The lesson that Jon Fitch learned when he lost his job with the UFC is a simple one: If you're a big enough draw to fight in the main event of a pay-per-view, you've got some leverage with UFC. If you're not, you don't.
In the case of Fitch, he had his chance when he was in the main event at UFC 87, where he lost to Georges St. Pierre. If he had won that fight, he'd be the UFC welterweight champion of the world, and the UFC wouldn't be so quick to cut him loose for refusing to sign over the rights to his name and likeness in a video game. By losing that fight, he lost any leverage. He's just not a big enough draw for the UFC to care all that much about losing him.
This isn't a judgment about who's right and who's wrong on the merits in the dispute between Fitch and the UFC. It's just the reality of the business: There are a handful of fighters who make enough money for the UFC that the UFC can't afford to cut them loose. Fitch is not in that handful.
I got to thinking about how many fighters who are so important to the promotion that they have real leverage with the UFC, and I could only come up with 14. My list is below. I'm curious to hear yours.
When Jon Fitch Lost to Georges St. Pierre, He Lost His Leverage With UFC originally appeared on MMA FanHouse on Thu, 20 Nov 2008 11:38:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.