UFC President Dana White Admits He Was Wrong About Jon Fitch

Courtesy of Damon Martin and official MMAWeekly.com content partner Bleacher Report.

Jon Fitch at UFC 87UFC president Dana White received a mountain of scrutiny when his promotion decided a few months ago to release top ten welterweight fighter Jon Fitch.

At the time, Fitch was coming off a loss to Demian Maia, which moved his record to 1-2-1 over his last four fights.  White stated several times that it was never anything personal with Fitch, and while his wrestling based style may not have resulted in the most exciting performances, it ultimately had nothing to do with his release.

“I have nothing against Jon Fitch, I never did.  It was all hyped up (expletive),” White said about the former UFC fighter when speaking to the media following the conclusion of UFC 161.  “I think Jon Fitch used it as a little bit of ammo when he got cut and tried to spin it that I hated him and all this other stuff, which was complete (expletive).  I felt that Jon Fitch was on the downside of his career.”

Fitch quickly signed with upstart promotion World Series of Fighting, where he made his debut with the organization on Friday night.

It did not end well for the American Kickboxing Academy welterweight.

Just seconds into the first round of his fight against fellow former UFC fighter Josh Burkman, Fitch got caught with a quick punch that hurt him before being stuck in a guillotine choke that landed the two competitors on the mat.

Burkman wrenched up the choke and before he could react, Fitch was unconscious. The entire fight lasted 41 seconds.

When it was over, White received a slew of messages via Twitter saying Fitch’s loss justified his decision to release him, and ultimately he was correct in his assessment of the former title challenger.

White, who admitted he went out of his way to actually watch the fight on Friday to see Fitch’s performance, says that in reality he was wrong about what he expected would happen.  While Fitch may have not had the most impressive record when he left the UFC, White believed that he would probably run roughshod over the other welterweights fighting outside the Octagon.

“I wasn’t right. I cut Jon Fitch, I said he went 1-2-1 since 2011, and he’s on the downside of his career.  He’s 35 years old, he hasn’t looked impressive at all, but I said he’ll be a world champion at the World Series of Fighting,” White stated.  “I said he’ll go over there and win a title.

“Did I think Fitch was going to win?  Yeah, I thought Fitch was going to win.  I said Fitch is going to wrestle-(expletive) him for three rounds and win the fight.”

Fitch did not win and now he will have to work to stage an even bigger comeback to see if he can reclaim a spot in the top ten of the welterweight division.

As for Fitch’s opponent, White knows Burkman very well having employed him for several years after his appearance on The Ultimate Fighter season two.  Whether that means Burkman will get the call to return to the UFC remains to be seen.

“I like Josh Burkman very much,” White stated.  “Another guy from season 2 of The Ultimate Fighter.  A great guy, has always been a good kid, and I’m happy for him.”

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  1. Poor Fitch.

  2. Big set back for Fitch. Burkman is a veteran though, at least he didn’t get beat by some new young kid. Best of luck to both of them.

  3. Isn’t this kinda kicking a guy when he is down?

    • Yes, its Pride rules.

    • It is kicking the guy when he is down and the title of this article is confusing.

      “Well I was wrong about Fitch.”

      “I believed that he was a fighter on a downhill…in that regard, I was right.”
      “but I thought he would be champion in a 3rd rate promotion. Well, I was wrong about that. He can’t even make champion at a 3rd rate circus.”

      Dana is such a sly douche.

      • It’s the truth, hurt or no hurt. Everyone gets older and will not beat father time.

  4. Funny you don’t hear all the Fitch nut hungers crying about Dana decision now …;)
    +1 Dana

  5. notice how dana white always calls one of his NOT star fighters “kid”. you will never hear dana white calls brock lesnar a kid or calls anderson silva a kid. dana white always condescends fighters that aren’t relevant by calling them “good kid” or kid that works hard.fighters should call dana white a “kid” who works hard

    • Dana just often refers to guys as a “kid” even if they are older. I know for a fact he has called Jon Jones a kid and I’m pretty sure he considers him a top guy. Joe Rogan does it too.

  6. Damn, I just noticed its like bizarro world here and mmajunkie is the real world …

  7. Salt, meet wound.

    I do hope Fitch has retirement plans though …