In what may be a bit of a shock to some fans, perennial welterweight contender Jon Fitch tops the list of fighters cut from their respective UFC contracts. The news of the cuts broke today on several MMA news sites including MMAjunkie.com, MMAfighting.com, and Yahoo Sports.
Fitch joins fifteen other fighters on the list of cuts that also includes Vladimir Matyushenko, Josh Grispi, Terry Etim, and Jorge Santiago among others.
The UFC typically reserves the right to release a fighter from their agreement following two losses. Fitch came up on the losing end of his last bout against Damien Maia at UFC 156 earlier this month. Before that loss, Fitch had gone 1-1-1 in his last three fights. Fitch fought to draw with BJ Penn at UFC 127 and was knocked out by Johny Hendricks in twelve seconds at UFC 141.
Fitch challenged for the UFC welterweight title at UFC 87 and came up short against current champ Georges St-Pierre. Before his draw with Penn and loss to Hendricks he was 13-1 in the UFC and considered one of the best fighters in the welterweight division. However, his grind it out style drew the ire of UFC president Dana White and it seemed that White was waiting for the opportunity to cut Fitch.
In fact, in 2008 Fitch was cut from the UFC for failing to agree to sign over his likeness to the UFC for THQ's release of the UFC Undisputed video game. The dispute only lasted a couple of days and Fitch was welcomed back to the UFC once the technical stuff was worked out.
Jacob Volkmann, who was also cut, released a statement regarding his release earlier today via his twitter account. "Was just cut from the UFC today," he wrote. "I want to thank the fans, and say I gave it my all. No regrets."
Dana White has yet to officially commented on the day's cuts.
Complete list of sixteen fighters released:
- Jon Fitch
- Wagner Prado
- Mike Russow
- Jacob Volkmann
- Vladimir Matyushenko
- Che Mills
- Jay Hieron
- Terry Etim
- Paul Sass
- Jorge Santiago
- Mike Stumpf
- Simeon Thoresen
- C.J. Keith
- Motonobu Tezuka
- Josh Grispi
- Ulysses Gomez