UFC Cuts Jon Fitch
MMA Mania has the exclusive news that the UFC has cut Jon Fitch because he refused to sign an agreement which would have given the UFC lifetime rights to use his name and likeness in video games. Apparently when Fitch handed in his agreement for the Akihiro Gono fight, the UFC told him about the lifetime rights contract and refused to negotiate. It was either sign it or be cut. Fitch and his representatives chose the latter.
This could get worked out, but as of right now it appears one of the best Welterweight fighters in the world is a free agent. Talk about playing hardball.
Fitch is in a difficult place right now in regards to leverage. He is without a doubt one of the top five Welterweights in Mixed Martial Arts. Fans respect the hell out of him and with some fine tuning he could become a big star down the line. As of right now, though, he is not a headliner. I can definitely see why he would not want to sign over his rights at this point. Two years from now he could be in a position where the UFC would never even ask him for the rights (not all UFC fighters have signed over their image and likeness). The problem is at this point he does not have that kind of leverage. He's stuck in limbo between being a top fighter, but not a PPV draw.