UFC cuts Jon Fitch, fifteen others

Jon Fitch - UFC WorkoutsThe UFC cleaned house today, shedding sixteen fighters from the roster including a number of notable stars. The company’s reasons for the mass firing were not offered up, though each competitor was coming off a loss in their most recent rumbles as is typically the case in such matters.

Perhaps the most notable in the bunch were welterweight Jon Fitch and light heavyweight Vlad Matyushenko. Each had spent a good deal of time in the Octagon including a run for Fitch highlighted by wins over a number of top foes and crack at the championship.

MMAFighting confirmed all the cuts with UFC President Dana White. The other fighters left to test free agency were Jay Hieron, Che Mills, Mike Russow, Paul Sass, Jorge Santiago, Terry Etim, Wagner Prado, Ulysses Gomez, Jacob Volkmann, Motonobu Tezuka, Josh Grispi, C.J. Keith, Mike Stumpf, and Simeon Thoresen.

The 24-5 Fitch was last seen falling by decision to Demian Maia earlier this month after picking up Fight of the Night honors in his previous pairing. Among the stand-outs Fitch took out during his time in the Octagon are the likes of Diego Sanchez, Paulo Thiago, and Thiago Alves.

PHOTO CREDIT – UFC

18 COMMENTS
  • MCM says:

    Bull FUCKING Shit, Dana!!!!

    Jon Fitch is still a top 10 fighter and would walk through 4/5 of the guys you have on your roster. He’s lost to Hendricks, Maia and St. Pierre (he should have won against BJ IMO.) A title holder and two title challengers.
    Everyone else, I get, but Jon Fitch is fucking world class.

    Fuck you very much Dana! I’m cancelling my UFC gym membership.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 21 Thumb down 13

  • AlphaOmega says:

    Fitch is kinda fishy as to why he got cut just cuz he got out fitched..I’m also upset about Vlad, he’s a good fighter and I think they should of given him anotehr fight.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 13 Thumb down 0

  • Creature says:

    I am also not happy with Fitch being cut. This is fucking ridiculous.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

  • fanoftna33 says:

    That is a crazy list of fighters to just drop. Fitch is to easy to defend and anybody with any mma IQ doesnt need me to defend keeping him because if you dont know you are to stupid for me to waste my time with.
    Vlad I understand, but still love the guy.
    Hieron I would like to see have another chance, ZI mean fkn Hardy lost 4 in a row and they kept him. Give Jay Amir and he picks up a win as well.
    I thought Santiago looked pretty good last weekend and as it was his first fight at 170 I would like to see him there again.
    Etim just needs 1 maybe 2 wins and to stay injury free and he is back for sure.
    Gomez same thing.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Lots of backlash online for the Fitch cut. He’s the #1 trend on Twitter (or was).

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  • AlphaOmega says:

    So I’m not positive on who all was over there, especially the lesser known guys, but how many of these 16 cuts were SF people? I know Vlad and Fitch weren’t.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Alpha Omega, Hieron fought for SF but that looks like it, the rest are just moves to make room.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • Richard Stabone says:

    And realize this marks the 2nd time the UFC has pulled this shit with Fitch. Back in 2008, when MMA video games were becoming a big deal, the UFC as part of its plan to get in on the action brought a demand to all of its fighters: Give us exclusive lifetime rights to use you in video games forever, or you’re fired. So when Fitch & his camp dared question that approach, well, he was fired.

    Fitch’s response at the time…

    “Honestly the contract wasn’t even that big of a deal. We’re not getting paid for it anyways, and it’s not a deal where I’m actually going to get another deal with a video game agency. I don’t have that kind of pull; most guys don’t. It has nothing to do with that. It’s that they brought this contract to us and basically kicked in our front door, came in guns blazing, and said ‘sign this contract or you’re dead.’ … You’ve never heard me complain about money. This is a respect thing. I’d only like a little bit of respect for the blood I shed for this company.

    Maybe those were the exaggerated words of a fighter in shock from being abruptly cut from the org? Perhaps the UFC president could help clarify the situation…

    “We’re looking for guys who want to work with us and not against us. 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.”

    BTW, Cain Velasquez was also caught in the cross-fire at the time, with Dana stating, “Cain [expletive] Velasquez, with two [expletive] fights, wants us to change it (referring to the contract) for him. He can get the [expletive] out.”

    The UFC’s attitude towards its fighters has always been, “Be thankful for the opportunities we provide you with, don’t question anything we do, or get the f*ck out.”

    And the other unwritten rule is don’t piss off the UFC brass. Whether it’s a stupid tweet, or having a bad attitude, or questioning the UFC’s actions/intentions…the UFC is not above holding a personal grudge. Quite the opposite. So another part of Fitch’s undoing might have been his more recent comments about what a joke it’s become with how the UFC sets up title fights…

    “It’s impossible to tell when a title shot is coming. There’s no order … it’s just whoever they feel they’re going to make the most money off of. That’s who gets the title shot. It kind of sucks, because in other sports there’s kind of a clear path; you do this, this and this, and you get this. That’s just not the way combat sports work I guess.”

    Which I’d translate as something like this… In other pro sports there is a legitimacy to how individuals/teams compete for a championship. Tiger Woods doesn’t get to skip Thursday & Friday and only compete the final two rounds on the weekend when TV ratings are highest. The Dallas Cowboys aren’t given an automatic playoff spot for agreeing to participate in an HBO reality show that boosts ratings & revenue for the NFL and its TV partner.

    But in the UFC–especially since the FOX deal was consummated–when it comes to earning an opportunity to compete for a championship, it’s a murky blend of legitimacy and showmanship. Just as Fitch suggests, it often boils down to whoever is going to make the most money getting the shot. Not every time of course, but it’s becoming more & more common. The last FW title bout featured a challenger coming off a loss. The next WW title bout includes a fighter coming off a loss (and drug suspension). The next LHW title fight includes a fighter coming off a loss.

    The bottom line is the UFC, while trying to continue to grow the sport and keep its TV partner happy, now finds itself in an awkward position somewhere between the WWE and the legitimate pro sports. As a fan of the sport, I think a lot of what they’re doing sucks. But what do I know. From a business standpoint this might be a brilliant strategy that will maximize revenue and continue to grow/expand the sport. Continue to manipulate the chessboard, arbitrarily moving pieces around, in a way that sets up the most interesting matchups that the casual fans will buy into. Rules? What [expletive] rules… don’t [expletive] tell us how to run our [expletive] company.

    Well-Done. Thumb up 13 Thumb down 1

  • MCM says:

    I love me some Vlady and Hieron. IFL Never Dies! But I can see how they got cut. I even said Jay was gonna get cut right after he lost his last fight. Jay has lost all 4 of his UFC fights. Santiago has lost all 5 of his. As great as these guys are outside the Octagon, they just don’t seam to be able to put it together inside. I thought Prado looked decent too and would have liked to have seen him get another shot.
    But like I said, I understand sometimes you’ve got to clean house. But how does a guy like Leonard Garcia who hasn’t convincingly won a fight since 2008 (he’s had 11 since then) and is on what should be a 6 fight LOSING streak, keep his job? How do you cut a legit top 10er like Fitch and keep Hardy on after 4 losses (and I like Hardy a lot)? Even Steve Fucking Cantwell got 5 strikes before he was let go.
    I understand a lot of these cuts, but who goes and who stays is just bonkers sometimes.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  • Well, Bellator now has some more world class talent to sign. Five bucks says Fitch enters and wins the bext 170 bfc tourney

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • THEGUNNER says:

    Yet papy abedi is stil fighting on fuel 9 s card.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  • raker says:

    How the hell does the UFC decide who gets cut and who stays? Diego Sanchez has lost 2 of 4… Including a very controversial win against Kampmann. Koscheck has lost 2 of 4 fights. Jake Shields has lost 2 of 4 including a no contest with a positive drug test. I don’t get it. There should be some kinda criteria established rather than a subjective opinion by the UFC brass.

    I love this quote..”This is a respect thing. I’d only like a little bit of respect for the blood I shed for this company.”

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  • raker says:

    Fitch has also been fighting the top fighters for years, with the exception of maybe Erick Silva who is a quality up and comer. I can see fringe fighters getting axed if they can’t get a win but we’re talking about one of the best WW fighters ever. Sounds to me like Dana never buried the hatchet. Maybe time for a fighters union.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  • Brendhan Conlan says:

    Gomez said he didn’t even know he’d been cut until he read it online.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  • darth_irritable says:

    Douche move, but not surprising.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • hindsightufuk says:

    wow, thats just ridiculous, cutting Fitch just seems like its something they have wanted to do for years.
    sure there is more to it than just cutting the guy cos of a loss.
    the rest i knda understand, but for me cutting Sass and Etim is madness.
    Etim especially, he is an exciting fighter with an 11 fight run in the UFC (5 OTN honors), only 4 losses. Spent a year out injured, gets humped on by a Brazilian for 3 rounds and gets cut.
    Paul Sass was on a great streak, beat 3 guys he wasnt supposed to beat, slipped against Wiman and did well under a heavy top game from Castillo, but still went for submissions for 15 minutes.
    i dont get those two at all. not just biased because they are local lads, but they really filled out the UK/Euro cards when needed, and always put on a good show

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • MCM says:

    Etim I don’t get either, but Sass needs to stop trying to triangle people all the time. He’s still young and I think he’s got potential to be a great fighter, he just needs more seasoning and the best place for that is on the local scene. Don’t be surprised to see either of these guys get the call back after only one or two wins.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  • hindsightufuk says:

    thing is for guys outside of the US, the local scenes are such a massive drop from the UFC or even non UFC MMA. At least in the US you can drop into WSF, Bellator, TPF, MFC, KOTC, Legacy etc. I know some are shit, but you should see how little opportunity there is over here. fukcing joke of BAMMA or Cage Warriors in Ireland.

    Agree or Disagree: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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