Jon Fitch on UFC: ‘It’s Not Easy to be Successful in a Hostile Work Environment’
In Thursday’s pre-fight media teleconference for the upcoming World Series of Fighting 3 event, Jon Fitch was asked over and over again about his severance from the UFC.
The UFC cut Jon Fitch (24-5) from its roster back in February after the welterweight lost to Demian Maia at UFC 157. In the year leading up the Maia fight, Fitch went 1-1-1, fighting to a draw against BJ Penn, losing a first round KO to Johnny Hendricks, and then beating Erick Silva in a unanimous decision. To much of the MMA world, the cut of a top-10 ranked fighter came as a surprise.
Less than a month later, Fitch signed with the World Series of Fighting, and has been slated to rematch Josh Burkman next Friday. Fitch described the move as feeling “like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders going into this fight” with Josh Burkman.
Of course, as the fight draws nearer and the media attention turns its focus to the fighters, Fitch has not been able to avoid questions about what happened with the UFC. Today, Fitch opened up about how the organization treated him.
“I mean there were just other times throughout my career where contract issues after agreeing to terms of the contract, they were like, ‘Oh well, it doesn’t matter anyway, as soon as you lose we’re going to cut you.’ [There were also] sign the back for half as much, type of statements. And things just under their breath around me, things behind my back and to the media without ever sitting me down like a man and talking to me. I think that’s a clear sign of not wanting me around, not being appreciated and not having a place of the table.”
When asked what he thought of these questions, and if he wanted to avoid the discussion about his time with the UFC, Fitch responded that, if anything, he is proud of how he fought.
“No because I’m proud of my history, of what I’ve done. I’m probably even more proud of what I’ve done under the circumstances I’ve done them in. It’s not easy to be successful in a hostile work environment. Anybody who’s worked in any profession who has had to go through that knows that for a fact. I feel that I have double the wins because of the circumstances I fought them in.”
You can catch Jon Fitch take on Josh Burkman at WSOF 3 Friday, June 14 as it airs live on NBC Sports Network at 8pm PT.