UFC President Dana White’s comments on Wednesday about welterweight Jon Fitch’s dismissal from his company perked up more than a few ears in the industry.
One party interested in Fitch’s services: Tom Atencio, Vice President of Affliction Entertainment. White named the “t-shirt guys” as a potential home for the American Kickboxing Academy fighter in the wake of his unemployment.
MMAInsider spoke to Atencio Thursday afternoon, where he confirmed Fitch would be welcome to fight for Affliction.
“Yes I am,” Atencio said of his interest. “Does that mean we’re going to get him? Don’t know.”
Atencio commended Fitch for standing up to the proverbial 800lb. gorilla.
“I think if you don’t agree with something, than you should stand up for what you don’t agree with,” he continued. “And I’ve got to give it to him, he’s got balls for doing it.”
Though he admits Affliction’s welterweight division is thin at the moment, he says the problem can soon be fixed, and Fitch could sign a non-exclusive deal with the company.
“We’re still working both ways,” Atencio said of Affliction’s contracts. “There’s some guys that want to fight in Japan and want to fight in Canada. Until we get going full bore and get 12 fights a year or whatever we’ll end up doing, it’s really hard for us to hold these guys to anything and make them sit on the bench. If they’re not making money, they’re not paying their bills. If they’re not fighting, they’re going to get ring rust. I don’t want to do that to them.”
As the number two ranked welterweight in the world, it’s likely Fitch will soon have several suitors.
“I think he’s a great fighter,” Atencio said. “He’s at the top of his game.”