UFC Vice President of Talent Relations Joe Silva offered him a match on an upcoming card vs. newcomer Brandon Wolff. Koppenhaver expressed that he was disappointed that a proposed match with Matt Arroyo was never finalized and that he was looking to fight a bigger name than Wolff.

“‘Who in the hell is [Brandon] Wolff?” was the response Koppenhaver gave his management, according to a quote on MMA Junkie. “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.’ ”

After declining to take the fight with Wolff, Koppenhaver campaigned for a fight vs. Matthew Riddle after learning that his originally proposed opponent, Mandaloniz, would not be able to take the fight. According to Koppenhaver’s comments, it appeared that he had worn out his welcome with Silva at that point.

“Joe Silva — he was pretty much on a power trip,” Junkie quotes Koppenhaver as saying. “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.”

Koppenhaver was officially 1-1 in the UFC. He won a “Match of the Year” candidate bout against Jared Rollins during the live season finale for TUF 6 last December when he TKO’d Rollins at 2:01 of round 3. He returned to the Octagon at UFC 84 this past May where he lost via technical submission while on the receiving end of an Anaconda choke administered by Yoshiyuki Yoshida.

48 COMMENTS
  • Jason says:

    War machine has a lot in common with Evan…I like to see that the UFC is willing to cut fighters for speaking out even in general terms against them…How is MMA monopoly good for the fighters and the sport again???

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  • JohnS says:

    Look the guy is 1-1 in the UFC he should fight who they give him and be happy that he is fighting at all. Look I don’t get to choose my work at the office and I sure as hell have a better ‘record’ than 1-1.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 2

  • Qmonster says:

    He Wants ,, Who the hell is war machine?!?! first he should get some fights under his belt that aren’t loses. He is a nobody trying to pick his opponent ?? Give me a break trying putting a streak of wins together before jaring your mouth like you are in title contention… these morons need to learn to build their brand before they start crying for top level comeptition,,, he is nowhere near the other fighters he mentioned. He should count his lucky stars that he was in the UFC in the first place ,,, biggest promotion equals bigger sponsorship dollars,,, what a moron!!!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  • Jesse says:

    Way to blow an incredible opportunity that thousands would kill for. He should change his name to The Dip Shit. Good riddance.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  • Rich S. says:

    i read this on CP about an hour ago, and i was absolutely disguted with what he had to say about the Tanner situation.. i’ve lost all respect i ever had for WM..
    this kid’s too damn cocky..
    you want someone with a name? you have to deserve someone with a name! you beat Rollins with what has to be one of the luckiest finishes i’ve ever seen, and then you got choked out in 40 seconds!
    and you want a freakin’ big name?
    well, it looks like you’re getting your chance..
    maybe you can find a big name in EXC, or some local shows or something..
    pathetic..
    i hate it when someone thinks that the second you hit the UFC, you’re the best around.. you have to earn your respect.. you can’t just sign a contract and then ask for the best..

    ps – Burkman, or Hazelett, would destroy WM..

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • saerbarnet says:

    To turn the question around.. What does the more known guys have to gain from fighting War Machine? He’s done nothing in the sport except being in a reality show.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Levi M says:

    Sounds like his new nick name should be “Poor Machine”! ha ha ha! jackass!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • KOB says:

    Who cares about War Machine? He’s not exactly in a position to call his own shots. They gave him a chance to fight and the little b* turned it down because he heard the guy was tough? How do you turn down a fight because it’s not easy? With that kind of attitude you’re not going anywhere.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • egad81 says:

    I think he was right on with the Evan Tanner comment. I loved watching Evan fight but in his entire carreer he didnt get paid 1/4 of what Mayweather got for his last boxing match.
    Most MMA guys (war machine included) would kick any boxers ass.

    Its a shame that only the top 5% of all MMA fighters GET PAID!
    I wonder if they are Republicans?

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • finkrod says:

    This guys a trainwreck. A year from now he’ll be cutting lumber down at the Home Depot.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  • KOB says:

    You can’t compare mma to boxing you idiot.

    Great statements genius, you no nothing about mma or boxing.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  • RealDrew says:

    I am so sick of hearing these fighters bitch about pay. If you don’t like it, take your ass down to the closest community college and learn how to be an x-ray technician.

    Dumbass war machine should be thankful for what he’s got. I don’t know where he’s getting these illusions of grandeur, but he’s lucky he’s not in prison right now.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  • Wait a minute! says:

    egad81 is that you WM?
    Poor machine (nice one by the way for the new more acurate name Levi m)You are a disgrace, who do you think you are? Evan Tanner’s dead and i personally am gutted, i cant believe how much this has effected me and i have felt down about it for days and i dont even know the guy.
    You think you can talk shit because you are ..sorry were in the UFC the biggest MMA event in the universe.
    You are a punk who didnt deserve another fight in my opinion in the UFC after that pathetic little boy effort you had last time, and now you refuse to fight because he’s tough?? are you fucking kidding me!!!!! you were basically asking for somebody easy so you could win, your in the UFC motherfucker you aint gonna get that!!!
    Keep smoking the crack you wanker, i wish it was you in the desert.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Reminds me of an old Clint Eastwood quote: “A man’s got to know his limitations.” I guess War Machine knows them now.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • nick says:

    I am in partial disagreement with most of the comments here. Evan tanner was one of my fighter but it is true that unless you are main eventing a ppv your pay is quite dismal. For example Rousimar Palhares only got paid $ 7000 for several months of training. That being said Koppenhaver is a dick for talking in that tone or even demanding a fight before proving his worth.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • PooPooPlatter says:

    Good! This guy is a goof!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Chris Hohn says:

    [Expletive] War Machine! He is a whiny little [expletive]! He is as bad as Tito…

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • KTru says:

    Guess he will be working a sh_t job for $10 an hour

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Patrick says:

    He’ll get picked up as soon as his non-compete is done, eliteXC or affliction will be all over him.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • ViciousUppercut says:

    @ Jason if you speak out against your bosses don’t be surprised if you lose your job too. Yes you have a right to free speech but man oh man you don’t bite the hand that feeds you, man that’s just stupid. Also, warmachine has/had nothing in common with Tanner. Tanner fought often and also fought anybody they put in front of him like a true fighter would. @ Nick, Palhares got only $7,000 for months of training (boo hoo). Nobody forced him to fight for that and it was only his first fight. As far as i’m concerned they paid him 7,000 for 1 night of work. You stay in shape always and if you need to get another job to supplement your income. What do you want them to pay him $100,000 in his 1st fight. if you guys were paying the fighters ppv would cost $100. Keep this in mind, a hungry fighter fights hard. When you start paying these guys too much they aren’t as hungry anymore and

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • ViciousUppercut says:

    @ Jason if you speak out against your bosses don’t be surprised if you lose your job too. Yes you have a right to free speech but man oh man you don’t bite the hand that feeds you, man that’s just stupid. Also, warmachine has/had nothing in common with Tanner. Tanner fought often and also fought anybody they put in front of him like a true fighter would. @ Nick, Palhares got only $7,000 for months of training (boo hoo). Nobody forced him to fight for that and it was only his first fight. As far as i’m concerned they paid him 7,000 for 1 night of work. You stay in shape always and if you need to get another job to supplement your income. What do you want them to pay him $100,000 in his 1st fight. if you guys were paying the fighters ppv would cost $100. Keep this in mind, a hungry fighter fights hard. When you start paying these guys too much they aren’t as hungry anymore and

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • ViciousUppercut says:

    @ Jason if you speak out against your bosses don’t be surprised if you lose your job too. Yes you have a right to free speech but man oh man you don’t bite the hand that feeds you, man that’s just stupid. Also, warmachine has/had nothing in common with Tanner. Tanner fought often and also fought anybody they put in front of him like a true fighter would. @ Nick, Palhares got only $7,000 for months of training (boo hoo). Nobody forced him to fight for that and it was only his first fight. As far as i’m concerned they paid him 7,000 for 1 night of work. You stay in shape always and if you need to get another job to supplement your income. What do you want them to pay him $100,000 in his 1st fight. if you guys were paying the fighters ppv would cost $100. Keep this in mind, a hungry fighter fights hard. When you start paying these guys too much they aren’t as hungry anymore and

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • ViciousUppercut says:

    the fights start to get boring cause they already got paid

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • ViciousUppercut says:

    wow how did that happen, sorry

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • UmmHello says:

    Maybe he should go box instead.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • THORAZINE says:

    Koppenhaver, turned out to be a train wreck, sometimes he shows a glimmer of hope, I was pulling for him. Koppenhaver is creating his own negative self-fullfilling prophecy, he’s destined to run his life into the ground. He said a few things I thought about Evan Tanner, but no one wants to hear it at this time. Just the same it really sounds like he was let go because he’s trying to pick and choose his own fight?? WTF!? LMAO!… He did it to himself… if you’re a journey man fighter in boxing or MMA you better have some business sense outside of fighting. At 27 War machine better pray he’s a good a man at 50 yrs of age as Evan Tanner was at 37.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • jdavis says:

    What a goofball. It’s bad enough that he jumped up and assumed a bunch of crap and stated that Evan must of committed suicide because of money/career problems (like Evan Tanner was ever “about the money”) then he passes on a fight because the guy is tough and admits to that in a interview. Of course this is the same guy who said he wanted to move to the Philippines so he could “fight, kill and fornicate” without having to worry about the law in a earlier myspace post. He’s also currently on probation for assault charges, heck I’m surprised that the UFC took this long to cut him.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Dr. Stoppage says:

    Tanner was a free spirit who I believe took a vision quest a little too far.
    Machine( ?) is a free spirit wannabe who don’t need no UFC telling him what to do…fight the power,stick it to the man…ooops!
    So is his first name War now?
    Man he’s gonna get bugged.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Rich S. says:

    Dr. Stoppage,
    at the last event they couldn’t say his nickname [warmachine] because apparently it’s trademarked by the wwe for one of their superstars..

    so WM says screw that, and has his first and last names legally changed to War and Machine..

    funny how right after he does that, he gets kicked outta the UFC..

    so now he’s just some bum who’s going to get laughed at anytime someone hears his name..

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • platypus says:

    i like mr.machine’s fights, and is honest enough to keep in perspective. turning down a fight from joe silva and being fired from UFC cant be good though, i wish the best of luck to Mr. Machine.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    I’m concerned that folks might think War is short for Warren,which is certain to cause alot of unsanctioned fights right there.
    All apologies to other people named Warren.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    His name’s not FUCKIN’ WARREN!

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • kirby says:

    When I heard Evan Tanner was dead I thought of a lot of ways he could have died, including suicide. I don’t think that makes me or WM a bad person but…. WM went out and said that, in a round about way, the UFC was responsible for Evan’s death. Think about it, he has a problem with his pay and benefits so he uses Tanners death to call them out. Wow what kind of man complains about something while hidding behind a dead mans name. That’s pretty imature and insensative.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Cathedron says:

    War Machine got cut because he’s a mediocre fighter who thinks he’s a lot better than he is. Blaming politics is the classic excuse of mediocre fighters. “I couldn’t have gotten cut because I’m not good. It must be because I talked some shit about someone.” I can’t believe so many people are actually buying into that bullshit.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Ken says:

    war machine? he may need to get over his anger. hope he doesn’t wind up in jail.

    using Evan Tanner’s death as a way of expressing his personal disdain for the UFC is beyond self-centered.

    war machine seems to have a lot of growing up to do.

    but I think he’s right about fighter pay, especially for the undercard guys. 6000 bucks to train for 3 months, travel to Vegas, training expenses, licenses etc? Seems like you’d wind up losing money on the deal. i wish UFC would pay ‘em a little more money, and provide health insurance for the term of the contract.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • jeff the drunk says:

    He should call himself WAAAH MACHINE. What a classless punk. Has this half wit, moron ever held an actual job in his life ? Does he think he’s going to come into a company and earn top tier pay without establishing himself & VERY LITTLE expierence? You have a .500 record and want to bitch about your pay? On top of that, one of your bosses(key word here jonny boy is BOSS) wants you to fight somebody and your response is “I want somebody with a name” ? That was a great career move you just made WAAAH MACHINE. Have fun teaching kickboxing classes at Bally’s. Hope you like cottage cheese & cankles loser.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Bad Monkey says:

    He should have changed his name to ‘Stepped on Dick’, b/c that’s what he just did. Doesn’t he know that if you’re going to talk shit about your boss you do it in a way so he won’t find out? Everybody, and I mean everybody, talks shit about their boss, but not out loud in public on the internet.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Rich S. says:

    you know what i was just thinking?
    instead of changing his first and last name to War and Machine.. couldn’t he have just had his MIDDLE NAME legally changed to Warmachine, and just ask that they say his Middle name when announcing him?

    what a douche.. hehe..

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Grappo says:

    Buh-bye Mr. Potato Head

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • ocd says:

    Maybe he got cut because he is a shitty fighter, huh? Wrap that around your head War Machine.

    Tanner did not live the perfect life, for sure. However, to comment on his death in the way he did is classless, and shows his lack of social skills. And of course that matters to MMA, a liability outside of the ring and little skill inside the ring = release.

    “War Machine” if you read this, grow the fuck up.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Qmonster says:

    Now he can cry in someone elses cage after a fight ,,, Ba Bye moron

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Qmonster says:

    He should of added some middle names to his new name ” War ‘no one likes me’ Machine !

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Ron The Don says:

    I don’t feel sorry that the fighter formerly known as Jon Koppenhaver was fired. If he couldn’t last 1 minutes against Yoshiyuki Yoshida, How do expect to last 1 round with the likes of GSP, Diego Sanchez, Josh Koshneck, Jon Finch, etc. With a 1-1 record, you have not earned the right to pick and choose your opponents. The only thing War Machine did is show the world is lack of maturity. So what you want about Evan Tanner. At least, he had more class and dignity than this egomaniac will ever have.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Eburg T says:

    Joe Silva can go on a power trip because Joe Silva HAS power.

    War Machine, however, is a fourth-rate fighter that no one will miss.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • Batman says:

    Ron the don,
    In Jon Koppenhaver’s defense Yoshiyuki Yoshida is one of the best in the division.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Bad Monkey-

    LMAO. How about Steppon Dick? Accent on the last syllable like Grey Poupon. Sounds vaguely European.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • jinkies says:

    I can’t believe how naive and stupid these comments are. You people can’t even come to grips with a rare dose of reality provided by War Machine. It’s obvious UFC was out to ruin his career in retalliation for War Machine helping trash the TUF house. Sure, they like the ratings on the TUF show that guys like that bring, but they want to crush them in the company afterwards. War Machine was simply too smart to fall for it. When UFC wants to build up a fighter, they put him up against a bunch of tomato cans to build up his wins record. That is what they DO with fighters they want to promote. What they do with fighters they want to bury, is make THEM the tomato cans to go up against much more experienced fighters they DO want to promote. War Machine knows that if he goes with one of the lesser promotions now, builds up wins with the tomato cans those promotions will be all-too-glad to provide him with, then he will be courted by UFC for high sums of money in the future anyway. If he had stuck with UFC they would’ve buried him in losses like they have with so many others.

    Regardless of the ‘ethics’ or whatever, fact is, commentators here = stupid, war machine = smart.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  • isaias del toro says:

    1st thing i am very sorry to here that Jon Koppenhaver aka The “War Machine” got cut , i was really looking foward to see him fight in the future with the UFC, i really like his staand up & the way he put 100% of his heart into the fight even in his lost in ufc 84, i hope things work out in the futre & he would let us know were he lands . hopefully he will one day come back to the UFC. WAR MACHINE keep your head up, you are a good mma fighter. thank you for your time , TORO, from Hollywood , fl.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

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