Written by David Neighbor for FighterJournal.com (
On Wednesday the UFC announced that Jon Fitch had been cut from the roster along with fifteen other fighters. Thursday, Jason Floyd of TheMMAReport.com broke the news that Bellator MMA CEO Bjorn Rebney said he would not be interested in signing Jon Fitch. Rebney isn’t prone to contradicting himself or signing fighters who had long tenures in the UFC. He has though repeatedly emphasized the importance of flexibility in business and Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal’s spinning-backfist knockout loss to Emanuel Newton only a few hours after Rebney made the comments regarding Fitch, might cause him to reconsider.
“We have a stacked welterweight division right now. We have a lot of guys that we are developing that we anticipate are going to be world class fighters and break the top ten. We want to keep guys busy. We want to keep guys inside the cage and we have a plan in terms of the next year and who is going to be a part of the tournaments and it’s just not the time.”
factored into the UFC’s decision to let him go. But aside from superior submission defense how much different is Jon Fitch’s fighting style to say…Chael Sonnen’s? With the exception of his bout against the grappling deficient Brian Stann the FuelTV anchor and The Ultimate Fighter coach wins by decision or he doesn’t win at all. But unlike Fitch, Sonnen has been able to maximize his earnings and standing within the UFC by disrespecting his opponents and shamelessly promoting himself. Jon Fitch didn’t get released from the UFC because he failed to perform or should have changed his fighting style to please fans. In reality Fitch got released because he refused to say outlandish things in order to promote a fight.
Muhammed Lawal was willing to promote himself and Bellator’s parent company Viacom saw enough value in that to sign him to a multi-fight contract along with a TNA Wrestling tie-in. Rebney and company aren’t interested in Jon Fitch right now…but if Fitch were to go on every MMA radio show and mock Ben Askren’s hair, things could change. It’s not like Fitch, but at 35-years-old as of Sunday and with very little chance of returning to the UFC, maybe he’ll set his mind to cashing out before retirement. Karl Amoussou might beg Rebney to sign Fitch if Jon publicly called Amoussou’s homeland of France a bunch of socialists (that actually sounds like Fitch if you read his twitter). Andre Koreshkov might take serious offense to Fitch asking him how his meteorite tasted. Douglas Lima would probably be irate if Fitch labeled American Top Team the junior varsity American Kickboxing Academy. None of these insults seem typical of how Fitch has conducted himself throughout his career but if Jon wants a chance at a lucrative Bellator contract before hanging up his gloves he should consider saying things like “Don’t Be Scared Rebney!” to whomever will listen.