UFC president Dana White (Pictured) gave an emotional response to the shocking release of welterweight Jon Fitch late last night. He states that the reports of Fitch’s release being directly related to his unwillingness to sign a lifetime video game agreement is completely false. White claims that he has no issues with Fitch, however does have issues with the fighter’s fight camp, American Kickboxing Academy. The issues are so bad that other UFC fighters associated with AKA are in trouble as well.
Late last night, the brash president went on the “The Carmichael Dave” show on 1140 KHTK in Sacramento to explain his side of the story.
“No, no, no. It has nothing to do with an agreement,” White stated about the initial reports regarding Fitch’s release. “It doesn’t have to do with Jon Fitch either,” continued White. “I like Jon Fitch. I’ve never had a bad word with Jon Fitch. The problem is with the idiots that run AKA. I won’t use any names; the idiots know who they are.”
White also pointed out that the tough economic times has everyone in a state of panic, looking out for their best interest much more than anytime in the past.
“The economy is changing by the second. Every day when you wake up tomorrow, bad things are happening,” he said. “Not just in the United States but all over the world. Television networks are in trouble. The sponsors who used to sponsor them are in trouble. Some of them are going out of business and the rest of them are cutting their sponsorships big time.
“…I live on a plane 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s all I do is fly everywhere to try to build this company. And these guys think this thing is so big and these guys start negotiating all this stupid stuff like they’re Mel Gibson. No disrespect to Jon Fitch — I like Jon Fitch — (but) like we’re going to be doing the Jon Fitch swim line sometime soon? And then the clothing line.”
There is no doubt that White has worked hard to get MMA, specifically the UFC, to where it is today. He has made calculated moves, which at times came off as shrewd, to make sure that he is not only protecting his business, but helping it grow as well.
“It’s insane. What I try to do — is we put together all of these things and we try to make everyone money. That’s the way that it works,” White continued. “But I’ve got these guys from AKA, these idiots, that don’t want to play. Listen, at the end of the day it’s not a big deal. The problem is because when something goes wrong in the UFC all the idiots from the media like to jump out and go, ‘Yeah, there’s something negative with the UFC. Let’s get out there and talk about it!’”
It should be noted that most reputable media outlets, specifically 5thRound.com, only reported what was said from Fitch directly. He stated the reason he was cut is because he wouldn’t sign the agreement that would have granted the UFC lifetime rights to his likeness for the purpose of making video games.
White claims that he is done dealing with AKA, and the fighters associated with the camp better take notice.
“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 told Yahoo! Sports. “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.”
White did confirm during “The Carmichael Dave” interview, thtat welterweight Mike Swick, an AKA member, had already reached out to him stating that he was willing to work with the UFC directly in order to keep their relationship going.
Fitch now joins Marcus Aurelio and Christian Wellisch as AKA fighters that have been recently released from the UFC.
Josh Koscheck and Cain Velasquez are the two remaining big named UFC fighters that are associated with AKA, and they will quickly need to decide how much longer they want the San Jose based camp to conduct business on their behalf.