Jon Fitch: Leaving UFC Hurts the Bottom Line, 75-80 Percent of Income Is From Sponsors

Hours after he was fired by UFC, Jon Fitch talked to to radio host Gabriel Morency on Hardcore Sports Radio and said something interesting about his income as a UFC fighter (profanity warning):

"I'm leaving all that stuff up to my management," Fitch said when asked if he'd fight for another promotion. "I know I'm welcome in several places but we've got to talk prices and what kind of money we got there. That's where the big hit is, is the money on sponsorships, because those are probably at least -- at least -- 75 to 80 percent of the money you make."

After a question from Morency, Fitch continued, "If you're not in the UFC -- the UFC is a big show. That's what everybody knows and everybody watches, so all the sponsors want to be seen in the UFC. So if you're not in the UFC you take a big hit in the wallet."

And that takes us back to why UFC has all the leverage in its dealings with Fitch: The UFC is by far the No. 1 brand in MMA, and there's value to being associated with that brand. A lot of fighters will take what they view as a sub-par deal from the UFC just to be associated with the UFC brand. Fitch is going to find out the hard way that it's not easy to make a living as a fighter if you're not in the UFC.

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