We just mentioned that Jon Fitch’s management was a bit crazy to risk the nuclear option over something as small-fry as video game rights when Fitch’s contract includes a bunch of other shit that’s way worse. But here’s a revelation: AKA *did* blink. It was Jon Fitch’s decision not to budge on the lifetime clause:
But Fitch’s most intriguing revelation came when he said that his management actually advised him to sign away his likeness and that it was his decision and his decision alone not to ink the deal.
“He tries to blame this and put this off on management but my management was telling me to sign this video game deal. But out of principle, I didn’t. It’s on me, not on my management.”
Fitch has been pretty good at keeping his mouth shut over a lot of the bullshit he’s had to endure over the years with the UFC, but it seems like he’s right pissed off over the current situation:
While White has stated publicly that he has nothing against personal against Fitch and that the decision to release him was a business move against AKA and Zinkin, Fitch feels otherwise.
“It’s 100 percent personal,” the former welterweight title challenger said. “They are making an example of me because I haven’t done anything wrong. I’m the perfect example of what a UFC fighter should be; someone who goes out there ad lays it on the line (and) fights their ass off. I never say anything negative about the company. I always put a positive light on everything and anything that has happened to me. Even the sâ€” (about) getting left at the airport from the first season of The Ultimate Fighter; not being shown on the main cards; (and) not getting some of the best fights-“
Up to this point there’s always been an easy deflector for the beefs Dana has had with fighters. Randy was greedy. Tito was washed up (and an asshole). Frank Shamrock was a diva. Tim Sylvia was boring. Josh Barnett was a steroid user. Roger Huerta was all hype. Fabricio Werdum was a fatty. And on and on and on. But Jon Fitch is A-1 legit and tamer than tame … if you told me yesterday that he’d be on the wrong end of Dana White’s crosshairs I’d have told you to lay off the angel dust.
I’m not gonna comment on the other shit that AKA’s management team have put Dana White through. It’s their fucking job to get the most out of the UFC as possible. But it’s pretty clear here that everyone was willing to be very reasonable except Dana White and the UFC. And in firing Jon Fitch, a guy who is universally respected across the sport, I think Dana has finally revealed that anyone can end up on the wrong side of a very nasty dispute with the UFC.