Dana White Explains Jon Fitch Firing: “The Blood Has Not All Been Spilled Yet” (UFC 157 video)

February 22, 2013
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UFC president Dana White at UFC 146Jon Fitch topped the list of 16 fighters that were released earlier this week by the UFC, many of them unaware that they were being released until it hit the media.

UFC president Dana White apologized for that happening. He certainly didn’t mean for those fighters to find out in that manner that they were losing their jobs.

White did not, however, apologize for firing Jon Fitch. In fact, he was rather fired up about all the criticism heaped on him for letting a Top 10 fighter go, explaining that Fitch was an expensive fighter on the downside of his career, and he’s running a business.

And for those that were surprised to see so many recognizable names released, get your thick skin on because there are more on the way.

“We have 470-something guys under contract,” explained White. “We have over 100 guys too many on the roster right now. The blood has not all been spilled yet.”

Check out Dana White’s interview explaining why Jon Fitch was released from his UFC contract…

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  • Ksmma

    Top three welterweights of all time:
    1. Georges st Pierre
    2. Matt Hughes
    3. John Fitch

    Only reason Dan hardy is still in the UFC is because he is a Brit.

    • El Gvapo

      Yeah definitely because he’s a Brit. Three of the fighters cut are Brits you simpleton.

      • RondaKenPish

        you don’t know what you are talking about. The three brits that got cut are bottom of the barrel dudes. Dan Hardy is a top 15~20 guy.

        Same reason why Akiyama is not getting fired.

        The UFC plans to enter the asian market some time soon and it needs asian superstars.

        • El Gvapo

          What do I not understand? You comparing the Asian Market to the uk Market is laughable. Of course the UFC wants to expand it’s Asian revenue, I couldn’t agree more with you. But there’s no way the UFC keep hardy around simply because he’s English. Firstly, the uk market is very different, especially in terms of tv. We don’t have ppv’s over here so there’s no increases to be chased on that front. We pay a monthly subscription to ESPN (around $14) and we get every single UFC event, tuf episode, UFC primetime, unleashed etc for that price. ESPN also has premier league soccer and other sports which has much more mass appeal. Secondly, I believe the British don’t have the same partisan support for their fighters as say the us or brazilians do, we want to see the best fighters possible, and let’s face it, they don’t come from these shores. If you asked 100 British mma fans who their favourite fighters are, you’d get 5 tops who’d say hardy or lisping. The fact is hardy’s probably there because he’s entertaining with a style that makes for food fights, win or lose.

          • matt_bamo

            you’re a moron. ofcourse they’re keeping hardy because he’s popular in britain. that and hes a fun fighter to watch. not rocket science

          • El Gvapo

            You call me a moron when half of your comment is agreeing with me? Do you not think Fitch would have been cut if he was British then? And what makes you think hardy is popular in Britain? Is every American fighter popular in the US?

            And why do you think we get the lamest fight cards in the uk? Compare our fight cards to those staged in brazil, china, Canada etc and then tell me the UFC is focused on the uk market.

      • Amanda Martinez

        Their hype can only go so far, they still try to appeal to new markets even when it’s not warranted. Bisping is a perfect example.

        • El Gvapo

          Bisping’s a perfect example of what?

    • RondaKenPish

      Dude, I have a feeling after GSP and Hughes, the list becomes irrelevant. Why not just say Matt Serra or Patt Miletech.

      • El Gvapo

        Agreed. A win/loss record doesn’t define greatness, it’s the excitement and quality of performances that you’ll be remembered for.

    • Amanda Martinez

      GSP is of course #1, Hughes maybe top 3, but fitch isn’t #3. I’d put kosch before fitch, number of lay’n prays doesn’t make a guy great. I do agree though with the brit part, the UFC is constantly trying to sell to other countries to tap new money. I just hope people see through the fake hype, same thing happens with asian fighters, they usually suck yet the UFC promotes them beyond their abilities.

    • matt_bamo

      i like fitch, but i don’t get all the fitch hoopla ??? most of the guys fights are painful to watch

  • oface

    John fitch does not beat ben askrin.

  • uncle

    Damn I can’t wait for Dana to be on Rogan’s Podcast

  • dana white sucks

    Wow there are so many worst fighters than Fitch, Dana is an idiot

    • uncle

      Guida should be next

      • RondaKenPish

        Guida sucks

    • RondaKenPish

      It’s business. UFC is run like a business. It is this marketability vs cost of salary.

      This is why boxing promotion makes sense. You have a situation where two guys of equal skills won’t be paid the same. But there isn’t as big of of a barrier in them fighting each other.

    • MMA/rocks

      not as much as you are.

  • uncle

    Hardy is more intense and exciting bottom line

    • The bottom line is that Dan Hardy sucks

      • uncle

        Did you know Hardy’s father passed away and
        it affected his fights thats why he took time off
        losing a loved 1 can make you depressed
        on not focus when he came with a clear head
        Ludwig was the favorite and you seen the outcome I don’t like his rants about MH’s
        hunting but inside that octagon he gives it his

        • wood

          Who the hell cares if hardy’s father passed away? That has no bearing on the fight. EVERYONE has problems, EVERYONE goes into fights not 1000 percent

          • uncle

            Well its obvious Dana cared yeah people
            fight with problems injurys or whatever
            but somebody dying is a bigger issue
            why do think people at work have Bereavement leave

    • Milosc

      Serious question: Do you ‘also’ enjoy Pro-wrestling?

      Be honest

  • Dustin R Harless

    The next better be Leonard Garcia.

    • RonnieV

      Garcia is going nowhere, he’s an exciting fighter

  • Milosc

    Fitch was railroaded for talking about his money problems in the press

    • JRod

      Well maybe if the UFC would actually fork out some money for their fighters, there wouldn’t be any negative publicity. Unless you’re getting a big sponsor, you’re not making that much money (as far as pro athletes go). Boxers get huge payouts, yet these guys have to scrap and lay their bodies on the line for 10k. It’s a joke.

      • RonnieV

        Go start your own MMA company smart guy. The UFC has a good business model, they are successful for a reason. NFL teams cut players for the same reason the UFC cut Fitch. $$$$$

  • Krisz

    Jon Fitch according to the official payroll got paid
    66 000$ for his last fight agains Demian Maia at UFC 156.
    A prelim fight would have been his last stand. Compare a prelim fighters paycheck, 8000$ to 66 000$.

    3:05 in the video.

    Dana tries to avoid it but Jon Fitch is not worth the size of his paycheck. The cut is a business call and the right one at that.

    The UFC made MMA from cage-fighting into a sport.
    With profits as a priority and not finding out who the best fighter, is this the starting point for the passion of the sport we all love to bleed out and dissolve it into a game instead?

    You make this call.

    • Milosc


      If a fighter who’s ranked “9th on the planet” isn’t worth 66k a fight, just what does that say about the UFC?

      (White is trying to NLP us into thinking Fitch is some kind of bum all of a sudden, but that’s just because he’s desperate/people hate him now)

    • Eric81

      Gabriele gonzaga made 220k for his prelim fight at ufc 142. 66k actually not that much for a tenured fighter like fitch. And the #7 ranked welterweight would not have been on undercard anyway. He was still main card worthy !!

  • DLP

    Yes fighters will be cut but to say that you have too many fighters now after you said about 6 months ago how you need more fighters because you expanding into all these different markets doesn’t make much sense then. Fitch should have gotten at least one more fight to see how he does. He was coming off injuries and won the last fight with young up and coming Eric Slivia. So i am sure Bellator of FC1 should be calling anytime. WSF could also come calling since they are newer promotion trying to build as well.

  • alanpeart

    I feel sad for Fitch. It’s funny to say that, because when Maia smothered him for 3 rounds I couldn’t have been happier. But I didn’t think he’d get cut. It’s a hard life being a fighter.

  • insane

    Ok I have to ask who is a fan and who is a hater. Lets put John finch vs whom ever and now one cares about that fight. Great and i mean great fighter but is not ufc caliber. perfect example is king mo…great fighter and the master of his class… in his promotion but you put him against top fighters he may beat them all or he could fall to the 5th ranking. The UFC now has never come close to the WWE so if you have something to say about them selling out then go back to masturbating to the WWE cause you really dont understand true mma. Yes super fights have to come cause the old school are killing the new school and great fighters like Hindricks dont have the name of GSP… Lets say GSP looses and johny is the new champ, who going to watch johnny vs…… whom ever then the next ppv they put GSP as an undercard… hands down that card will sell more… this will happen with any Champ now cause every class is stacked. Stop talking s*** and talk real talk…ohh Finch was cut.. ok now i dont have to watch aboring fight… finch step up… ok Jackson is gone.. now Glover prove you deserve to be there, Silva( Anderson) fight someone up to your caliber… a champ that rymes with cones…. then be the best ever

    • RondaKenPish

      dude… before writing a long comment like that…you should learn how to write. I can’t make out 90% of the sh*t you are trying to say buddy.

      Are you black, young, and/or uneducated?

    • RonnieV

      Can I please have the two minutes of my life back that I spent reading this dumb post. I think I might go stab myself in the brain with a fork now.

      • RondaKenPish

        Why did you even try? After three sentences, I just stopped because I couldn’t really make out what he was saying.

  • All business…

    Dana is such a two faced bitch… after the silva fight he was all “how awesome is that guy” perennial contender and sh*t, and now that he has fresher better Fitch in Maia he just bluntly cut the guy.
    And then he has the guts to talk trash on couture for joining Bellator… this guy cracks me up

  • boomboom1234

    Sad to see him go after the maia fight, he deserved one more chance IMHO.

    But from a business point of view i agree with his release. Plane and simple Jon fitch is boring. After 99% of his fights in the last 4 years everyone comments his fights are boring, he just laid on him for 15min and got the win. The guy has got no wow factor. If he had a mouth like chael sonnen i guarantee everyone he would still be in the ufc because they both have similar fighting styles but one guy has wow factor and pulls in the fans generating heaps in revenue plus another title shot. For the other its bye bye.

  • R

    Dana White cannot justify this crap, he should just admit the truth. Jon Fitch is Rashard Lewis.

    • RonnieV

      ???? Rashard Lewis of the NBA?

  • gnodeb

    Fitch is not an entertainer… I hope he will find an sport organisation to join…

  • D 3 PO

    This is kind of what Rampage Barnett & some of the other guys were saying the UFC play favorites they burn fighters out & once they’re not on the downside of their career they dump you although you worked your way to a position where you could actually live good. Chuck llidel was getting like half a mil a fight but was never cut because he could have been a draw for another promotion & he is friends with Dana. They make hundreds of millions of dollars per year they could have thrown Fitch a bone & let him finish his contract out the guy has a family to care for. Why even have a contract its only benefits the Ufc. When you union Dana spazes out & exploit the greed of the top fighters divide & conquer Evans is on that next list if he loses again Dana kind of dry snitched on himself already Fitch is F***** his body is broken he’s still kind of young with a young family. Fighters SAVE YOUR MONEY!!!! Kids stay in school!

    • RonnieV

      Stay in school son! Our education system has failed you! Btw Chuck Liddell is one of the biggest draws in the history of the sport, he is one of the most influential people in the history of MMA. Don’t disrespect the Iceman!

      • D 3 PO

        He was a one trick pony who got spanked in pride by rampage, & I assure you my educational background is adequate enough to ferret out someone who is culturally biased with a superiority complex. You sound ignorant when you have to insult people to make your own weak points seem valid….

  • Timothy Malone

    You will see me defend Dana White all the time. I think he’s an awesome dude and an amazing businessman. But this just isn’t a defensible decision. There are so many hypocritical and nonsensical things he is saying here.

    • RonnieV

      $$$$$$, whether you agree with him or not, the UFC is successful for a reason. The other MMA promotions have failed miserably for a reason. Dana does say dumb stuff from time to time, but the UFC brass has a good business model. Believe in it!

  • Bayou Boo-yah

    Dana White’s the bad guy but it is what it is. Those fighters shouldn’t have placed Dana White in this predicament. This is a business. Plain and simple. If those fighters don’t think thery should’ve been cut, prove him wrong by becoming champions and winning those important matchups. They didn’t do that in the UFC.

  • RondaKenPish

    I will tell you who to fire Dana:

    1. Frank Mir or Nog, or ask them to retire. I just don’t see the point of having both guys around when they will never be contenders. Fire one of them.

    2. Loser of Cheick Kong and Roy Nelson. Too many gatekeepers.

    3. Ben Rothwell
    4. Matt Mitrione or Brenden Schaub
    5. Clay Guida
    6. Stephan Bonnar, even though he gives Dana a bonnar, assuming he is still under fight contract with the UFC.

    • RonnieV

      Dude, if the UFC brass followed your advice we wouldn’t have a Heavyweight division. Yes, Bonnar needs to go.

      • RondaKenPish

        How so? I am asking to fire 4 guys in the HW division.

        What value does Frank Mir or Nog grant to the UFC? I agree that both are legends and have a strong fan base. But that fan base is slowly diminishing as these fighters are pushed down in the ranking. We have Werdum. Why do we need Frank Mir? Also, bring Josh Barnett over and made him fight Frank Mir. Should Frank lose, kick him out.

        Okay, about 3 years ago, Cheick Kongo was considered a solid middle tier gatekeeper. You had to beat him to be considered a contender. But times have changed. We have Mark Hunt, Roy Nelson, Frank Mir, Nog, and Gonzaga. Beating any of these guys will get you a shot against the Reem, JDS, or Carwin. Brenden Schaub will eventually be cut unless he dramatically improves. Make him fight Matt Mitrione. The loser leaves the UFC.

        Ben Rothwell should be cut unless it is the case that he is getting paid less than $50k per fight. I have a feeling he is gonna be cut soon.

        Roy Nelson should replace all of these guys as “the gatekeeper.” Why? He is fat. He can take shots. He makes contenders look good. Just look at how Frank Mir, Werdum and JDS beat Nelson.

        • RonnieV

          Heavyweight is just not a stacked division, Nelson & Mir can still whoop 75% of the Heavyweights. Schaub & Rothwell will never be contenders, but they still slug it out, and put on entertaining fights. Plus, HW equal knock-outs….. as fans… we need those.

  • Aanaya

    Good riddance Fitch! Go dry hump for another organization.

  • BarrysHypocrisy

    Sad that guys like Fitch who win fights get cut, when guys like Hardy who lose fights get to stay.


    Dana, I like you and support you, but your arguments aren’t worth $hit in this. Clean top 10 fighters should be safe. There’s no shame in going from #1 Contender to #9, being #9 best at anything in the world is pretty damn impressive. And raising your voice and getting irritated when the reporters didn’t eat up your crap answers doesn’t make your answers any more legit.

    • Alex Anderson

      Dana may not make the best argument, but the bottom line is that the UFC doesn’t think that Fitch is worth what they’re paying him. When Fitch was still undefeated in non-title fights, he was worth more to the promotion because his amazing record helped legitimize their status as the highest level of competition in the world. Now that he’s lost to a few other top fighters, I guess they think that they have enough top level fighters (record wise) to justify letting Fitch go.

      The real question is, I think, did the UFC underestimate how bad this would look to their fans, and does this lead to the UFC losing legitimacy in the eyes of its fans?

      The UFC hasn’t risked that much, because they can always just re-sign Fitch right back again. In some sense, they learn more about their fans by letting Fitch go and seeing what reaction it causes.

      It’s true what Dana said, Fitch can make good money and beat everybody in another promotion, or quite possibly get re-signed to the UFC. However, I’m not convinced that Fitch is on the downslide of his career yet. I’d like to see Fitch get a rematch with Hedricks, or fight other top welterweights.

    • matt_bamo

      i agree. what is the point of rankings when the bottom line will always trump them.

  • dan

    I can see Hendo gettin cut should he loses in dramatic fashion. 42 yrs old, making big money. And a loss would set him back even further down the line behind younger guys the UFC is trying to promote like Gus, Davis, and Mousasi. Evans needs to becareful too if he fights with no heart again.

  • Alex Anderson

    If more UFC fans had my taste in fighting, then Fitch never would have
    been cut, because I always watch his fights, but I understand that not
    all fans have the same tastes as me.

    It’s a business first and foremost. Fitch cost too much for what they thought he was worth to them, not because they didn’t think he was a good enough fighter. If Fitch had a slightly better record in his last few fights, then they probably would have thought that he was worth keeping. Fitch is just a little too far outside of the title contention picture at the moment for the UFC to find him worthwile to keep, because they don’t think that Fitch gets enough pay per view buys.

    Sometimes pro sports teams are NOT run like a business, when the owner cares more about winning than about profit, but THE UFC IS NOT AT ALL LIKE THAT.

  • justin_e

    Fitch should move to HW. Get a couple wins and come back to fight for the UFC title. Way less competition at HW. He would have no problem weighing 206.

  • MMA/rocks

    Funny you guys knock the person who brought this s*** together or you. Also I am sure you guys know s*** about running a business. There is nothing wrong with Dana AT ALL.

  • kbroesq

    Although I disagree with cutting Fitch, I like this interview and agree generally with a lot of what White says. These guys are not accountants or lawyers. They do not get job security. If you want job security, you need to go to school and do something else. If you want to fight in the UFC, you need to perform, and you need to perform all the time and not get complacent. I think this video is going to have a positive effect on the fights for the fans.

    I have never been a fan of Fitch, but I became a fan after his fight with Silva. That was a perfect example of how you can use wrestling and be entertaining. I just wish White would have given a talking to to Fitch instead of cutting him. If White is going to cut 100 other guys, it is not that difficult to think of 100 guys that make more sense than Fitch.