UFC President Dana White publicly addressed reports of the release of former welterweight title challenger Jon Fitch during an emotional radio interview Wednesday night with sports talk show host Carmichael Dave during “The Carmichael Dave” show on 1140 KHTK in Sacramento.
Within seconds of the interview’s commencement, a distressed White didn’t hold back his feelings on the situation.
“No, no, no. It has nothing to do with an agreement,” White corrected Carmichael when the host began to suggest Fitch was cut amidst reports he wouldn’t sign an agreement that would grant the UFC lifetime rights to his likeness for the purpose of making video games.
“It doesn’t have to do with Jon Fitch either,” continued White. “I like Jon Fitch. I’ve never had a bad word with Jon Fitch. The problem is with the idiots that run AKA. I won’t use any names; the idiots know who they are.”
But in expressing a big picture concern that extends beyond Fitch, White began to introduce the current state of the economy as a reason why he doesn’t understand why fighters are more agreeable to terms of deals that are being presented.
“The economy is changing by the second. Every day when you wake up tomorrow, bad things are happening,” he said. “Not just in the United States but all over the world. Television networks are in trouble. The sponsors who used to sponsor them are in trouble. Some of them are going out of business and the rest of them are cutting their sponsorships big time.
“Companies that have been around for hundred years are going out of business. It’s crazy. Banks are going under. And I’m in a situation now where I’ve got these guys — I’m trying to run a business — bro, I live on a plane 24 hours a day, seven days a week. That’s all I do is fly everywhere to try to build this company. And these guys think this thing is so big and these guys start negotiating all this stupid stuff like they’re Mel Gibson. No disrespect to Jon Fitch — I like Jon Fitch — (but) like we’re going to be doing the Jon Fitch swim line sometime soon? And then the clothing line.
“It’s insane. What I try to do — is we put together all of these things and we try to make everyone money. That’s the way that it works. But I’ve got these guys from AKA, these idiots, that don’t want to play. Listen, at the end of the day it’s not a big deal. The problem is because when something goes wrong in the UFC all the idiots from the media like to jump out and go, ‘Yeah, there’s something negative with the UFC. Let’s get out there and talk about it!’
“Listen, this is just like any other job. You don’t want to work for me? They’re plenty of other opportunities out there. The t-shirt guys are trying to start their own business. Get in business with them. Do it with somebody else. If you don’t want to be in business with me? Then you don’t have to be in business with me. It’s simple as that.”
Later in the interview, Carmichael then began to read a quote by Fitch from a Yahoo! Sports article written by Kevin Iole in which White issued a direct response.
“’I’m more than willing to work with them, but I don’t see why we have to give up our whole lives. Why not a time limit?,’” the host read before being cut off by White.
“What’s with this whole lives?,” White interjected. “Do you know how much Jon Fitch made for the Georges St. Pierre fight? Where the hell else could Jon Fitch go right now and make the money he made? He made $169,000 for that night for that fight. Where’s he going to make that kind of money in one night?”
White would continue with his passionate response but became so angry that the amount of expletives he used exceeded the station’s delay, prompting Carmichael to place the UFC president on hold until the delay could be restarted. When order was restored, White returned and apologized.
However, he wouldn’t remain calm for long as he once again started to verbally assail the media and the state of the economy.
“It’s like all the media wants to jump up and go ‘Oh the UFC! The UFC!” Shut up! Shut up. Every one of you shut your mouth. Mind your business. Here’s the deal: the reality is we’re working our asses off to make this thing bigger and better for everybody. The world is a very dangerous place right now with this economy.”
White also confirmed during the course of the interview that he had been contacted by Mike Swick and indicated that Swick had expressed a desire to handle business on his own and work something out with the UFC. In regards to other fighters affiliated with AKA such as Josh Koscheck and Cain Velasquez, White didn’t mention them by name but stated he had no desire to work with any fighters that are represented by the San Jose-based fight gym.