As the UFC’s scorched earth policy toward AKA and its fighters unfolds, it’s looking like not everyone in the stable is getting cut. In an interview with USA Today, Dana White claims that Mike Swick was the only AKA fighter to call and say, essentially, he’ll do anything Dana wants:
The only fighter that called me from AKA was Mike Swick. Mike Swick called me from AKA, that was it. And Mike Swick said, “Listen, I don’t know what’s going on. I don’t care what’s going on. I’m with you, I’m in business with you guys. You guys are my partners.” And I said, “I appreciate that, Mike. We look at you the same way.”
But if Fitch called me today, if Fitch called me right now and said, “Dana, listen, I don’t know what happened with my managers … but I want to work this out with you,” I’d work it out with Fitch in two seconds.
It has nothing to do with Jon Fitch or any other specific fighters. It has to do with the management team, the guys who own AKA. I don’t want to be in business with them anymore. End of story.
Yeah. And to be honest with you — I’m 100% honest on my three children — I don’t even know if Swick signed the video game deal or the merchandise deal. I have no clue if Swick signed anything. I don’t even know how many fights I have left with Swick. I don’t (care). … I don’t even know what he’s signed or hasn’t signed. I could care less. That’s not what this is all about.
So basically, abandon your management team and you can keep your job. It’s hard to blame Swick for acquiescing so quickly, because honestly, where else is Swick going to go? But damn if that’s not a tough situation to put people in. The UFC has basically decided to blackball the AKA management team of DeWayne Zinkin and Crazy Bob Cook (whose nickname really isn’t helping him here). If they manage to accomplish that, imagine the leverage it gives them in future negotiations with other managers. The UFC can basically tell them: play nice, or we’ll put you out of business.