You knew Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White wasn't going to let recent comments by disgruntled ex-employees Jon Fitch and Quinton Jackson go without a response, and on Thursday (June 6, 2013) evening he gave one loaded with hard-hitting material.
When Fitch came out swinging on the World Series of Fighting (WSOF): "Fitch vs. Burkman" media call on Thursday afternoon, it was clear there were more hard feelings than original appeared as the fighter complained about mistreatment during his time with the world's premier mixed martial arts (MMA) organization prior to his release earlier this year.
"From very early on I was fighting for my job every single fight," he said. "They made it clear to me that they didn't like me or want me around. It's awesome to have people working with me instead of against me."
"I'm proud of my history, I'm proud of what I've done. I'm even more proud of what I've done under the circumstances. It's not easy to be successful in a hostile work environment. Anyone who's worked in any profession that had to go through that knows that for a fact. I feel like I have double the wins because of the circumstances that I fought against."
The 35-year-old detailed multiple scenarios where he felt he was being mistreated and also claimed he was also threatened with a lesser paying contract in the event he lost a fight inside the Octagon.
If true, Fitch's comments are quite sobering of what could be going on behind-the-scenes, however, White adamantly denied the claims and retorted by listing out all the opportunities and over $300,000 in additional financial bonuses the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) product was given during his nearly eight-year, 18-fight stint with his organization.
"Jon Fitch said he was working under a hostile work environment and that he never had an opportunity and should have double the wins he had with us," White exclusively told MMA Junkie. "He was complaining about what he had to go through here, about people saying stuff under their breath to him and all this bulls---. Jon Fitch is so full of s--t. He's f---ing delusional. First of all, he had every opportunity that anyone else had. After Georges St-Pierre beat the living s--t out of him, did we treat him differently or anything?
"Just to lay it out with facts, Jon Fitch lost to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 87. He had an opportunity to fight for the title, and he got destroyed in that fight. He fought to a draw with B.J. Penn in a top contender fight. Then he gets a chance to be a No. 1 contender again and gets knocked f---ing dead in the first round by Johny Hendricks. What f---ing opportunities has he not been given?
"He was prominently featured on tons of UFC pay-per-view events. 'GSP'-B.J. Penn was the main event at UFC 94, and Jon Fitch was on that fight card against Akihiro Gono. He was on UFC 100 vs. Paulo Thiago. He was on UFC 111 against Ben Saunders, and 'GSP' and Dan Hardy were the main event of that one. UFC 117 against Thiago Alves? That was Anderson Silva vs. Chael Sonnen in the main event. He's fought on all the most prominent cards. When he had a baby, we sent him an awesome baby basket. Do you do that to somebody you don't give a s--t about? He's 35 years old, and since 2011, he's gone 1-2-1."
Beyond the fact White feels Fitch's claims were unfair and inaccurate, he is confused why the former welterweight title challenger it trying to make a situation personal that he never felt was anything more than business.
"He was given multiple opportunities and couldn't win the big fight," White said. "He's trying to make it personal. It's the furthest f---ing thing from personal."
As for ‘Rampage,' White is happy the man he used to share a very close personal relationship with was able to find a situation where he can make money and perform with his current skill set.
While the former light heavyweight champion has said some regrettable things in the past about White and the UFC in general, White ultimately knows Jackson's multi-year deal with Bellator MMA and TNA Impact Wrestling is probably the right fit for him due to his dwindling passion for MMA.
"Rampage' comes out and says he's so happy - he's the happiest he's ever been," White said. "Why wouldn't he be happy? 'Rampage' himself, and I'm quoting 'Rampage,' came out and said, 'I don't have what it takes to compete with the best in the world anymore.' That's a quote from 'Rampage.' Now you're fighting in (TNA) where the outcomes are predetermined. You can start winning again.
"He lost his love of fighting a long time ago. He wanted to be a movie star. The movie star thing didn't work out, so fighting is where he makes his money. Unfortunately, he's unhappy about that. That's not my fault."