“When Kyoji Horiguchi fought out his contract with the Ultimate Fighting Championship at the end of 2016, he left under peculiar circumstances. Zuffa had just sold the organization to Endeavor, and a subsequent bloodletting of talent took place. Horiguchi was part of a wave of top-tier fighters — it included Ryan Bader, Rory MacDonald, Lorenz Larkin and Nikita Krylov — who left the UFC, not because they were cut but because they couldn’t come to terms with the promotion. Translation: They wanted more money than the UFC thought they were worth.
In some of those instances, the UFC’s rationale was understandable. Bader, for instance, is an exceptionally skilled fighter who, if it were up to me, would still be in the UFC for the simple reason that he’s an elite talent. However, I can understand not wanting to pay more for someone that is not known for putting on exciting fights and definitively lost to the best fighters in the division.
Horiguchi was and is different, though…”