Danny Downes got the news in a text message. He'd been expecting it, and he thought he was ready for it, but he thought wrong.
This was the fall of 2011, a little more than a month after his second loss in as many attempts with the UFC. Before that he'd gone 1-1 in the WEC, beating the much-hyped Chinese import Tiequan Zhang via unanimous decision in the organization's final event.
But 0-2 in the UFC? "Danny Boy" could do the math. He knew he was likely on the chopping block, but the UFC's upcoming event in his hometown of Chicago that January gave him some faint hope. Maybe they'd keep him around for that. Maybe he'd get one more chance. Then he saw the text from his manager...