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Jon Fitch back in the UFC

Just shy of a day after the reported dismissal of Jon Fitch by the UFC, It appears the two have come to an agreement and the top five welterweight has returned to the company.

The news was first reported by MMA Rated this afternoon.

It is being reported that Fitch spoke with UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fertitta this afternoon and the parties managed to resolve their differences, and the fighter will sign the much talked about video game licensing agreement.

Fitch still stands by his assertion that he didn’t appreciate the way Dana White treated the fighter when attempting to negotiate a deal for video game licensing.

At this point everything appears to be resolved and the scheduled fight with Akihiro Gono at UFC 94 appears to be back on.

44 COMMENTS
  • Stan the Caddy says:

    Zuffa playing good cop, bad cop.

  • Cash says:

    Zuffa playing Wanna be gangster , real gangster

  • modogg says:

    kind of funny how these things work. Sounds good now, but my guess is that Fitch won’t be on too many main cards for a bit and Dana willbe talking with Joe Silva about not matching him up in favorable matches.

  • Puga says:

    Who cares…Fitch is back…Sweet…

  • steve says:

    thank God.

  • Sergio Hernandez says:

    Wow.

    This story has been like one of those 24-hour bugs you’d get.

    Out of the nowhere, you feeling terrible but a day later you’d show no signs of how terrible the past 24 hours have been.

  • Patrick says:

    <3 Fitch.

  • shatner says:

    modogg what do you mean matching him up in “unfavorable match ups” the only WW in the UFC Fitch can’t beat is St.Pierre. This is a time when Lorenzo Fertitta has to stop Dana from a power trip and correct his wrong decision. He may have to do this more often.He tried to do it in the Tito Ortiz negotiations but that was apparently beyond repair.

  • benkordus says:

    i couldnt agree with you more sergio.

    no fighter should have to deal with that shit.

    hopefully everything is fair now.

  • Cash says:

    I’m sure Fitch would be happy to have another “unfavorable” match up with Georges.

  • detroit_fan says:

    What a circus! What does this mean for Kos and Cain?

  • Imbecile says:

    I love how everyone rushes to blame Dana White for everything without doing the least bit of REAL reporting to give all sides of the story. I’m glad to see Jon Fitch back in the UFC, as he certainly belongs there.

    But everyone should go read the article currently on the front of MMA Junkie with Dan Lambert, the President of American Top Team. As a manager of many top fighters himself, he has a very different take on a lot of the misinformation being circulated about UFC contracts and what they ask of you. He specifically debunks the myths of the previous merchandising contract, and discusses how the exclusivity of the video game contract was not that big of a deal.

    Also, Dan Lambert and ATT seem to have some level of appreciation for the fact that Dana White and the UFC have created something that allows them all to be employed in the sport they love. I can understand Dana’s frustration when he spends 24 hours a day trying to grow this thing for everyone’s benefit (and yes, that includes his own), and when he asks a favor of some of them, they simply spit in his face. I know everyone is out for themselves, but this is a bit of biting the hand that feeds you.

    Everyone can call Matt Hughes and Chuck Liddell sheep for having strong loyalty and gratitude for what Dana White and the UFC have done for them, but it is harder to dismiss someone like Dan Lambert and ATT.

  • Davey D says:

    Awesome. I am glad to see that they’ve come to an agreement. Jon Fitch is really a down to earth person so it is good that they settled this issue. He has made it clear this is what he wants to do for a living. How can Zuffa not like that?

    It would’ve been a shame if they couldn’t find a resolution to this. Well done fella’s. Let’s hope Kos and Cain will be able to follow suit.

  • Robert says:

    Imbecile people are blaming Dana White because Fitch himself said he didn’t like Dana’s bullying tactics or the way he was issued an ultimatum on the issue.Then Lorenzo Fertitta has to step in and do things the right way that’s why Dana White looks bad in this whole deal,and I never visit mmajunkie’s site because it’s like Yahoo they have their own agenda and a biased opinion.

  • Grappo says:

    @ Imbecile

    so the fighters should just accept whatever Dana asks/demands/threatens of them just to show appreciation? I hardly call not signing away lifetime rights to your likeness “spitting in his face.” Dana has his and the UFC’s best interest in mind, even though certain decisions seem adverse to their own benefit. I would not say he has the best interest of the individual fighters in mind.

    Unfortunately there really isn’t much of an alternative for Fitch, and he pretty much made his name in the UFC, so succumbing to their demands was a foregone conclusion.

  • ACK! says:

    I don’t like this one bit. No one should have to sign away their likeness (for life!) to keep their job. No one.

  • matthew says:

    A dominant win over Gono would do his career wonders.

    Can’t help but feel he settled on this one though.

  • reece says:

    This stinks to high heaven. Fitch coming back after such vitriol makes you wonder if Dana “broke” him, or maybe Fitch is “playing nice” so that his teammates dont get caught in the crossfire, or maybe Santa dropped in early with a shiny new box of character to put in Dana’s stocking and a “fair” deal was worked out. With the current limited options available to top-tier fighters, my guess is that Fitch was forced to take Dana’s deal. I’d bet the farm that Tito will be chiming in very soon, as he has been fighting with Dana over fair treatment of fighters (among many other things) for a while now. Cast your vote early for Tito Ortiz, MMA Union president! Viva la revolucion!

  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Fitch ain’t that pretty. Giving up his likeness may be an improvement. (John, if you’re out there, that was just a joke.)

    But this piece leaves some unanswered questions. Did Fitch get any concessions? Is AKA still banned? Are other gyms banned?

  • Bob says:

    The Fertitta’s need to reign in their junk yard dog. He is not educated enough to run a business or negotiate deals that can negatively affect the livelyhood of Zuffa’s greatest assets, their fighters. My son trains at AKA and if and when he decides to step in the cage, I don’t him blackballed by Mafia strongarm tactics.

  • stevefiji says:

    Fitch shows way more balls in the octagon then at the board table. I’m on Danaks side. He’s preserving a brand that others are trying to take from. They are fighters, they most of all should appreciate Dana’s position. If Fitch didn’t want to sign, then fight for the Tshirt guy and see how that works out. 15 years from now the UFC will have much more equitable positions and the fighters will have more collective strength. Right now dana cares more about tshirt guy and the next ufc wannabe and is securing his turf before makimg concessions. Someday the Fedos of the worlf will HAVE to fight in the UFC to be called the best and that’s when EVERYBODY wins..the fans, Dana AND the fighters. Let’s give them time to get complete worldwide traction and security and then worry about contract clauses.

  • Ft. Dub says:

    All this says is that the UFC could have handled this like business men in the first place. When Dana couldn’t get the job done daddy had to step in a solve his problem. I doubt this would have ever hit the internet if they’d handled it professionally to begin with.

    This is a banner day because it means that everyone knows who really has the power in the UFC. Dana’s leash just got a bit shorter.

  • Cathedron says:

    I think I just got whiplash. Ends up sounding like completely typical contract negotiations to me, except that Dana did an interview in the middle of the drama and got everyone freaked out.

    As for the video game thing: what about the dubious contracts you have to sign with the NFL, MLB, or NBA? Doesn’t actually sound all that different from what the UFC is trying to do. In fact, it’s a major move towards establishing the UFC as the MMA monopoly much like all the other major league sports. Ethical? No. Expected? Yes. I always wonder why I never hear anyone complaining about the NFL being a monopoly on pro-football. And before anyone starts pointing out how little fighters make in comparison, look at what football players were making back when the sport of football was 15 years old. Give it time. Things will even out.

  • Robert says:

    So Cathedron you think the if UFC establishes a monopoly it’s a good thing? You must be joking,also one thing you fail to mention about a little difference between the fighters in the UFC and the players in the NFL,MLB,and the NBA is that their all represented by a players union.

  • BoiledPeanuts says:

    You gotta remember there are Dana-nut-huggers that read this board. There are always people who go against common sense. That is their agenda. Their dream is that White would treat them with respect. When the shoe is on the other foot the nutt-huggers would be screaming loudest about unfair treatment.

    Alternatives exist out there for fighters who feel coerced by the UFC. Because of principled people like Fitch who can see long term instead of the myopic views that some have there is a chance for the middle and low tier fighters to get a better shake.

    For White to use Fitch’s payday as an example of how well they treat fighters is an exaggeration of the truth. That would apply if he got that kind of money regularly but these guys don’t.

    Anyone who would stand up for a big corporation or company before the individual obviously is not a fair minded person. Nuff said. The NFL, NBA, NHL, all have unions and BOTH sides profit. I see the UFC shooting themselves in the foot so many times that they will end up having a fighters union foisted upon them.

  • EJ says:

    If Fitch really cared about his principles he wouldn’t have signed the deal but he did, why? because he realised that he has no other choice. Dana simply drew the line in the sand and sent a message to every fighter and training camp that if you think you are bigger than the UFC f*ck you. Lorenzo then did what he does best he plays the good cop and Fitch ends up doing exactly what he didn’t want to do and gets made and example of to all other fighters win win for Zuffa.

  • Robert says:

    EJ you sound happy Fitch was strong armed by people in power. Are you a piece of shit business man or are you a fool that thinks Dana White is your friend?

  • stevefiji says:

    Boiled Peanuts says, “Dana nut huggers” and Robert your entire argument are so baseless. MMA IS IN START-UP MODE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, Football, Tennis, etc, etc, all had decades before Unions took over. There is ONE major company opening new doors across the world. There is ONE company aggressively lobbying in the USA. There should be ONE BELT that matters, any fool who wants more than one world champion should not even be allowed to post. We have 100+ years of Boxing’s lunacy to learn from and people want all these powerful organizations to compete with Zuffa… are you all really that retarded????? Your arguments about more quality fights, more fighter compensation, more, more, more are so damn flawed. Why don’t the other start-ups work? Simple answer… because they can’t!!!!!! at least not yet… The money is not there… the UFC was valued at maybe legitimately a 500 million dollar company. Does major indoor soccer have a powerful union? What about arena football? Think people, think!!!!!!! What about any XGame or Surfer tours…Now what is the value of the NFL, MLB , even the major (but declining) boxing promotions?

    People just do not understand how damn cool it is to have ONE CHAMPION in every weight class… an UNDISPUTED champion except for the ineptly mismanaged Fedor and the millions upon millions he has lost in endorsements with his UFC avoidance. He’s doing B movies in Thailand instead of A movies in a Bond flick… He and his management are retarded…they say they are not about the money and then they go for the short dollar. Let him fight Sambo… that shit is as boring as anything fighting i have ever seen.

    WE HAVE IT! …right now, we can watch the best fight the best with the exception of Fedor… (forget Barnett, a WIGGA wanna be). We have true world champions with a single belt that matters. we have an ability for the best P4P’s to move up and down and fight each other and end the arguments…. and people keep bitchin about fights… WTF? The last UFC was amazing? The next 3 or 4 PPV’s will be off the hook… the best fight the best and let the rest hit the minor leagues. In major European soccer leagues the worst team(s) get relegated and the best from the lesser leagues move on up… and so it is with the UFC…HOW FRIGGIN HARD IS THIS TO UNDERSTAND???????

    Unions will come, better compensation will come… and so will HIGHER PRICES AND MORE EXPENSIVE SEATS>>>> be very careful what you ‘revisionist thinking mushheads’ will wish for because someday you just might get it…. 5 world middle weight champs, 30 divisions, corruption up the ass…. you have no clue how good you really have it as fans and you bitch and moan and blame Dana, the one dude with balls to do it right and keep it legit. He makes hard decisions, curses too much, but the guy is off the charts instinctually sound.

    Babe Ruth to Ted Williams to even Pete Rose did they play for the money? They made a half of percent of ARod combined… What about YA Tittle to DIck Butkus to Roger Staubach, a NFL #1draft pick makes more before ever playing a NFL game. Look at Tony Hawk… he makes a fortune but what about #100 on the Xgame circuit? What is his pay versus endorsements? Who will have a higher ‘Q Factor’ in a few years… #100 on the the XGames or #100 in the UFC…care to bet with me on this?????

    One does not have to be a ‘Dana nuthugger’ to understand history, economics, financial statements and the litany of mistakes Boxing has shown us. T-Shirt guys who are vultures will spew great sounding rhetoric about being ‘for the fighters’ and ‘for the game’… The USS Affliction became a mortally weakened sinking ship when they got greedy and were kicked out by the UFC and they took a shot… maybe their only shot to survive with silly ass skull and crossbone fad-based attire. They overpay a few fighters but their business model is failing. They already canceled their 2nd event for POOR TICKET SALES! WAMMA are Vultures…. Parasites… pathetic miscreants that think they can earn dollars trying to make a new set of belts???????? Are you Eff’in serious? Why? Because Fedor has bad management and you saw an exposed limb to gnaw on? M-1 issues a silly press release and they think Dana was doing anything but laughing? And that helps their negotiations after Affliction sinks????? Once T-Shirt guy takes his final bath, the Fedor can fight ‘Ho He HUGE’ for another freakshow in Asia. He is damn sure not getting into the UFC unless he plays ball. Name one dude who went up against Dana who Dana could not be wearing a HE’s my BITCH NOW T-shirt if he so wished? Big John is doing well now eh? He’s backtracking on all his refereeing is in my past stuff…. The UFC is flawed, it certainly is not perfect… but its light years ahead of where any other major sport is at the same time in its growth stage. Anyone who rocks the boat on this friggin amazing ride we are having should be put to task and put out to pasture… I am not saying, let’s not improve things… I am saying, wake the hell up and understand what we have before taking a scornful side against the UFC, because it only shows how little you comprehend about the big picture.

    Cheers mates

  • Robert says:

    steve fiji did you read all that shit you wrote before you clicked submit.Dana White is not your friend and he never will be I’m sorry to break the news to you but no matter how cool you think he sounds with his tough guy wanna be gangster talk. He does what’s good for him and their business not MMA, fans,fighters, or anything else.The big picture is that no matter how much you defend Dana White’s bullshit he’s not going to come and hang out with you.

  • nate says:

    wow. emotional rollercoaster

  • SBC says:

    stevefiji –

    Exactly

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    stevefiji ,
    ‘Ho He HUGE’ = pure gold.
    I agree with your brilliant summary.
    MMA ,is still a baby,and the UFC is it’s older brother.
    All these recent events (the Fitch stuff) is growing pains.
    It sounds to me like Fitch got offended because Dana didn’t say ‘please’,
    and I give Fitch credit for saying ‘no thanks’,and even more for saying ‘yes’.
    As the sport grows,so does the bullshit.

    Thank G-d Dana White is my friend.

    Dana White cares about his fighters by keeping the business AFLOAT.

  • stevefiji says:

    Robert,
    Dana White has little class…. He swears incessantly, he absolutely does bully people with his tactics but he is amazingly effective and has tremendous instincts. I could care less if he wants to hang out with me, i don’t hang out with dudes who drop dozens of FBomb’s in every public environment with no respect for man, woman or child in the area. What you wrote is so sad and lacking of any depth… if you wanna challenge my views, I’d enjoy the discourse… if you wanna purport to think for me, then dude, you gotta step up and stop with the little league arguments… “Na, Na!!! The Pitcher Stinks and has Smelly Feet!” Nice logic you applied there, Spock!

  • king mah mah says:

    @stevefiji- Hey maybe no businesses should ever compete… we should have one gas station, one grocery store, one auto maker, one steel mill, one college, one state. Yeah nice logic there too.

  • Ft. Dub says:

    Stevefiji, the problem with your logic for future competition is that all of the major sports in America are leagues of TEAMS not individuals. Therefore, the competition is between the teams as individually run businesses. Therefore there is competition for salaries, etc. which leads to the players having options within the league. Saying you fight for what I pay you or go fight for Affliction is not a fair comparison.

    If the UFC gains a monopolistic hold on the sport to the degree you are talking then there will be a union. A union would not allow for a fighter to be dropped in this fashion, so maybe that scenario solves the problem.

  • Imbecile says:

    @ Robert

    You won’t even visit a site like mmajunkie or yahoo, even for an interview with the head of ATT giving an alternate opinion on this topic, because you think they are biased. Maybe they are. But you will post endlessly on a site owned and run by someone who has been employed by CBS and ProElite, and currently is heavily involved with WAMMA? You see no bias there, I guess? Everyone has their own particular bias going into reporting, but you should be smart enough to read around that and determine the facts. But the only way you will get the whole picture is if you bother to read more than just those you blindly agree with.

  • JOe K. says:

    Dana blamed it on energy drinks and fasting.

  • Cathedron says:

    Robert: by using your logic, you must love that the NFL is a monopoly because you aren’t spewing hate at them, right? I’m just a realist. I don’t see things in black and white.

    Every sport will eventually either get monopolized or turn into a total mess (like boxing). Either one corrupt group rises to the top or a ton of corrupt groups rip the sport to shreds. It’s not fair. It’s not right. But it’s reality and all the righteous indignation in the world won’t change that. Deal with it. For better or worse, it seems that the UFC is going to be that monopoly and I’d rather have that than have a clusterf-ck like boxing.

    Would I like to see several different MMA promotions co-exist without crushing the sport? Yes. Would I like to bang Jessica Alba? Yes. Yet, reality says “no”. Damn reality!

  • HexRei says:

    but the NFL has some inherent safeguards like the draft and individual teams to prevent this kind of bullshit. this is just one guy at the top handing down personally biased decisions to fuck with top-level athletes’ careers.

  • Robert says:

    I can only assume the people on the opposite side of Fitch in this argument are on Dana White’s payroll or are in someway affiliated with big business. That explains their position otherwise you’re just an idiot.

  • matthew says:

    Cathedron – I was more than happy to see a UFC MW champ and a Pride MW champ. I don’t see how you can equate that to the mess that is boxing. The UFC monopoly theory is weak at best.

    2 major organizations meant we as the fans got to see more quality fights. And the sport was not tarnished.

  • stevefiji says:

    Matthew, Pride failed and/or was bought up, that depends on how you look at it… economics dictate in this type of model that there will be one major player. The other leagues, if they are smart or want to stay afloat, will serve as feeder leagues for various levels of talent. Where have I said there should be only one league?… I have said there should be only ONE BELT!

    WAMMA are parasites, pure and simple… putting on a face of goodwill and yet promoting just the opposite. If WAMMA truly had MMA at heart they would be wagering a campaign for legalization in all 50 states, for unionization and ensuing benefit programs of the fighters and for public marketing and awareness in the US and worldwide and they should NOT try an live off of another organization’s hard work with bogus belts, titles and rankings. They disgust me, working under false pretenses of supposed ‘do gooders’ and doing nothing but trying to embellish their own pockets. They are smart enough to see the explosion potential of MMA and they are simply trying to position themselves as more powerful players down the road because they want a piece of what Zuffa created. Who would take serious some other organization trying to declare a different NFL champion? Who takes serious the WBA, WBC, WBO etc anymore?

    It’s called ‘speculation’ when taking an investment position and looking for a long term gain, but when there is no set commodity marketplace and when its being done to dilute and steal from the efforts of a visionary organization, its called ‘pathetic’ and I applaud Imbiclie’s enlightening comments above, where he even points out even this forum’s active involvement in these shenanigans.

    Dana and the UFC are no saints, they are flawed but they are shrewd and ruthless business men and they have moved a fledgling company into a massive and potentially worldwide megasport on par with anything currently out there in in a record short period of time. HexRei, what you want will happen, but it took 30-50+ years in any previously comparable sports model, do you really think it won’t eventually happen here and much sooner than ever before….relax dude and enjoy the next few PPV’s. ONE BELT! ONE WORLD CHAMP! If we want that, then yes, there will be bumps in the road and we can call them out on those, but consider the alternative, because most people here don’t ever look at the past for such clear and obvious lessons.

    Cheers Mates

    (by the way Robert, nice facts supporting your truly hilarious conclusions. What’s on RAW tonight buddy?)

  • Dr.Stoppage says:

    stevefiji,
    Just remember though,at least WAMMA has Bill Goldberg onboard to help with their credibility.

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