While Bellator has taken a few lumps lately in the PR department, due to its ongoing legal war with Eddie Alvarez and statements from other fighters criticizing its contracts, the UFC has also come under fire from ex-employees. John Cholish and Jacob Volkmann have relayed recently they believe the MMA giant could compensate its fighters better, and on a media call to promote WSOF 3 today, Jon Fitch took a few shots at the ZUFFA promotion.
Of course, many folks were surprised when the UFC cut Fitch loose earlier this year, following his unanimous decision loss to Demian Maia in February. Although Fitch had scored a decision win over Erick Silva in October, and was one of the promotion’s top welterweights for years, UFC supporters cited the fighter’s grinding style and fight purses as why he was let go. The 35 year-old vet’s well documented 2008 battle with the promotion over a marketing deal, was also raised by certain observers.
Whatever the reason for his release, Fitch was predictably asked about his time with the UFC during today’s call, and offered responses like this (quote via MMA Fighting.com).
“From very early on, I was fighting for my job every single fight. They made it very clear that they didn’t like me or want me around. That’s one reason I’m so excited about being with World Series of Fighting right now. They want me around and they’re giving me a great push. It’s awesome to have people working with me instead of against me.”
“And just things said under their breath around me, things said behind my back to the media. Without ever sitting me down like a man and talking to me. To me that’s a clear sign of not wanting somebody around, not being appreciated, and not having a place at the table.”
At some point, fans and the MMA media will likely stop asking about Fitch’s UFC release, which has been somewhat of a polarizing topic since it occurred. If he goes out on June 14th and quickly puts away Josh Burkman though, will that put the issue to rest? Or fuel the debate further?
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