Bellator not interested in Fitch, WSOF says signing is a 'done deal'


The UFC released Jon Fitch on Wednesday, after the Welterweight went 1-2-1 in his last four fights. Many assumed he would be heading to the #2 league in the sport, Bellator. But Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn said the door is not open for Fitch..

Given that 100 UFC fighters apparently will be cut from the roster, the situation may become an all too familiar one.

“I have a lot of respect for Jon and I have a lot of respect for anyone who has to courage to do what these guys do and the athletic ability to do what they do," said Rebney. "But we are not going to be signing Jon Fitch."

“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 apart of the tournaments and it’s just not the time.”

“There is no hard and fast line in the sand with us. ‘King Mo’ Lawal came out of Strikeforce. He is one of my favorite fighters fighting in our organization. He is wildly exciting and awesomely talented. Ben ‘Killa B’ Saunders is another example and is fighting for us tonight. He came out and lost two straight in the UFC when we signed him. I just liking watching him fight. I love the knees and I love the clinch game and I thought he was exciting, so we signed him. There will be others like that. There will be other guys that get released from the UFC and it’s not a hard and fast rule.”

However, World Series of Fighting which recently signed a multi-year, multi-show deal with NBC Sports Network has weclomed him with open arms.

"We would be honored to have Jon Fitch in our promotion," said vice president and matchmaker for World Series of Fighting Ali Abdel-Aziz.  "He is one of the top welterweights in the sport."

When asked on Twitter, WSoF founder and CEO Ray Sefo said it is a done deal.

David K @ManglerStackz
@BjornRebney said he won't be signing jon fitsch to @BellatorMMA... Makes fitsch's destination unknown. @SugarRaySefo are you interested?

Ray Sefo Ray Sefo ‏@SugarRaySefo
It's a done deal my friend!!

Steph Daniel's interviewed Sefo, for further details.

Stephie Daniels: So you guys gave him a number, he agreed, and now the contract is in his hands, waiting to be signed?

Ray Sefo: Correct.

SD: So many promoters attach a stigma to freshly released UFC fighters, often times stating that they don't want to sign UFC castoffs. You, on the other hand, are more than willing to provide these athletes a home. Why is that?

RS: People need to understand that winning and losing is part of what we do. They like to say you're only as good as your last fight, but I don't believe in that. I've seen fighters, it's even happened to me, where I would lose a fight, then come back to win four or five in a row. Winning and losing is all part of the game. You can't just judge a guy and say that he's washed up based on a loss here and there. I don't think of them as castoffs.

Fitch is still one of the Top 10 guys in the world. We're really happy to have him, and we intend to keep building our roster with quality fighters.

Read entire interview...


tags: UFC   Bellator   Jon Fitch (detail)  Bjorn Rebney   WSoF      


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fightharder site profile image  

2/23/13 3:28 PM by fightharder

The dude cant seem to get any love at all. I think it just shows that MMA still so fucking far removed from being a real competitive sport that all that talk of Dana about eventually trying out for Olympic cerification is just silly.   Both the UFC and Bellator are firmly in the grasps of big television companies now. They need rating hence the need for ''exciting'' fighters,even more so with the UFC since the Fox deal then with Bellator but still.Its kind of said that Bellator does not make a move to accomodate a fighter like Fitch because they would be credibility.But  probably because a television company now owns Bellator and Fitch is not interesting enough in terms of personality of fighting style they pass. Its seems a little weird to me because now that they new deal got you the room to make a move for legitimate fighters like Fitch you pass such a chance up.   I really do not understand it either because Jon Fitch is hardly the most expensive guy to keep around. Those comments from Dana that Jon Fitch is expensive where total bullshit. He does not get PPV numbers,he earns a modest fee per fight and win compared to most fighters who are ranked. Jon Fitch is a fighter you keep around to so that,apart from being in the entertainment game you are also a legitimate sport,where dude like Jon Fitch,you might not fight pretty but do get the job done,can still compete because you have the baddest man on the planet in your division.   If the UFC is doing so great and there expanding in more foreign markets then you can count you do not go out and ditch a hundred fighters all of a sudden,especially not when they have proven win record like Fitch has.   Unfortunately MMA moved firmly into the entertainment colum. It is most certainly going the way that boxing is going and the little bit of profesisonalism and integrity that was suppose to be afforded when the whole thing became slightly more mainstream and popular has not arrived at all. The sport of MMA was always more or less defendable because if you won and had the skills you had the chance of fighting for a title regardless.Though it might not been exactly the case ever now it so blatantly not the case anymore that the whole belt thing and claim of being the baddest man on the planet in a certain division has become tainted for now reason at all.   And lets not even talk about the unfairness of the whole thing. Fitch fights his heart out against Silva because he needs to be more entertaining. He earns fight of the night and most people are raving about his performance. As a ''reward'' he gets matched up with Maia,who is the best grappling in the division by a mile, and gets cut after he loses a fight where he basically got neutralized. Its silly beyond believe and frankly just goes to show that the plot is lost.   Perhaps i need to adjust a little though and see MMA more in terms of being WWF with punching. It sort of is real but most of it is scripted and you really only have a chance if you either speak to a specific demo,slug it out like rock em sock em robots every time (and really rather fail utterly at it) or have the type of personality Dana seems to like.   The only upside is that i will be watching all the WSOF events now.  

StratTone site profile image  

2/23/13 12:42 PM by StratTone

Who writes these news articles and titles them any way?  An error here and there ok but Jesus its like they do it on purpose.  

sevr1 site profile image  

2/23/13 12:38 PM by sevr1

Why does the UG news title say "Bellator interested in Fitch" when everyone already knows they aren't going to sign him?....waits for Chris to get blamed, lol....

Jason Reinhardt site profile image  

2/23/13 11:52 AM by Jason Reinhardt

Fitch, Go fight for another Warrior in Ray Sefo's organization! "Warriors" sticking with "Warriors" and helping each other is a very cool concept in my thoughts. Ray Sefo deserves and has EARNED the right to make a fighter want to bleed for him and help him build his brand. And hearing what kind of person Ray Sefo is, he will do everything in his power to take care of Fitch. Not to mention, the UFC and and Ray Sefo seem to have a very respectfull relationship as Dana White has expressed how much he respects Sefo! (and rightfully so) Fitch should be excited about this new journey, as things happen for a reason. And if he comes back to the UFC oneday, then cool. But, he just may find he loves it with Sefo's organization. That's where i think he should go. As many wars as Fitch has been in, screw those tournaments. (no dis-respect meant towards Bellator), but Fitch already comes from the tournament Era. I just don't feel that demanding tournament system does anything positive for a guy like Fitch. And, as a matter of fact if he goes with Bellator it has great potential to "cut short" such an awesome prolonged career, especially since we all know Fitch has so, so, much left! NOTE: Much respect to these Bellator young studs who endure such brutal tournaments especially "these days" when fighters are becoming so incredibly well rounded. There's a fine line with these tournaments in my humble opinion. This is 2013...not 1997. You want to fight and ride this journey for as long as possibly. Ok, i'm done rambling! :)

stonepony site profile image  

2/23/13 1:11 AM by stonepony

It would take a single phone call from DW to set WSOF up as the next solid #2 organization. He can ask them to take care of the UFC fighters as they're cut, and he can ask them to make the transition for fighters between the organizations an easy transition. SF didn't want to do it, neither did any of the previous big not-UFC organizations. Bellator doesn't want to do it, so they'll be gone in 3 years. WSOF could do well. With Fitch they will have a fighter who is better than anybody on the Bellator roster. With 100 fighters, including Urijah maybe being cut, WSOF could easily eclipse Bellator when it comes to talent.

Forrest Spliffn site profile image  

2/22/13 11:41 PM by Forrest Spliffn

I agree with not signing himNot even because of Jon. It just looks like you are picking up any table scraps you can if you do it.

Nexuscrawlers site profile image  

2/22/13 11:24 PM by Nexuscrawlers

Good. I think that's a good fit for him. I just hope WSOF doesn't make the affliction and other org mistake of getting too many big name high priced fighters.

Chris27 site profile image  

2/22/13 11:18 PM by Chris27

WSOF has apparently signed Fitch, deal is done according to Ray Sefo.

GoodnightWorld site profile image  

2/22/13 11:05 PM by GoodnightWorld

Sweet Jesus and Mary. Voted UP!

ChiTown Philly site profile image  

2/22/13 10:35 PM by ChiTown Philly

Feel bad for Fitch, but not too bad cuz he could give a shit about anyone else so start fillin out applications yo