Former number one UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch was today handed his walking papers for refusing to sign an agreement that would give the promotion exclusive lifetime video game rights to his name and likeness, MMAmania.com can exclusively confirm.
American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) team member Christian Wellisch was also released. Others who do not sign the agreement could also be let go in the near future, including stars Cain Velasquez and Josh Koscheck (he will still headline UFC Fight Night 16: "Fight for the Troops").
Fitch and members of his camp were not immediately available for comment on the startling development.
While the full details are a little murky at this time, Fitch was apparently approached about the issue when he turned in his signed bout agreement to fight Akihiro Gono at UFC 94: "St. Pierre vs. Penn 2" on January 31. And when he and his representatives attempted to negotiate the video game deal it was all or nothing.
He didn't sign it and was terminated shortly therefafter.
Fitch -- who is tied with Royce Gracie and Anderson Silva for the most consecutive wins in UFC history (eight) -- recently lost a gutsy unanimous decision to welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre at UFC 87: "Seek and Destroy" on August 9.
The former Purdue University wrestler just returned from a trip to Thailand to refine his Muay Thai and stand up skills. For the time being he may have to now put those skills to the test outside the Octagon for the first time since 2006.
He's among the top 170-pound fighters in the world and should land on his feet sooner rather than later. Talk about a big loss for the UFC ... and Jon Fitch.
More on this breaking exclusive news as soon as we receive it. Hopefully cooler heads soon prevail.