Something peculiar happened last October: UFC heavyweight Shawn Jordan (18-7), veteran of 10 fights in the octagon, and 3-1 in his last four bouts, finished his current UFC deal with a decision loss to Ruslan Magomedov, and despite a winning record in the promotion that included a spectacular hook kick knockout of Derrick Lewis (technically a TKO as he followed it up with strikes), a new contract was not announced.

From that point forward, Jordan seemed to be in limbo.

His absence was a little odd, perhaps, but Jordan was never a name headlining cards, so his situation may have flown under the radar. Yet while Fedor came back to fight at Rizin FF’s big New Years show and Matt Mitrione was busy signing with Bellator MMA, still Jordan sat, a top twenty heavyweight in a division that is spread thin across the major promotions. In any other division, the UFC’s decision not to re-sign Jordan might be understandable; at heavyweight, it was a head scratcher.

This past week, Jordan’s free agent status came to an end. After a rather interesting exchange of tweets with WSOF head honcho Ray Sefo, in which Jordan questioned whether he could make a living with the wages he was looking at, calling them poverty level wages, only to have Sefo counter with the specifics of the deal, Jordan posted the following:

The deal for Jordan in the WSOF, apparently, is 15/15, 18/18, 21/21, and 24/24 based on Sefo’s tweet. Obviously, picking up those win bonuses is huge, and it seemed to be the 15/15 that was originally the sticking point. As a point of comparison, Jordan made 22/22 in his UFC 182 win over Jared Cannonier (who himself made a downright insulting $8,000), but the most interesting point came from comments Jordan made to Bloody Elbow prior to the signing:

Yes, [the UFC] did not re-sign me. No real reasoning. Most likely because I didn’t re-sign before the loss. The division is shallow and all my fights are good. Yet they let me go.

If Jordan’s belief is correct, then it seems the UFC might be sending a message here: test the free agent waters, as a mid-card level fighter, and you might just be out of a job.

The UFC’s loss is the WSOF’s gain, and just where Bellator MMA was in all of this remains unclear. Having picked up Mitrione, Jordan would also seem like a great fit for their division, yet suddenly, the WSOF seems to have stolen away not one, but two fighters — the second being Lorenzo Hood.

Hood, interestingly, was a hot heavyweight prospect in Bellator not too long ago. However, just hours prior to his debut at Bellator 141 in August 2015, the former defensive lineman in the IFL and MSFL leagues suffered a knee injury, and withdrew from the fight. That ended his Bellator MMA tenure effectively before it started, and he was back on the regional scene in the fall, suffering a loss at Global Proving Ground 22 in November.

That loss has not deterred the WSOF from landing Hood, whose record now stands at 9-3. Bellator’s decision to part ways with Hood might be understandable in this case given his last minute pull-out in August; still, given the state of the heavyweight division, you really expected them to give Hood another go.

Whether either men succeed in the WSOF remains to be seen. Jordan, at least, seems like a lock for a title shot against champ Blagoy Ivanov, but a tune-up against the likes of Derrick Mehmen or Smealinho Rama may come first. It wouldn’t be surprising to see the pair squaring off against each other somewhere down the line, either. The WSOF’s heavyweight ranks are, after all, precariously thin.

In the meantime, the WSOF came out on top here — heavyweight sluggers will always be a hot commodity, and these two are a steal for Sefo’s promotion.

About The Author

Senior Staff Writer

Covering the sport of MMA from Ontario, Canada, Jay Anderson has been writing for various publications covering sports, technology, and pop culture since 2001. Jay holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Guelph, and a Certificate in Leadership Skills from Humber College under the Ontario Management Development Program. When not slaving at the keyboard, he can be found in the company of his dog, a good book, or getting lost in the woods.