By all accounts, Jon Fitch is a contented man these days. Yet as he prepares to make his debut under the WSOF banner, a promotion which couldn't be more thrilled to employ his services, it was inevitable that Fitch would be asked to reflect back on his roller coaster nine-year stint within the UFC umbrella.
"From very early on, I was fighting for my job every single fight," Fitch said on a Thursday conference call. "They made it very clear that they didn't like me or want me around.
"I'm proud of my history, I'm proud of what I've done. I'm even more proud of what I've done under the circumstances. It's not easy to be successful in a hostile work environment. Anyone who's worked in any profession that had to go through that knows that for a fact. I feel like I have double the wins because of the circumstances that I fought against."
Fitch went on to note several behind-the-scenes examples which led him to feel perennially unappreciated, and more importantly, unwanted.
Not surprisingly, it didn't take long for Fitch's criticisms to reach the ears of UFC President Dana White, who responded with his usual tact.
"In the time Jon Fitch was with us, we paid him $302,000 in discretionary bonuses -- $302,000," White explained to MMA Junkie. "That's money that me and Lorenzo (Fertitta) decided to give him above and beyond the deal that he signed. He also made $130,000 on performance bonuses for his two 'Fight of the Night' bonuses. That's a hostile work environment? Everything that Jon Fitch said is complete and total bulls--t.
"He was complaining about what he had to go through here, about people saying stuff under their breath to him and all this bulls--t. Jon Fitch is so full of s--t. He's f--king delusional," White continued. "First of all, he had every opportunity that anyone else had. After Georges St-Pierre beat the living s--t out of him, did we treat him differently or anything? ... He had an opportunity to fight for the title, and he got destroyed in that fight. He fought to a draw with B.J. Penn in a top contender fight. Then he gets a chance to be a No. 1 contender again and gets knocked f--kin' dead in the first round by Johny Hendricks. What f--king opportunities has he not been given?"
White noticeably omitted the fact that Fitch was denied a second promised shot at the title after defeating Thiago Alves in a No. 1 contender bout at UFC 117, and then cut from the roster despite being ranked No. 9 on the UFC's own official rankings, but by that point he was already revved up and going. So when the topic turned to former UFC light heavyweight champion Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, who recently inked a multiplatform deal with Viacom, it didn't take long for White to address Jackson's own grievances.
Jackson's relationship with the UFC could be described as tenuous at best since he took a year off of fighting to star as B.A. Baracus in a Hollywood remake of The A-Team. And while the former champ's criticisms spanned far and wide, everything from pay to perceived slights, White noted that "Rampage," just like Fitch, was "full of s--t."
"He lost his love of fighting a long time ago," White concluded. "He wanted to be a movie star. The movie star thing didn't work out, so fighting is where he makes his money. Unfortunately, he's unhappy about that. That's not my fault."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
Fitch talks UFC, WSOF. Reflecting back on his tenure with the UFC, Jon Fitch said he is proud of what he was able to accomplish fighting within such a "hostile work environment," but is now eager to the start of the "second half" of his career with WSOF.
White responds. UFC President Dana White wasted little time responding to Fitch's criticism, telling MMA Junkie that the "delusional" fighter received over "$400,000 in non-contracted compensation" during his UFC tenure. White also had words for Quinton "Rampage" Jackson, stating that it wasn't his fault Jackson "lost his love of fighting a long time ago."
UFC on FUEL 10 dissections. Preview Saturday's entire UFC on FUEL 10 fight card with comprehensive breakdowns courtesy of Dallas Winston.
Cornelius out. A last-second knee injury forced Keenan Cornelius to withdraw from his scheduled match against Victor Estima at Metamoris II. Cornelius' teammate, Jonathan "JT" Torres, has been tapped as a late replacement.
Spong booked for WSOF 4. Kickboxing superstar Tyrone Spong is expected to make his MMA return on August 10, 2013 at WSOF 4, according to promotion president Ray Sefo.
Rampage Jackson made his TNA debut last night, in case you're into that sort of thing.
More pros picking Big Nog than Werdum? I honestly didn't see that one coming.
What's Valentijn Overeem up to these days? Oh, just starring in a music video by "Europe's #1 Gangsta Rapper, CHG aka Cold and Hot Gloom." No joke.
Props to @MikeBohnMMA for the find.
This clip is completely in Portuguese, but you don't need to grasp the language to understand Big Nog vs. Werdum go-kart racing.
Don't forget, folks. Metamoris II is this weekend.
Props to @NewYorkRic for the find.
THAT GUY HAS BALLS OF STEEL
My car got stolen last week, first time this happened to me- I wish I could have caught the guy while he was doing it!!— Georges St-Pierre(@GeorgesStPierre) June 6, 2013
@georgesstpierre so was your car stolen, or was the person who tweets for you get their car stolen?Strictly for law enforcement...— CM Punk (@CMPunk) June 6, 2013
After deep thought & consideration between me & my team, I've decided to move up to 185. Thanks for everyone's support, Ché— Che Mills (@Che_Mills) June 6, 2013
TO CLEAR THE AIR
Travis Browne (@travisbrowneMMA) June 6, 2013
PREPARATION FOR SILVA
Knocking out some of the Medicals for the fight. Getting eyes dilated. On my way to losing my sight for a few hours ..— Chris Weidman (@ChrisWeidmanUFC) June 6, 2013
Even the GSP's/Anderson Silva's are getting raped, yeah you/they THINK they are getting PAID, but when compared to Mayweather: RAPED!— War Machine (@WarMachine170) June 6, 2013
@odell87 it would take ALL the champs getting together and they won't because they drive Ferraris now and THINK that's all they deserve.— War Machine (@WarMachine170) June 6, 2013
MEANWHILE, IN POLAND
Fighting for KSW is awesome. Unbelievably professional & they treat the fighters like kings. I'm really warming up to Poland— Sean McCorkle (@BigSexyMcCorkle) June 6, 2013
Looks like Bellator forgot to renew their domain name. Great work. bellator.com— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) June 6, 2013
Yes, guys. I realize it will work for you some of you since it hasn't propagated. But it has expired. twitter.com/jeremybotter/s…— Jeremy Botter (@jeremybotter) June 6, 2013
Julie Kedzie (@julesk_fighter) June 5, 2013
Kyle Noke (@KyleNoke) June 5, 2013
Announced yesterday (Thursday, June 6, 2013):
- UFC on FS1: Diego Brandao (17-8) vs. Daniel Pineda (18-9)
- UFC on FS1 #2: Brandon Thatch (9-1) vs. Justin Edwards (8-2)
- WSOF 3: Rolles Gracie (8-1) out with sprained wrist opposite Dave Huckaba (20-5)
- WSOF 4 scheduled for August 10 at the Citizens Bank Arena in Ontatio, CA
- WSOF 5 scheduled for September 14 in Atlantic City, NJ
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes to us from Tkeaner, who writes: The New Home to the UFC
With the upcoming premiere of Fox's new all sports endeavor, Fox Sports 1, it seems fitting to acknowledge what it means for the UFC. For years, Spike was the home to all UFC programming and it was a mutually advantageous relationship for both parties. Viewers formed an association between the two and knew to change the channel to Spike for UFC related content. Ultimately, the promotion left Spike at the end of 2011 and signed a 7-year deal with Fox.
Since the move to Fox, the UFC has struggled to find a home on one network. Fuel TV has expanded its reach and viewership since becoming the network with the most UFC content, airing shows such as UFC Tonight, UFC Ultimate Insider and others. The network has certainly made the effort to become the home of the UFC despite only being available in roughly 26 million US homes compared to the approximately 99 million homes that Spike reaches. Also, another Fox platform, FX, airs the flagship television show, The Ultimate Fighter, it is difficult to make the claim of the being the home of the UFC.
Another issue caused by this lack of a base network is the way that the prelim and main fights have been spread across multiple Fox platforms. For example, Fuel TV cards (which are not available to many fans) start with Facebook prelims and then move to Fuel TV for the main card. FX cards start on Facebook and move to Fuel TV for some prelims, finishing up on FX for the main card. Fox cards start on Facebook, move to FX and then Fox. Got all that? It's hard for the casual fan to keep up as well.
It is worth nothing that the relationship between the UFC and Fox is barely two years old, and there were bound to be some growing pains. Kudos to the UFC and Fox brass for acknowledging that the promotion needed a home where fans throughout the US can find UFC content. A major bonus from the move to Fox is the increasing number of free fights that are now available to fans and it appears as though that will continue to grow. Now if only we can figure out a new way to name these UFC on Fox Sports 1 shows...
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