UFC drops Jon Fitch, other American Kickboxing Academy fighters (interviews with Dana and Fitch)

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juanez13
11/20/08 9:57:52AM
A bitterly angry Dana White said Wednesday the Ultimate Fighting Championship has cut highly regarded welterweight contender Jon Fitch and is not going to do business with any fighters who are part of the American Kickboxing Academy team in San Jose, Calif.

White said he excepted AKA welterweight Mike Swick from that group because he said Swick called him and told him he wants to fight for the UFC. But Fitch and heavyweight Christian Wellisch were cut on Wednesday, and heavyweight prospect Cain Velasquez and welterweight Josh Koscheck could be next.


"We're looking for guys who want to work with us and not against us, and frankly I'm just so [expletive] sick of this [expletive] it's not even funny," White said from Honolulu, where he flew Wednesday from Toronto to hold a news conference to announce the B.J. Penn-Georges St. Pierre fight for UFC 94 on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.

"Affliction is still out there trying to build its company. Let [Fitch] go work with them. Let him see what he thinks of those [expletives]. [Expletive] him. These guys aren't partners with us. [Expletive] them. All of them, every last [expletive] one of them."



Fitch said Wednesday the dispute was over his reluctance to sign a lifetime contract to allow his name and likeness to be used in a video game the UFC is planning with THQ. He said the dispute has nothing to do with money and that he never caused a problem during his time in the UFC.


Working for free and selling our rights away for lifetime, that's a little different," said Fitch, who said he hasn't spoken with White but plans to call him. "We tried to negotiate five- or 10-year deals with them, but it wasn't good enough. It was all or nothing. He wanted our lifetime. He wanted our souls forever."


White complained that he has to make frequent sacrifices in his personal life and is away from his family for long stretches because of his commitment to growing the UFC. He said the AKA fighters don't understand the things UFC management is trying to do and said they'll learn how tough things are in the poor economy.

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emfleek
11/20/08 10:09:36AM
Hey, Dana...let's compare your paycheck with the guys' from AKA,
RandyCouture
11/20/08 10:11:57AM
This News saddens me a sport a backed so much, it seems like ufc just spat in all our faces. Sure Dana White does alot for the fighters but to run your company like the gestapo is just sickening. If the guy doesn't want to sign his life away to a video game then move on to the next guy, im sure there are ton of fighters willing to.

WAR FITCH and AKA
gartface
11/20/08 10:14:07AM

Posted by emfleek

Hey, Dana...let's compare your paycheck with the guys' from AKA,


Not really a fair comparison. The guy is the president of a huge company, and you're asking him to compare his paycheck to up and coming(For the most part) fighters. From both sides none of this has to do with money, but we'll have to wait and see when more details come out. Dana is just trying to say he makes the same sacrifices being away from his family, which can be hard on anyone no matter the size of their paycheck.

Edit: Didn't read the whole article first. Fitch said early in the interview it wasn't for the money, but later on goes on to say it was about the poor compensation of both the merchandising and likeness rights.
cowcatcher
11/20/08 10:15:52AM
jesus christ dana this is a little ridiculous. there is going to be some HUGE fallout from this, and im sure that over the next few days we are going to hear a TON of comments from fighters weighing in on this. almost every move dana makes works out for him though, and considering he never budges on anything we will have to wait and see what happens because time is always on the side of the ufc and working against the smaller orgs.
emfleek
11/20/08 10:33:04AM

Posted by gartface

Hey, Dana...let's compare your paycheck with the guys' from AKA,


Not really a fair comparison. The guy is the president of a huge company, and you're asking him to compare his paycheck to up and coming(For the most part) fighters. From both sides none of this has to do with money, but we'll have to wait and see when more details come out. Dana is just trying to say he makes the same sacrifices being away from his family, which can be hard on anyone no matter the size of their paycheck.

Edit: Didn't read the whole article first. Fitch said early in the interview it wasn't for the money, but later on goes on to say it was about the poor compensation of both the merchandising and likeness rights.


You're right, but I'm pissed and reading Dana saying that he sacrifices this and that as if fighters sacrifice nothing really pisses me off. If this wasn't ultimately about money, the UFC wouldn't have cut him.

Basically, what I'm saying is this...if the shoe was on the other foot and Dana was in the same position as Fitch and the other guys from AKA, do you think for one second that he'd agree with this without even attempting to negotiate? Hell f'ing no.
finnish_line
11/20/08 10:36:33AM

Posted by RandyCouture

If the guy doesn't want to sign his life away to a video game then move on to the next guy, im sure there are ton of fighters willing to.



Um, that's what Dana did. Everyone either signs the likeness deal or they don't. It's a requirement of working for UFC.

Chuck, Swick, Randy, Brock all signed. They didn't negotiate a different deal.

In conclusion, life's not fair.
gartface
11/20/08 10:45:35AM

Posted by emfleek


Posted by gartface

Hey, Dana...let's compare your paycheck with the guys' from AKA,


Not really a fair comparison. The guy is the president of a huge company, and you're asking him to compare his paycheck to up and coming(For the most part) fighters. From both sides none of this has to do with money, but we'll have to wait and see when more details come out. Dana is just trying to say he makes the same sacrifices being away from his family, which can be hard on anyone no matter the size of their paycheck.

Edit: Didn't read the whole article first. Fitch said early in the interview it wasn't for the money, but later on goes on to say it was about the poor compensation of both the merchandising and likeness rights.



You're right, but I'm pissed and reading Dana saying that he sacrifices this and that as if fighters sacrifice nothing really pisses me off. If this wasn't ultimately about money, the UFC wouldn't have cut him.

Basically, what I'm saying is this...if the shoe was on the other foot and Dana was in the same position as Fitch and the other guys from AKA, do you think for one second that he'd agree with this without even attempting to negotiate? Hell f'ing no.

Well as far as the negotiating goes, that's why these guys have agents. And apparently the AKA agent doesn't even allow his fighters to negotiate with him. Because according to Fitch he hasn't even talked to Dana. I hate sports agents because of this, because they don't allow their clients to have that much input as they'd like.

All Fitch is hearing is what his agent told him and the other guys at AKA. At least that's how it sounds to me. If Fitch was in on the negotiation process there might have been room for some real negotiations.
tuvok500
11/20/08 10:58:31AM
All i have to say is WAR DANA !!!

tberg420
11/20/08 10:58:54AM
Here's the thing. While I agree with the fact that a lifetime contract is really crazy, I don't think that casual MMA fans are even going to miss Fitch, Cain, Kos, or many of these fighters. I mean two or three months ago people were bitching about Kos and how boring he was. I really think that you are seeing another Couture situation here and I doubt that Fitch will fight outside the UFC and if he does, then what marketability does he have? He got dominated by GSP and called a timeout against Jeff Joslin.
emfleek
11/20/08 11:03:45AM

Posted by tberg420

I doubt that Fitch will fight outside the UFC and if he does, then what marketability does he have?



Fitch can fight ANYWHERE. He may not have much marketability right now, but when you become the champion of your division, that changes. He could easily be the champ in any other organization.
Bowen50
11/20/08 11:07:24AM

Posted by tuvok500

All i have to say is WAR DANA !!!




i think Dana is right but the way he reacted was ridiculously overboard. cutting the #3 welterweight in the world is just stupid, not to mention he might cut Koscheck and Cain Velasquez and that would honestly be preposterous. hopefully they can work something out because i'm really angry
xAcidburNx
11/20/08 11:07:24AM
whos gonna fight yoshida on december 10th. is this guy ever gonna get a chance to fight again? who was it last? war machine.that was a while ago

PS if fitch is gonna get cut lets hope it happens soon. that way he can fight for AFFLICTION on their january card!!!
gartface
11/20/08 11:15:56AM

Posted by xAcidburNx

whos gonna fight yoshida on december 10th. is this guy ever gonna get a chance to fight again? who was it last? war machine.that was a while ago

PS if fitch is gonna get cut lets hope it happens soon. that way he can fight for AFFLICTION on their january card!!!


Who would even give Fitch a run in Affliction?
stock
11/20/08 11:22:31AM

Posted by gartface


Posted by emfleek


Posted by gartface

Hey, Dana...let's compare your paycheck with the guys' from AKA,


Not really a fair comparison. The guy is the president of a huge company, and you're asking him to compare his paycheck to up and coming(For the most part) fighters. From both sides none of this has to do with money, but we'll have to wait and see when more details come out. Dana is just trying to say he makes the same sacrifices being away from his family, which can be hard on anyone no matter the size of their paycheck.

Edit: Didn't read the whole article first. Fitch said early in the interview it wasn't for the money, but later on goes on to say it was about the poor compensation of both the merchandising and likeness rights.



You're right, but I'm pissed and reading Dana saying that he sacrifices this and that as if fighters sacrifice nothing really pisses me off. If this wasn't ultimately about money, the UFC wouldn't have cut him.

Basically, what I'm saying is this...if the shoe was on the other foot and Dana was in the same position as Fitch and the other guys from AKA, do you think for one second that he'd agree with this without even attempting to negotiate? Hell f'ing no.


Well as far as the negotiating goes, that's why these guys have agents. And apparently the AKA agent doesn't even allow his fighters to negotiate with him. Because according to Fitch he hasn't even talked to Dana. I hate sports agents because of this, because they don't allow their clients to have that much input as they'd like.

All Fitch is hearing is what his agent told him and the other guys at AKA. At least that's how it sounds to me. If Fitch was in on the negotiation process there might have been room for some real negotiations.


Good post.

The way it was explained to me by someone under UFC contract is that it is not REALLY a lifetime contract. The "lifetime" part of it refers more to name rights (for things like video games), and the use of their fight videos. Fighters can still leave and go anywhere they want once the number of fights they are contracted for (or time limit) expires.
It seems that this is very standard in UFC contracts, and AFA wants them to make a special exception just for their fighters.

However, I will not take sides here. It is a contract dispute, and if both parties do not agree to the terms, then a contract is better for both sides unsigned.

It also seems to me that something could be worked out if they would just talk to eachother rather than AFA. Or do these guys have a contract with AFA too?
Kracker_Jap
11/20/08 11:24:40AM

Posted by Bowen50


Posted by tuvok500

All i have to say is WAR DANA !!!




i think Dana is right but the way he reacted was ridiculously overboard. cutting the #3 welterweight in the world is just stupid, not to mention he might cut Koscheck and Cain Velasquez and that would honestly be preposterous. hopefully they can work something out because i'm really angry



Really whats next football teams can't cut people....

Or better yet they (meaning Zuffa) has to resign Filho cuz he is a so called ranked fighter??

Take your business else where if it makes you so mad, I personally am going to wait for the whole story to come out before I get all crazy
Darnok
11/20/08 11:25:28AM

Posted by tberg420

Here's the thing. While I agree with the fact that a lifetime contract is really crazy, I don't think that casual MMA fans are even going to miss Fitch, Cain, Kos, or many of these fighters. I mean two or three months ago people were bitching about Kos and how boring he was. I really think that you are seeing another Couture situation here and I doubt that Fitch will fight outside the UFC and if he does, then what marketability does he have? He got dominated by GSP and called a timeout against Jeff Joslin.



I agree. people are saying that the UFC is going to pay for this, I just don't see how that happens.

Think about it there are probably only about 100,000. people that read this type of article on the internet, and of those maybe half of them would actually do something about it. Like not watching a UFC. Now look at how many people bought the last UFC 1.2 million. If you average 3 - 5 people per buy, that is a minimum of 3.6 million people that watched it. I really don't see this hutrting the UFC much.
emfleek
11/20/08 11:25:51AM
You're confusing me, stock. Who's AFA? Do you mean AKA?
tberg420
11/20/08 11:45:50AM

Posted by emfleek


Posted by tberg420

I doubt that Fitch will fight outside the UFC and if he does, then what marketability does he have?



Fitch can fight ANYWHERE. He may not have much marketability right now, but when you become the champion of your division, that changes. He could easily be the champ in any other organization.



I realize that you are from Fitch's hometown and I too reside in Indiana and really enjoy the Indiana fighters. However, are you seriously comparing the Affliction or whatever other companies Welterweight title to the UFC Welterweight title? Fitch isn't that marketable and if he was the UFC would not have gotten rid of a talent in this way. Fitch is simply a gatekeeper and will only hold down other talent. Fitch's best win is a split decision victory over Diego Sanchez? He beat Alves in '06 but in MMA that's a long time ago.
jyveturkey
11/20/08 11:49:31AM
Well there's always two sides to every story, but if this is exactly what it's over, Dana again, is proving what a little kid he is when he doesn't get his way. How the hell do you completely cut Fitch, beyond ridiculous. I hope every member of AKA gets cut so maybe Dana will finally get his head out of his ass.
prozacnation1978
11/20/08 11:59:00AM
swick is not getting cut
i doubt kos will be

but i do think cain is gone which is a shame
i think they should just sign the damm papers everyone else is.
could you imagine is team jackson did this!!!
i don't wanna see fitch go nor the rest of them
i do think dana is being childish
mrkennedy
11/20/08 12:01:35PM
jon fitch,josh koscheck,cain velasquez are all out of the ufc our what
juanez13
11/20/08 12:20:01PM

Posted by mrkennedy

jon fitch,josh koscheck,cain velasquez are all out of the ufc our what



Fitch is the one that seems to be the most concrete. Cain also seems to be on the chopping block as dana commeneted on him and even said "**** him" for asking for special treatment when big UFC stars have already signed the same deal. He hasnt commented on Koscheck yet, but Dana he wasnt going to deal with any of the guys from AKA, except Swick. So Kos is probably among those that dont want to sign it.
Darnok
11/20/08 12:23:01PM
In another article I read it stated that the UFC is probably pushing these fighters to sign because there is another game company talking about designing a game.
soundboy1
11/20/08 12:27:18PM
Dana King strikes again!!!!!!!!! I don't understand how anyone who works for a living can possibly side with him. He only cares about the bottom line of zuffa productions. how can he honestly say he cares about the sport when he is constantly making moves that prevent great fights from happening! I really hope this is the beginning of the end .
Bobby-B-Bonkers
11/20/08 12:36:48PM
M Aurelio, C Wellish, P Filho, J Fitch, F Werdum, and J Lambert have all been cut right?

Here's my thing. The guys with 2-2 records should get another shot. The guys with losing records can go. BUT Why in the world get rid of a guy that gave GSP the best run for his money since Serra beat him???

And now the UFC wants to cut Cain V and Kos????? Two guys that if they are not ranked now, they should or will be soon...(in my opinion)

All of this.........BUT.......Patrick Cote gets a title shot ??? Didn't it take Pat a little over 4 years to get a UFC win? But the UFC wants to cut Kos and Fitch?...

This is cr*p and I think another company needs to show the UFC that they are not the only game in town!

Over the years I've never seen Dana act like this. I wonder if the bs with Tito's attitude "rubbed-off" on Dana?...just a thought.
iwannabesedated
11/20/08 12:42:02PM
Nobody owns my name but me...


Manfred
11/20/08 12:52:46PM
This is one of the many things Fedor cited as why he wouldn't sign with them. And yet many people (at the time) thought he was exaggerating or lying because he is scared of top competition.

FrankTheTank1181
11/20/08 1:06:50PM
Seems like at most 7 or 8 guys will get cut because of this, most from the same camp. Doesn't seem like that big of a deal to every other fighter on the UFC roster, just seems like a problem for this one camp, in my opinion.
cmill21
11/20/08 1:20:41PM
I woulden't sign it, Fitch would be a big star for Affliction or in Japan. Hell Strikeforce could sign him.
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