It didn’t take a labor relations expert to predict that things might get a wee bit ugly between Jon Fitch and UFC President Dana White after he was released earlier this year, and things continue to heat up as the welterweight’s WSOF debut nears. Fitch was let go following a unanimous decision loss to Demian Maia this past February, and since he had gone 14-3-1 during his time with the promotion, the release surprised more than a few people (even if his his style doesn’t resonate with many fans).
In a media call Thursday to promote the June 14th, WSOF card, when Fitch will take on Josh Burkman, the former welterweight contender was predictably asked more than a few questions about the UFC. Fitch claims that he worked in a “hostile environment”, and that further:
“From very early on, I was fighting for my job every single fight. They made it very clear that they didn’t like me or want me around. That’s one reason I’m so excited about being with World Series of Fighting right now. They want me around and they’re giving me a great push. It’s awesome to have people working with me instead of against me.”
Well, White evidently read or heard about Fitch’s comments, and in a follow up report to MMA Junkie.com, the UFC President claimed:
“In the time Jon Fitch was with us, we paid him $302,000 in discretionary bonuses – $302,000. That’s money that me and Lorenzo decided to give him above and beyond the deal that he signed. He also made $130,000 on performance bonuses for his two ‘Fight of the Night’ bonuses. That’s a hostile work environment? Everything that Jon Fitch said is complete and total bull—t.”
And if you’re surprised by White’s inclusion of a curse there, then you obviously haven’t followed the UFC President too well. Fitch isn’t the only fighter to speak out agains the UFC as of late, as “Rampage” Jackson, Jacob Volkmann and John Cholish have shared similar sentiments to the media as well. All four, interestingly, are former employees.