19 Nov 2008 11:18:53 AM
(Photo courtesy of ryanmcfadden.com)
Yeah, about that Fitch/Gono fight: It’s not going to happen because Jon Fitch, the UFC’s former #1 welterweight contender, and one of only three fighters to ever achieve eight consecutive wins inside the Octagon (the other two being Royce Gracie and Anderson Silva), has been fired. MMA Mania breaks it:
Jon Fitch was today handed his walking papers for refusing to sign an agreement that would give the promotion exclusive lifetime video game rights to his name and likeness…
Christian Wellisch — who also didn’t ink the paperwork — was also released. Others who do not sign the agreement could also be let go in the future…
Fitch was apparently approached about the issue when he turned in his signed bout agreement to fight Akihiro Gono at UFC 94: “St. Pierre vs. Penn 2? on January 31. And when he and his representatives attempted to negotiate the video game deal it was all or nothing. He didn’t sign it and was terminated shortly therefafter.
Give us the exclusive right to use you in video games forever, or you’re fired. Let that sink in for a moment. Wellisch may not have been going anywhere in the UFC’s heavyweight division, but Fitch is a top-five welterweight — an enormous asset for any MMA organization — and to drop him over something so ultimately trivial is pure insanity.
Kevin Iole adds that Dana White no longer wants to work with American Kickboxing Academy fighters or anyone represented by DeWayne Zinkin and Bob Cook, which includes Josh Koscheck and Cain Velasquez:
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“We’re looking for guys who want to work with us and not against us, and frankly I’m just so [expletive] sick of this [expletive] it’s not even funny,” White said from Honolulu, where he flew Wednesday from Toronto to hold a news conference to announce the B.J. Penn-Georges St. Pierre fight for UFC 94 on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.
“Affliction is still out there trying to build its company. Let [Fitch] go work with them. Let him see what he thinks of those [expletives]. [Expletive] him. These guys aren’t partners with us. [Expletive] them. All of them, every last [expletive] one of them.”