Jon Fitch Tops List of 16 UFC Fighters Released

February 20, 2013
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Jon FitchThe Ultimate Fighting Championship released a bevvy of fighters following this past weekend’s UFC on Fuel TV 7, with several prominent names among them.

Perhaps the most surprising among the 16 fighters released was Jon Fitch, who is widely considered a Top 10 welterweight, and currently sits at No. 9 in the official UFC Fighter Rankings.

The other fighters that received their walking papers, according to an report citing UFC president Dana White, include: Terry Etim, Ulysses Gomez, Josh Grispi, Jay Hieron, C.J. Keith, Vladimir Matyushenko, Che Mills, Wagner Prado, Mike Russow, Jorge Santiago, Paul Sass, Mike Stumpf, Motonobu Tezuka, Simeon Thoresen, and Jacob Volkmann.

Fitch has a 24-5-1 overall professional record and is 14-3-1 in the Octagon. He is 1-2-1 in his last four fights, but that victory was over Erick Silva in October in a Fight of the Night performance that was also considered by many to vie for Fight of the Year honors.

Several of the other fighters released were maybe considered borderline, but not extremely surprising, especially considering the current state of the UFC roster.

The promotion is operating more events than ever, but just assimilated nearly the entire Strikeforce roster upon that promotion’s closure. Doing so bumped the UFC’s total number of fighters under contract into the neighborhood of 500.

Several fighters without scheduled bouts that spoke with over the past few weeks said that they were just waiting for a phone call, keeping themselves at the ready in case someone got injured, because they were told that there just weren’t enough spots open to keep everyone scheduled.

There heat is always on fighters to perform, but the temperature of fire has gone up by a few degrees as the UFC roster is busting at the seams.

UFC officials had not yet responded to a request for comment on the roster moves at the time of publication.

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  • upindatazz

    fitch is boring as hell anyway.

    • justin_e

      So why not just judge fights based on who was more exciting? Why don’t we just make it a rule that the only tactic allowed is punches to the face? Cut every fighter who even tries to take it to the ground. Why even sign guys who are not primarily strikers if you consider them a burden to the business? Fitch is exciting if you understand the sport.

      • justin_e

        I forgot to mention that anyone caught dodging a punch should be cut as well. That way we can eliminate everything below 170 pounds and get back to the good old days.

        • upindatazz

          I do understand the sport. I’ve been watching UFC since the first, and have not missed a single one. I enjoy the ground game, and the stand up game, but Fitch is just not an entertaining fighter to watch. UFC is about entertainment. This is why Dana offers bonuses for KO/Sub/Fight of the night. He wants his fighters to push the action and not ride their way into a victory. If you’re gonna have this style of fight you better stay undefeated, or else the first time you go 1-2-1 in your last 4 fights, this is what happens. I can care less if I see Fitch in the UFC again. Just my opinion.

          • L

            No, UFC is not about entertainment (or shouldn’t be, if it is an actual sports organization). It’s about athletics, who has skills (which may or may not appear shiny and fancy), who wins fights. For pure entertainment you can go to other outlets which are not professional sports competition. KO, sub and fight of the night are bonuses, but doesn’t change MMA rankings. MMA is (supposed to be) a serious sport, the fact that it is often entertaining as well is a bonus. As someone said farther up, professional sports teams and athletes in other serious organizations are not cut because their games or performances are ”boring”. If they are winning but the crowd doesn’t think they’re very entertaining, that’s just too bad for the crowd.

          • upindatazz

            So what you’re saying is if the UFC puts out a boring product to keep it a serious sports organization, it will continue to be popular amongst the fans that are paying the fighter’s salaries? Would you consider watching the UFC if it was “boring”? Which sport(s) were you referring to where they aren’t cut, benched, or traded if they can’t produce?

  • PunkCoreM

    No way!

  • stevemcz11

    This is ridiculous! There are 9 divisions and all top 10 fighters should be safe. That is 90 fighters. They had to cut back which is fair enough but why sign Marquardt and Saffediene if you have to drop your own top contenders to do so? Are they going to start cutting champions next?

    • jeremy

      Yea there going to start cutting the champs next lol Fitch was an extreamly boring fighter who wasnt going to do anything and just got KO’D .. He was a gate keeper and they want to give new blood a shot. It’s understandable.

  • Dave

    wtf Fitch is top 10 wtf is going on??!!!

  • dan

    Surprising but he was getting good money to put the crowd to sleep. He was never gonna beat GSP anyway so why keep him around.

  • justin_e

    This is what you get for not kissing Dana’s ass. Total BS. Far lower level fighters (Dan Hardy) lose far more fights and get to keep fighting. This is a message. Either be dana’s bitch or you better not lose. Even to top level fighters. Dana White needs to go. He gives other guys coming off losses title fights. He should just change the name of the org to the ultimate fake wrestling championship and get it over with if he is going to continue to degrade the integrity of the sport at every turn. I know it’s a business, but you gotta have some integrity. Fitch is top five at least. Hope he gets treated better somewhere else. Dana has been nothing but a jerk to him from day one.

    • projectchapter2

      I understand that you are pissed. We lost a Top 10 fighter, who wrestled the crap out of people for 15 minutes and finally got beat at his own game by Maia. I do not think he should have been cut… but I also am not going to make 6 posts about it in a 10 minute span.

      • combat

        Maybe you are just slow and dumb

    • MaritalArtist

      I think it was a statement move by Dana. Not that I agree with it.

    • Mark Bazid

      Fitch is NOT a top 5 guy.

      • Lucas Freire

        That’s debatable,but for sure he’s a top 6. lol

    • stevemcz11

      I agree that Dana has got to go.He is more expendable than a top 10 fighter by far!

      • mmafreaks

        u know that dana, is the founder right? If he want to leave the business he’ll leave. And i’m sure Fertitta won’t fired him either, he’s making them money and he deal with all the bulls***….. give let a man run his business, if u can do better- do it!

        • you know that you are completely wrong, right? dana white is not the founder of the ufc you troll. he was a boxing promoter and convinced his rich friends, the Fertitta brothers, to buy the organizaton and they made him a partial owner… very small percentage of the company.. get your facts straight

          • Skiman

            The fertita brothers decided to buy it when they were on the althletic commission, thats why they didn’t want to sanction the sport, because they wanted to buy it on the cheap, nothing to do with Dana

    • Oscar Sanchez

      no not becauise he didn’t kiss his ass it’s because he doesn’t give entertainment he was just boring he wasn’t fun to watch and he finally started losing look at Leonard garcia kid fights his ass off and every time in post conferences they ask him if it’s his last fight in the ufc what does dana say? hell no people that come to fight for the ufc like that will always have a job here fitch was not that and guida is on that road as well hahaand i really almost made it with out blasting u but are u slow top five?

    • Milosc

      I think the articles about Fitch (a perennial marquee/top of division fighter) being strapped for money after one surgery made the UFC look bad, and for good reason

      Perhaps this release is either punishment/banishment for not suffering quietly, or a way to ‘slice him out of the picture’ to save face

    • Johnny Lopes

      Clearly you know/train/ or have a man crush on Jon Fitch….

      • combat

        Clearly you are a punk

    • uncle

      Hardy didn’t get cut because he is a Awesome fighter
      did you know Dan’s father passed away and that
      messed up his head for a long time he got depressed
      and it affected his fights if you lose a loved 1 you
      can’t focus I don’t care who you are

      • wrong! he didnt get cut because dana needs him as one of his faces of MMA in the UK. thats the only reason he got so many chances.

        • uncle

          You sound crazy Dana keeps Hardy around just because he is from the UK
          no he keeps him because he is a good
          striker that gives you fun fights no
          matter the outcome so he doesn’t need
          Hardy to be the face of UK when he make
          millions alone off the Spider

          • EvilHebrewRealm

            I agree, the biggest reason he keeps him around is most likely because he is from the UK. Good call uncle

  • Name

    why would they cut a top 10 guy in Fitch? it doesn’t make sense to me…

    • justin_e

      It was entirely personal. Nothing more.

      • kooolout

        how do you know it is personal?

      • i would disagree, i’d say its about money. jon fitch was getting paid a lot as he was a top name for a while. dana isnt going to pay a guy top 5 money if he is losing fights to other top ten people so often.

  • Sir_Roy

    He’s had one great / exciting fight out of how many? He’s top 10, sure, but the UFC made a good move there IMHO as it makes a statement to all ‘safe’ fighters out there.

    Aside from merely making said statement, the UFC is also basing decisions, no doubt, on three other factors; PPV attraction, the fact the 170lbs division is extremely stacked ATM (arguably the most stacked division by far) and the fact Fitch never really got along with uncle Dana.

    All those factors put together = bad news for Mr. Fitch.

    • justin_e

      If you don’t like how fighters win within the rules, then the rules need to be changed. We don’t need to see top level fighters cut to threaten other fighters into fighting a certain way.

      • Bry Ocampo

        Your stupid justin, i dont know if you are Jon’s boy friend,
        about the finishes, Dana gives locker room bonuses for finishes, there was a video of a ufc event (don’t know which event but I remember seeing Frank Mir there) where he is talking to all the fighters telling them that every finish will get $20k, so you are a f****** stupid a****** just so you know.

      • Bry Ocampo

        just so you wont cry,
        I hate Fitch’s style, but his last 2 fight, he is showing some good things… He was dominated by Maia, but he shows how good his defensive jiu-jitsu is… sad… i was starting to like fitch..

    • justin_e

      If you want to encourage fighters to be more exciting without changing the rules, you could simply offer significant bonuses for any and all finishes. If a fighter knew with certainty that they would make a bunch of extra money for finishing (regardless of if dana chooses you for best of the night), I think they would be more motivated to go for the finish.

      • MuayThaiFood

        Tom Watson just received 100k in bonuses for fight of the night and KO of the night. If that’s not enough of an incentive to finish then somebody is getting paid too much to show up in the first place IMO.

        • taylor2008

          Tom transitioned well from golf to MMA.

        • justin_e

          See Julians post a bit down the page.

        • MuayThaiFood

          Not saying he should have been cut. My comment was specific on compensation as motivation to finish. They know that there are hungry guys that want their spot. If that’s not motivation enough then I don’t think anything is going to help. Who’s to say it’s even a motivational issue but rather ability?

      • Agree, instead of paying fighters X to show 2X to win, pay fighters 1/2X to show, X to win, 2X to win by finish, 3X to win in round 2, 4X to win in round 1.
        Ko/sub of the night does not motivate fighters to finish fights, as it does not guarantee them to win the bonus.

        • justin_e

          Exactly what I’m saying.

  • Hugh Shakeshaft

    I saw this coming since Fitch never got a rematch due to G&P and no finishes. Here’s my advice to you Jon. Join K1 or go to Thailand and learn some Muay Thai and learn how to start knocking dudes out! Then come back to UFC and mushroom tap Dana!

  • bajafox

    Whaaa…who cares? The UFC is a for profit business first. Moral standards are probably not high on their priorities list. The guy makes me sleepy just thinking about him being on a card. Bellator could use some “name” fighters, the UFC is not the only promotion out there in case nobody has noticed.

    Besides. with all the injuries and new TRT testing in place, he’ll be back before you know it.

  • rolando mota

    If i ever had to take a dump during a ufc ….it would be during fitchs fights…..i would come back and hed doing the same thing….not missed by me..

    • jeremy


    • fight4victory

      or a gsp fight

  • Brandon

    GSP is just as F’n boring as Fitch, same boring ass style but a better athlete so he doesn’t lose. Yes, Fitch is not exciting but GSP is a pretty boring ass dude to watch too. Jackson stated that GSP is out there to win fights and not put himself in danger of losing if he doesn’t have too. And the “Superfight” between him and Silva MIGHT last 2 minutes before he is put to sleep.

  • rapidfire

    why is this a surprise?

    in the end, it’s all business.

    fitch is a tough fighter. i know there are many fitch fans out there. no disrespect to fitch. but not many people are interested in watching fitch stall tactics for just doesn’t sell. fitch got fitched from UFC.

  • Of all of those fighters Jon Fitch should not have been let go. Although some of these guys are back and fourth with wins they were all rising names at one point. Any promotion would be lucky to get their hands of some of those guys.

  • Cereal Killer

    The UFC just lost credibility! How stupid can you be to hand Fitch over to Bellator? The Maia fight was a joke. I would have cut Maia for that craptastic show of hugging. At least Fitch never stops dropping punches the entire time he is on top of someone.
    He’s STILL ranked in the top 10 after that loss and they cut him…

    • Bry Ocampo

      I agree, I hate Fitch’s style, but his last 2 fight, he is showing some good things… He was dominated by Maia, but he shows how good his defensive jiu-jitsu is… sad… i was starting to like fitch..

  • Tiddy28

    This is shocking. Fitch is a contender and although his recent fights haven’t exactly been eye-opening, he’s still a great fighter. On a side note, some other decent fighters got their walking papers. While not top 10 fighters, they certainly were established.

  • youinside

    Fitch was ones that paid the way to weight cutting and this is how u treat him ?

  • upindatazz

    Those that are in disagreement with the UFC’s decision to cut Fitch let me ask you this. Do you get excited to watch a Jon Fitch fight? If the UFC were filled with Jon Fitch style fighters, would you dish out $60 bucks to watch these events? Jon Fitch is a boring ass fighter bottom line. I don’t care how good you are, if you ride your way to decisions, and go 1-2-1 in your last 4 fights GTFO.

    • rolando mota

      Dude i couldnt of put it better myself…i grew up a wrestler in freestyle, jr. high , and high school. i root for wrestlers most of the time….but this guy is booty as hell. plenty of great wrestlersvdevelop stand up and turn into hella strikers. this guy totally missed the striking bus and he trains at a.k.a…

    • justin_e

      Yes I get excited. That Eric Silva fight was a fight of the year candidate. 14-3-1. The guy didn’t kiss enough ass. Plain and simple.

      • upindatazz

        Funny how you say “Yes I get excited” with no mention of Jon Fitch at all. Instead you mention Eric Silva a 14-3-1 fighter. You proved my point exactly. Has nothing to do with Jon Fitch not kissing enough ass. If Jon Fitch could kiss his own ass maybe that would be one talent he has worth watching.

        • Bry Ocampo

          well i also hate his style, but his fight with silva was a good one, and with maia he was trying to do something, he was (maybe) trying to be exciting… but nah that’s good hope to see good fights,,,

      • King_DG

        the only fight I ever got excited from Jon Fitch was the Silva fight, Hendricks fight ( where he got knocked out) and the GSP fight where he was getting pummeled. Good riddance is what I say

  • Davey

    Good Riddance!!! lol

  • Jason Spangler

    You know, I totally relate to all the criticism of Fitch’s style, but am still surprised. Maybe it’s just that they figure that at this point, he’s not going to be a title contender. I really enjoyed his fight against Erick Silva, and I like that despite criticisms, he’s a really hard worker, relentless, and undaunted even when hurt. Sad to see Fitch go.

  • This is why I am pissed over the Strikeforce buy out. These high level fighters just have no where to fight. If you don’t suck DW nuts you are just screwed.

    • dan

      The UFC isnt a monopoly. Bellator and overseas are options. I, for one, am not gonna miss him or his fights. This is a guy who unknowingly admitted that he doesnt go for finishes. In the countdown show for the Maia fight he said he baits guys into trying sub attempts so he can gain position. Now this tells me that he doesnt attempt subs for fear of losing position thus not going for a finish. This guy wont even try to finish lower-tier guys (Saunders, Wilson, etc).

      • DerpDan

        Hi, I’m Dan and don’t know what a monopoly is.

  • Towers66

    Victory in the cage doesn’t draw the crowds but it is enough to keep you on the roster in Fitch’s case. I figured long ago that if he (Fitch) lost any consecutive fights that he would get the axe. He poses a serious threat for the promotion by beating a contender that could draw a serious audience and he scares people away from trying to put on a show. He is still an awesome fighter but he IS boring as hell and not good for sports entertainment. UFC is not the right mma promotion for every fighter and definitely not the right promotion for every fan. $ is what makes the fights, not winning or losing. Sad but true.

  • Timothy Malone

    Lucky for the UFC that they have an event coming up so the rankings will be changed. It makes them look foolish to have a guy listed in their official Top Ten rankings that they just cut. Just goes to show how dumb of a decision it is.

    I personally looked forward to Fitch’s fights and will be interested to see what he does next.

  • Ray The Video Guy

    Back in the early 90s, the Detroit Pistons won a lot of games, but they were boring to watch. They were very defensive and low scoring. Not only did the NBA let them stay in the league, but they won titles.

  • Poor decision from the UFC. Fitch’s only losses in the UFC are to GSP, Hendricks and Maia. In other words, Fitch could arguably be the number 4 welter weight in the world. He definitely is still a top 10 ww.

    He has a great record in and out of the UFC. He recently had a fight of the night win performance. It makes Dana look bad.

  • Scotty_O

    I don’t even have to read the posts on this to know what people are saying. Probably a few of you are standing up for the guy, a few others are saying it’s cause of Dana, and the rest are saying good riddance to him. But Jon Fitch should not have been cut!

    He’s a top 10 fighter. He’s a talented top 10 still in his prime. Sure he has a boring style but he’s only one fight removed from fight of the night honours, giving to him by the UFC(Dana White) WTF! This makes no sense. Very little respect shown from the UFC.

    To all ZUffa fighters, update your CV, cause you never know when you’ll be out of a job.

    • GoNoles

      actually my comment was about jay hieron so you were wrong in your assumption.

  • GoNoles

    am i the only one devastated about hieron

    • Scotty_O

      lol devastated? Probably.

      • GoNoles

        devastated was prolly a little to powerful of a word but i was like disappointed i guess hah why no love for hieron

  • Gene

    I thought John did awesome in the fight against Silva. Mia just surprised everyone even John. He dropped the ball big time in that fight and brought zero offense. I like him as a fighter but I understand where the UFC is at. So many new fighters and why potentially ruin one of them like they did with Silva for someone who is not predictable and even worse, not exciting.

  • Johnny Lopes

    GOOOD!!! and next should be half the brazillians that only know BJJ

  • Eric81

    Absolute bulls*** he was cut ! You ppl who want to believe it was because he is a boring fighter are obviously uneducated about this sport. Fitch was cut over money and a pathetic salary structure that pays jose aldo 32k for his ppv title defenses that bring in millions and pays gabriele gonzaga 220k for his last fight. Fighter salaries are based on tenure instead of how good you are, thus the longer your around the more money u make. Fitch was probably on his 7th contact w ufc so he probably stood to get a good contract. But to say he wasn’t desrving of that (which obviously dana is saying ) is crazy . if they were cutting based on skill I’ll name 20 welterweights that fitch would beat down and everybody knows that. If they want to keep it to 500 fighters then at least the top ten in each division should be safe. That’s only 90 fighters.but dana didn’t feel he was worth the six figures a fight he had coming so he will keep ppl around auntil they cost too much. Pretty sad actually ! Until someone steps in and forces dana to change salary structure things like this will happen and we will have to look at those ass backwards salaries they release after events where the main event fighters sometimes make less than ppl on prelims. How much sense does that make ?!!!!

  • I think people need to chill f*** down…i think the UFC is only doing this to renegotiate the contract with fighters like Fitch….it is too big of a risk to leave him outside…with fitch on a losing streak…espiceally losing at his own game, ufc has now power to bargain was what previously the number #2 fighter….(less cut out of the PPV and other things)

  • byebye

    when Maia droped down and out ficthed john Fitch there was no more use for a lesser fitcher, you can’t have to much of a bad thing or all the contender fights would look the same! Maia will be the boring gatekeeper from now on, all heil the new Fitch!

    • Bry Ocampo

      hahaha agree, but Maia though does finishes people… it’s just Fitch has a very high level defensive jiu jitsu.. 🙂

    • Eric81

      This is why ppl like you shouldn’t even watch this sport. You sound like someone watching baseball and saying that pitcher just struck everybody out and I didn’t see any hits.he’s so boring. They should cut him. Saying that maia (the best bjj artist and most decorated in the history of the ufc) is boring is retarded. Personally I can’t wait to see him strapped to gsp’s back like a backpack just like fitch. Because that kind of thing is impressive to real mma fans. And at welterweight he just might get gsp. This is a guy who has fought light heavyweights and won(see chael sonnen vs demian maia video) so he drops down and now seems too strong for other welterweights like fitch ,which is why if fitch was fighting for his ufc life he shouldn’t have been fighting a true title contender in maia.

      • Byeyefitchou

        Take it easy dude I do love jiu jitsu (yes I have my blue belt thk u very much ^^) I was just pointing out Mais s rise is probably the reason fitch got sacked. And you do have to admit the ufc has a problem with fighters coasting to decison wins awarded on position and causing no damage. If you knew sh*t about jiu jitsu you would know its f*ckin easy to maintain those postions when you don’t strike or go aggressively for subs, and more often then not this is what fitch and maia and more and more fighters do. The friend i was watching this fight with literally fell asleep..
        But for the record Dana is a two faced assh*le who doesn’t give a sh*t about any fighter

  • Matte

    First of all: We don’t know the reasons behind Fitch being cut. There might be reasons we don’t know about.

    That said… Fitch being cut seem really really dumb. The guy is a top name for sure and was held back a second title shot for a long long time in my opinion.

    Being “boring” or perhaps, as Eric81 said, to expensive are not any arguments for cutting him.

    This is NOT the WWE, this should be a serious sport where contenders gets shots etc by their results.

    UFC are getting less and less credible in my opinion. Enough with people mouthing their way to title shots, jumping in lines. Make a more transparent and predictable way of knowing the actual rankings and make title shots and matches based on those rankings as far as possible. And for the love of god, do NOT cut top fighters.

    If it is only the dollar in UFC:s pocket that decides UFC:s actions they should not even pretend to take the sport seriously nor compare themselves to other sports.

    Sidenote: I always liked the really nitty gritty style of Fitch and always looked forward to his matches. And I can respect his approach. Since it is working it should be within his rights as long as he keeps winning. (It is not as he is irrelevant having a couple of losses lately.)

    • L

      Thank you, I agree. If this is a serious sport, it should be about what gets the job done, not what looks fancy. Otherwise let’s all just watch WWE. With Jon Fitch’s record I don’t think it’s reasonable to cut him after a loss or two. He’s proved himself over time.

  • uncle

    The best submission defense has to count for something

  • AJ

    I agree that Fitch being cut is just stupid, but a lot of you seem to forget that Fitch isn’t a big draw. If you’re a boring fighter and keep taking out top competitors but no one wants to see you fight for the belt, you’re going to get cut. This is the 1st of many more “wtf” cuts to come.

  • KevStinx

    Finally people realise that Dana is a arsehole.

  • Chris M

    dana is not an a****** its the bussiness when you got soo many fighters your only keeping the ones making names for themselves and too bad fitch is on a slump

  • Darin

    Most of these fighters will now go and fight for Bellator or other organizations. These organizations will then get more attention and make more money. The UFC will then buy and destroy them so they can refire all these fighters again.

  • Darin

    And NICK DIAZ gets a TITLE SHOT after LOSING to Condit and FAILING a drug test? That’s logical.

  • danaisahomo

    ufc is turning into wrestling all dana wants in fighters with personalities fighters that put on a show outside of the octagon witch is why fighters like jon fitch get cut and fighters like dan hardy get to stay and cheal sonen get title fights without a win in the division i dont even bother watching this s*** anymore……

  • waaaah

    Not a good day for British fighters!

  • Why does it have to be about Dana or Fitch’s style? Maybe it’s purely financial? Maybe the cut of PPV and them amount his Health Benefits cost the company outweigh the amount of Money he actually brings in??? He is a long term employee that gets a high base just for fighting. Every Profitable company in the world will let go the employee that costs the most money if the can get a greater return from someone else during a reducition in force. If it came down to paying a top 10 fighter 25k to show and another fighter 5 k to show and the 5 k fighter was more popular you choose the 5k fighter.

  • Jay

    Dana is awesome, He is tough and he represents a tough sport! Jon Fitch was a great fighter…best of luck

  • Greg

    I think is the right decision ,Fitch never fought any top ten Welterweight after George´s Fight , except for Alves ,and when he figths top competition he loses miserably, besides his last 6 wins are by decisicion, he can´t finish fights ,so it´s obvious