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  1. #1
    Go Spurs Go!! dbreiden83080's Avatar
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    I know we are talking about this in the News and Notes thread but it's big news so i figured it deserved it's own thread..

    Still can't believe this..



    http://mmajunkie.com/news/13291/ufc-...a-fighters.mma

    UFC drops Jon Fitch, other American Kickboxing Academy fighters
    by Kevin Iole

    A bitterly angry Dana White said Wednesday the Ultimate Fighting Championship has cut highly regarded welterweight contender Jon Fitch and is not going to do business with any fighters who are part of the American Kickboxing Academy team in San Jose, Calif.

    The outspoken UFC president said shortly after landing in Hawaii on Wednesday that he no longer wants to work with AKA fighters or those represented by DeWayne Zinkin and Bob Cook.

    White said he excepted AKA welterweight Mike Swick from that group because he said Swick called him and told him he wants to fight for the UFC. But Fitch and heavyweight Christian Wellisch were cut on Wednesday, and heavyweight prospect Cain Velasquez and welterweight Josh Koscheck could be next.

    "We're looking for guys who want to work with us and not against us, and frankly I'm just so [expletive] sick of this [expletive] it's not even funny," White said from Honolulu, where he flew Wednesday from Toronto to hold a news conference to announce the B.J. Penn-Georges St. Pierre fight for UFC 94 on Jan. 31 in Las Vegas.

    "Affliction is still out there trying to build its company. Let [Fitch] go work with them. Let him see what he thinks of those [expletives]. [Expletive] him. These guys aren't partners with us. [Expletive] them. All of them, every last [expletive] one of them."

    Fitch said Wednesday the dispute was over his reluctance to sign a lifetime contract to allow his name and likeness to be used in a video game the UFC is planning with THQ. He said the dispute has nothing to do with money and that he never caused a problem during his time in the UFC.

    He said he simply didn't understand the need to sign a lifetime contract, particularly since it would not pay his family in the event of his death.

    "Working for free and selling our rights away for lifetime, that's a little different," said Fitch, who said he hasn't spoken with White but plans to call him. "We tried to negotiate five- or 10-year deals with them, but it wasn't good enough. It was all or nothing. He wanted our lifetime. He wanted our souls forever."

    White said the AKA fighters "aren't partners with us" and said they don't understand what the UFC is trying to do for the sport. White said the UFC's current success was because of long hours he and partner Lorenzo Fer ta have put in trying to build the company and the sport of mixed martial arts.

    White complained that he has to make frequent sacrifices in his personal life and is away from his family for long stretches because of his commitment to growing the UFC. He said the AKA fighters don't understand the things UFC management is trying to do and said they'll learn how tough things are in the poor economy.

    "There are a lot of guys who help us and work with us and are great partners with us, and they're the ones we're going to remember and take care of," White said. "Do these guys understand what is going on in this world? I'll tell you, this economy is [expletive] up. It's totally [expletive] up. It's bad, real, real bad. The [television] networks are in trouble and don't have money. The sponsors are in trouble, and they have no money. If they don't have money, they go out of business.

    "It's a whole other world out there, believe me, and let these guys go out there and see what they find."

    White said he took great care of Fitch and said with bonuses and purse, Fitch made $169,000 for his welterweight le fight loss to St. Pierre at UFC 87 in Minneapolis in August. Fitch (17-3 with 1 no-contest) did not dispute that salary figure. He said the UFC "has taken care of me and you've never heard me complain about money. This is a respect thing."

    Fitch said he thought there should room to negotiate on these contracts but said the UFC would not budge.

    He said he understood it was highly unlikely that another company would want to put him in a video game but said it was only reasonable that he not tie his rights up for life.

    White said he flew to San Jose in the summer to talk with the AKA fighters, but Fitch said the discussion was about a merchandising agreement.

    "He wanted us to sign that merchandising agreement, and it was not a very good agreement," Fitch said. "There was not really a reason for us to sign it. The first thing they brought to us was for us to sign all of our rights away for everything forever. It was for very small compensation, and there was no compensation for family members if we were to die.

    "We could die and they could make memorial figurines and stuff and make thousands, millions of dollars, and our families wouldn't see a penny of it. The way they bring the contracts and stuff to us, I don't know, it's just not how business is done."

    Zinkin also represents UFC light heavyweight Chuck Liddell, though Liddell does not fight for AKA. White said he has been "beefing with Zinkin for years" and said he had to call Liddell, one of his closest friends, and tell him to get Zinkin to back off.

    According to White, Liddell said Zinkin represented him on sponsorships and he would negotiate his own deals with the UFC.

    Fitch said he has been a loyal UFC employee and said, "I'd only like a little bit of respect for the blood I shed for this company."

    White said he has sacrificed more than anyone to build the UFC into the powerhouse it has become and that he's tired of athletes who don't want to "get with the program."

    Velasquez, one of the sport's rising stars, clearly is on the outs with White. White said Zinkin wanted standard language that is part of every UFC fighter's contract removed from Velasquez's deal.

    "Can you believe that?" White said. "Chuck Liddell has that language in his contract. Randy Couture has it. Anderson Silva has it. And Cain [expletive] Velasquez, with two [expletive] fights, wants us to change it for him? That's [expletive] nuts. He can get the [expletive] out.

    "I'm not a bag and I do a lot for these guys, a lot more than any of you will ever know. We're in a horrible time in the economy now, and every guy with two nickels to rub together is making a run at us. We've worked too hard, given too much, to let certain guys come in and [expletive] with that."

    Fitch said he's not trying to mess with anything and that he simply wants to fight. He said he always has been respectful in all his dealings with the UFC and said he can't understand the position he finds himself in without ever having spoken to White.

    He plans to call White to discuss the situation but wasn't sure what move to make.

    "I'm more than willing to work with them, but I don't see why we have to give up our whole lives for this," Fitch said. "Why not a time limit? If we did a 10-year deal with them, is that that unreasonable? I don't understand how this happened, honestly. It's tough."

  2. #2
    PRICELESS SPURS FAN polandprzem's Avatar
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    Is this definite?

  3. #3
    Go Spurs Go!! dbreiden83080's Avatar
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    Says Fitch is cut, we'll see if it sticks.

  4. #4
    Seeking the quiet mind desflood's Avatar
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    I don't think there's any doubt anymore that he's been cut. The mystery is exactly what the cir stances were.

  5. #5
    Go Spurs Go!! dbreiden83080's Avatar
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    I don't think there's any doubt anymore that he's been cut. The mystery is exactly what the cir stances were.
    I think it is basically what Fitch is saying. They wanted them to sign that deal, he and other memebers of AKA said no, Dana and the UFC, threw their weight around.. They cut Werdum without much of an explanation, why should this be much different i guess..

  6. #6
    All this over video game rights?

    Dana, get your together you crazy er.

  7. #7
    Seeking the quiet mind desflood's Avatar
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    Update from Sherdog:

    Bob Cook and Zinkin Entertainment, who manage Fitch and other fighters from the American Kickboxing Academy, told Sherdog.com on Thursday afternoon that talk has resumed with the UFC, but they would not comment on the exact nature of the discussion.

  8. #8
    POW! POW! Evan's Avatar
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    Update from Sherdog:

    Bob Cook and Zinkin Entertainment, who manage Fitch and other fighters from the American Kickboxing Academy, told Sherdog.com on Thursday afternoon that talk has resumed with the UFC, but they would not comment on the exact nature of the discussion.
    Translation…

    Dana threw a hard core temper tantrum and Lorenzo stepped in.

  9. #9
    Go Spurs Go!! dbreiden83080's Avatar
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    Translation…

    Dana threw a hard core temper tantrum and Lorenzo stepped in.
    Why not get Dana the out of there, they don't need him talking this nonsense, dial it down or go away is what i would tell Dana..

  10. #10
    POW! POW! Evan's Avatar
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    believe it or not he is an awesome businessman.... who made a bad mistake.

  11. #11
    Seeking the quiet mind desflood's Avatar
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    Lorenzo really needs to reign him in
    That's exactly what's happening here.

    I have to agree with Evan on the other point - Dana is a good business man with a bad temper.

  12. #12
    Go Spurs Go!! dbreiden83080's Avatar
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    That's exactly what's happening here.

    I have to agree with Evan on the other point - Dana is a good business man with a bad temper.
    I agree he is a good business-man, i don't care for his promoting style and his temper needs to get under control.. Count to 10 before you call the press and make a clown of yourself Dana..

  13. #13
    Thank God I'm a country boy! djohn14's Avatar
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    GOD...please dont cut Cain Velasquez!!!

  14. #14
    Go Spurs Go!! dbreiden83080's Avatar
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    GOD...please dont cut Cain Velasquez!!!

  15. #15
    POW! POW! Evan's Avatar
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    GOD...please dont cut Cain Velasquez!!!
    It will all get worked out brother...I am sure we know 10% of the whole story.

  16. #16
    Go Spurs Go!! dbreiden83080's Avatar
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    It will all get worked out brother...I am sure we know 10% of the whole story.
    We'd know 0% of the story if Dana could keep his pie-hole closed and his anger issues in check on these things..

  17. #17
    POW! POW! Evan's Avatar
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    probaby because mma would be some obscure bar room thing in Kentucky without him....

  18. #18
    Go Spurs Go!! dbreiden83080's Avatar
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    probaby because mma would be some obscure bar room thing in Kentucky without him....
    He keeps it up and it may be headed straight on back there..

  19. #19
    This is a bluff attempt on Danas part. Fitch will be signed, you can't blame him for not wanting to sign a lifetime contract though, that is just ridiculous.

  20. #20
    Thank God I'm a country boy! djohn14's Avatar
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    Just shy of a day after the reported dismissal of Jon Fitch by the UFC, It appears the two have come to an agreement and the top 5 welterweight has returned to the company.

    The news was first reported by MMARated this afternoon.

    It is being reported that Fitch spoke with UFC co-owner Lorenzo Fer ta this afternoon and the parties managed to resolve their differences, and the fighter will sign the much talked about video game licensing agreement.

    Fitch still stands by his assertion that he didn’t appreciate the way Dana White treated the fighter when attempting to negotiate a deal for video game licensing.

    At this point everything appears to be resolved and the scheduled fight with Akihiro Gono at UFC 94 appears to be back on.

    Great News for Cain Velasquez!

  21. #21
    POW! POW! Evan's Avatar
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    Gee what a surprise...

    This sport is growing...these things will happen and its good there was such a public outcry and that the UFC listened.

    This is a good thing this happened.

  22. #22
    Seeking the quiet mind desflood's Avatar
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    Update: Jon Fitch says he made the decision not to sign against the wishes of his management:


    But Fitch’s most intriguing revelation came when he said that his management actually advised him to sign away his likeness and that it was his decision and his decision alone not to ink the deal.

    “He tries to blame this and put this off on management but my management was telling me to sign this video game deal. But out of principle, I didn’t. It’s on me, not on my management.”

  23. #23
    POW! POW! Evan's Avatar
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    8,499
    All of our guys signed off on [on the exclusive videogame-rights agreement]," Lambert said. "I don't really think they were giving that much up, anyways. I didn't really see much of a demand for a videogame deal outside of the UFC. So I didn't think I was doing a disservice to my guys in recommending that they sign the deal. [The UFC] takes care of our guys in more ways than one. So, no problems on our end."

    ATT houses several of the UFC's elite-level fighters, including Thiago Alves, Thiago Silva, Wilson Gouveia and Roan Carneiro, among others. Lambert said he recommended his fighters sign the agreement several weeks ago without concern that the deal would prove a negative for his camp.

    "I didn't think it was an unreasonable request for them, and we signed off on it," Lambert said. "Other times you have to pick the battle. If you're in for a new contract and you've got to fight for your guy to get the best deal, you've got fight for the best deal possible. But they understand that. [The UFC] has always been reasonable with us, and they asked for a favor on that one. Again, we have no issues on it."

    Lambert said he wasted little time in agreeing to the change.

    "Dana's ... done a lot for this sport," Lambert said. "They've always treated us right. He asks a favor, (and) you've got to pick your battles. That wasn't a battle we chose to fight. All of our guys agreed." ...


    "There was a merchandise deal that got a little bit of press a while back," Lambert said. "And basically when I read the merchandising agreement that they had asked guys to sign in the past, it was a non-exclusive merchandise deal whereby [UFC officials] were going to use their contacts and get merchandising deals for guys. And they were going to give a pretty generous percentage to the fighter on a non-exclusive basis.

    "So if [the UFC] had a deal with XYZ distributor where they were going to sell a Thiago Alves shirt, they were going to pay Thiago a percentage of it. But if Thiago got his own deal with somebody else for a shirt deal, it didn't exclude him from doing so. I thought that was a good deal for the fighters as well." ...


    "This deal was different," Lambert said. "It was the videogame, and it was exclusive. It's going to forbid you from doing any other type of [videogame] deals without the UFC saying, 'It's OK.' But it's not like those deals are really out there to be had anyway right now. The UFC had in their standard agreement whereby they had the right to put you in a videogame without any compensation due to you anyway. They were just simply saying we need it to be exclusive.

    "I didn't think it was really giving up that much for the fighter given the other opportunities they get and the promotion that it would be for you to be on the game. I think it's going to help you anyway. So I think there may be some confusion out there if guys think the UFC was asking them to sign away their lives with respect to all merchandising. That's just a mistake. That's not what it said." ...

    Lambert insisted that if the UFC had presented an agreement that would have negatively impacted his fighters, he never would have encouraged those affected to sign the deal.

    "If [White] was asking me to do something that would hurt my guys and maybe taken some serious money out of somebody's pocket, I probably would have had to fight him on it," Lambert said. "But that's not really the situation that's out there, and I don't see it coming out there any time soon. If he had asked us to sign this deal that any merchandising is exclusive to the UFC -- and you don't get anything for it -- I probably would have said, 'No. It's not reasonable.' But I didn't think this was anything along those lines. He just asked us to do it, and we said, 'Yes.' No threats, no consequences. He asked a favor and we said, 'OK.'" ...

    "I don't want to sound like a company shill, and I don't think I am," Lambert said. "I think I've always done right by our guys and they've always done right by us. But I think every time I read something, it always makes the UFC out and Dana out to be the evil empire. They think that they don't take care of the fighters and they don't look out for the fighters' best interests -- that they're only looking out for the company. I think that couldn't be any farther from the truth.

    "I think they've always taken care of the guys, at least my guys. In my experience with them, I think they're looking out for the betterment of the sport. I think they've done a tremendous amount for the sport. And to allow the fighters and the managers and the trainers and the agents and even your local John's Karate Academy to do so much more in this sport and with their lives and their moneymaking ability than many people ever thought possible. I think before people just cast judgment and say that they're the bad guys, they ought to check out all the facts. In this case I didn't feel like they were asking anything unreasonable whatsoever."

  24. #24
    Thank God I'm a country boy! djohn14's Avatar
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    2,613
    All of our guys signed off on [on the exclusive videogame-rights agreement]," Lambert said. "I don't really think they were giving that much up, anyways. I didn't really see much of a demand for a videogame deal outside of the UFC. So I didn't think I was doing a disservice to my guys in recommending that they sign the deal. [The UFC] takes care of our guys in more ways than one. So, no problems on our end."

    ATT houses several of the UFC's elite-level fighters, including Thiago Alves, Thiago Silva, Wilson Gouveia and Roan Carneiro, among others. Lambert said he recommended his fighters sign the agreement several weeks ago without concern that the deal would prove a negative for his camp.

    "I didn't think it was an unreasonable request for them, and we signed off on it," Lambert said. "Other times you have to pick the battle. If you're in for a new contract and you've got to fight for your guy to get the best deal, you've got fight for the best deal possible. But they understand that. [The UFC] has always been reasonable with us, and they asked for a favor on that one. Again, we have no issues on it."

    Lambert said he wasted little time in agreeing to the change.

    "Dana's ... done a lot for this sport," Lambert said. "They've always treated us right. He asks a favor, (and) you've got to pick your battles. That wasn't a battle we chose to fight. All of our guys agreed." ...


    "There was a merchandise deal that got a little bit of press a while back," Lambert said. "And basically when I read the merchandising agreement that they had asked guys to sign in the past, it was a non-exclusive merchandise deal whereby [UFC officials] were going to use their contacts and get merchandising deals for guys. And they were going to give a pretty generous percentage to the fighter on a non-exclusive basis.

    "So if [the UFC] had a deal with XYZ distributor where they were going to sell a Thiago Alves shirt, they were going to pay Thiago a percentage of it. But if Thiago got his own deal with somebody else for a shirt deal, it didn't exclude him from doing so. I thought that was a good deal for the fighters as well." ...


    "This deal was different," Lambert said. "It was the videogame, and it was exclusive. It's going to forbid you from doing any other type of [videogame] deals without the UFC saying, 'It's OK.' But it's not like those deals are really out there to be had anyway right now. The UFC had in their standard agreement whereby they had the right to put you in a videogame without any compensation due to you anyway. They were just simply saying we need it to be exclusive.

    "I didn't think it was really giving up that much for the fighter given the other opportunities they get and the promotion that it would be for you to be on the game. I think it's going to help you anyway. So I think there may be some confusion out there if guys think the UFC was asking them to sign away their lives with respect to all merchandising. That's just a mistake. That's not what it said." ...

    Lambert insisted that if the UFC had presented an agreement that would have negatively impacted his fighters, he never would have encouraged those affected to sign the deal.

    "If [White] was asking me to do something that would hurt my guys and maybe taken some serious money out of somebody's pocket, I probably would have had to fight him on it," Lambert said. "But that's not really the situation that's out there, and I don't see it coming out there any time soon. If he had asked us to sign this deal that any merchandising is exclusive to the UFC -- and you don't get anything for it -- I probably would have said, 'No. It's not reasonable.' But I didn't think this was anything along those lines. He just asked us to do it, and we said, 'Yes.' No threats, no consequences. He asked a favor and we said, 'OK.'" ...

    "I don't want to sound like a company shill, and I don't think I am," Lambert said. "I think I've always done right by our guys and they've always done right by us. But I think every time I read something, it always makes the UFC out and Dana out to be the evil empire. They think that they don't take care of the fighters and they don't look out for the fighters' best interests -- that they're only looking out for the company. I think that couldn't be any farther from the truth.

    "I think they've always taken care of the guys, at least my guys. In my experience with them, I think they're looking out for the betterment of the sport. I think they've done a tremendous amount for the sport. And to allow the fighters and the managers and the trainers and the agents and even your local John's Karate Academy to do so much more in this sport and with their lives and their moneymaking ability than many people ever thought possible. I think before people just cast judgment and say that they're the bad guys, they ought to check out all the facts. In this case I didn't feel like they were asking anything unreasonable whatsoever."
    Thiago Alves is getting cut too?

  25. #25
    stick and move dallaskd's Avatar
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    9,495
    Swick is the only one i like in that group and he does so much for the UFC already (Real Quick, UFC Fight Club, ect.) so i'm happy he stayed. This is a huge opportunity for other orgs to put some fight up against the UFC.


    So does this mean Shields won't be coming to the UFC?

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