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UFC President Dana White Speaks on Company’s Decision of Cutting Jon Fitch From the Roster

February 21, 2013 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

UFC President Dana White earlier today spoke with reporters at a pre-event news conference for UFC 157. White spoke about the company’s recent controversial decision of cutting welterweight fighter Jon Fitch from the roster. Fitch is a former welterweight title contender and had a record of 14-3-1 in the UFC and was 24-5-1 overall in MMA. He was coming off a loss to Demian Maia by decision at UFC 156. Here are some highlights:

White on why they cut Fitch: “He’s super f—ing expensive. He’ll end up somewhere, and he’ll come back. This is the sports business, and this is the way it happens.”

White on the prospect of Fitch going to Bellator or fighting elsewhere: “Viacom’s got plenty of money. Viacom MMA isn’t hurting for cash. There’s a lot of other places this guy can go and make some money…[Fitch] will end up at Bellator or one of these other organizations and he will win a world title. He’ll end up there and he’ll smash every single guy over there and he’ll be a champ. A guy goes outside, wins some fights, has some impressive runs and then comes back.”

White on the critics of the decision to cut Fitch: “Give me a f—ing break. This is a sport just like any other sport. The Green Bay Packers just cut (Charles) Woodson. And a million other guys are getting cut, traded and everything else.”

Speaking on how more cuts are on the horizon: “We have 470-something guys under contract. We have over 100 guys too many on the roster right now. So what’s going to happen is, when you lose, the blood has not all been spilled yet. There’s more coming.”

White on Fitch’s standings in the rankings and how he was cut: “This isn’t a case where Jon Fitch was ranked No. 9, No. 7, No. 6, No. 4, No. 2 and then we cut him,” he said. “He was ranked No. 1 – fought for the title, then he was ranked No. 2, 3, 6, 7 and now he’s 9. That’s called the downside of your career. He’s lost two fights, one draw and won one fight. ‘Oh, it’s ’cause he beat Erick Silva – he beat (Dana’s) guy in Brazil’ and all this other s—. Who the f— has Erick Silva beat? That was Erick Silva’s first real fight. It was a great fight – he won ‘Fight of the Night.’ He won a bonus for it.”

White on how the firing of Fitch was not payback for refusing to sign a likeness agreement from several years ago: “Are you f—ing s–tting me? There’s nobody in the history of this business that I hated worse than Tito Ortiz,” White said. “Every time I’d sit down in a chair and watch him fight, I’d be like, ‘Beat his ass.’ That’s how bad I hated this guy. He ended his career in the UFC. ‘Rampage’ Jackson was just spewing all kinds of craziness about us. I saw him backstage, I shook his hand, I shook his hand before the fight, and when he walked away, he said, ‘You’re gonna miss me.’ I said, ‘I miss ya already, brother.’ No hard feelings. This whole Jon Fitch-Dana battle is so f—ing overrated. I don’t have one ounce of hate for Jon Fitch. I don’t even dislike him. Not even a little bit. I like Jon Fitch.”

White’s on what they expect from fighters on their performances: “What you should do is go out and try to be the best in the world, and you should try to whoop everybody’s asses impressively. It depends on how much money you want to make. Do you want to go around and lay on guys? How many people are beating down the door to see any of those guys fight again? Actually, the response that Jon Fitch has had (from fans) is awesome. I’m glad that many people are behind him and support him. That’s not a bad thing. Good for him. But I can tell you this: Jon Fitch isn’t cheap. Viacom MMA has some money, so he can go out on the free market right now and find out what he’s worth.”

Credit: MMAjunkie


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Jeffrey Harris
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