After layoff, Fitch talks about financial impact

October 11, 2012

Jon Fitch was a number 1 contender to Georges St. Pierre not too long ago.  But, his lack of fights have slowed him down and he talked about the financial impact it has had on him.

In speaking with MMA Junkie, Fitch discussed the economic condition of MMA.  When not assigned a fight, Fitch noted that it’s harder to produce revenue for yourself.  Fitch indicated sponsors are tighter with their money and appearance fees are not what it used to be.   As a result, he’s “very careful” with his money.

To supplement his income, he also advocated for more fights.

Via MMA Junkie:

“I would love for us to be able to fight three times a year,” he said. “I think that’s more than realistic. … But we’re pretty lucky to get three in a year. If you get three, that’s ideal. But when you get one or two, it can be difficult. If I still lived in Indiana, it wouldn’t be such as much an issue, but I live in California, and it’s expensive. Even the cost of food at the store is more expensive.”

Fitch had been dealing with injuries and lost his last fight in 12 seconds to Johnny Hendricks.

Payout Perspective:

Its worthy to note that Fitch is still sponsored by athletic sportswear maker RYU.  The brand is also an official UFC sponsor.   So, we may assume that he’s supplied with at least workout gear for training and potential appearance opportunities for the sponsor.

However, for up and coming fighters on the prelim cards, earning money in between fights is a reality.  With sponsors having to pay the UFC fee, sponsors may be more selective with fighters.  Without big sponsors to foot the bill, these fighters would have to find other means to earn an income in between fights.

Does anyone find Fitch’s comments surprising considering the amount of injuries that have occurred on UFC cards this year, let alone the number of cards?  He states that he’d like to fight three times a year but finds it difficult to do so.  Prior to a draw with BJ Penn and a knockout to Hendricks, Fitch’s only UFC loss was a title fight to GSP.  Otherwise he was on an 8 fight UFC win streak before GSP and then ran off another 5 after GSP before Penn.  If healthy, Fitch should be someone the UFC could utilize.


5 Responses to “After layoff, Fitch talks about financial impact”

  1. Sampson Simpson on October 12th, 2012 4:57 AM

    Not surprised at all. MMA fighters don’t make much money.

    In boxing, a fight is always to be had as everyone is an independent contractor.

  2. Brain Smasher on October 12th, 2012 11:30 PM

    Fitch is paid fine. But when you choose not to work its not surprising you dont get paid. His lack of exciting fighting style hurts his ability to get money outside fighting. The fact he isnt the contender he used to be. Yes he only lost to GSP and Hendricks. But he will likely lose to Erick Silva also. If he does pull it out by some stroke of luck it will be a fight he cant look exciting in because he will have to LnP. He isnt #1 contender any longer and isnt even thought of as top 5. If he loses here he will not be thought of as top 10. Add to this being inactive. Why should he get the money he was getting when he was active and #1 contender?

    It is also important to read the article. Fitch isnt hard up. What he is struggling to do is live in california and pay a second mortgauge on his vaction home. He is struggling to keep the lifestyle he had as #1 contender and made bad investments. Nothing more. When you drop in the rankings it is expected you will get paid less, get lower appearance fees and less sponsor money. He should have planned for that.

    Maybe this will teach fighters that will you pull out and duck fights it may come back to bite you. What if you pull out and are inactive like Fitch and STILL lose when you come back? Its best to get the loss out fo the way and get paid. To many fighters are trying to play match maker imo and its becoming a problem. Maybe this will cause people to be careful and prevent legit injuries also. But i dont feel sorry for anyone who is struggling when they didnt work.

  3. edi on October 13th, 2012 11:51 PM

    Fitch is HARD WORK personified. A mid western kid who became a Purdue captain wrestler as a walk on. Not a high school champ. Not a NCAA champ or All American. He defines what it means to be a not so special athlete w/ a burning desire and will to get in and give 110 percent.
    Imagine how many coaches and team mates he has had that have the same view as above of his abilities- yet he teaches us what it means to stay the course and truly reach his potential.

    Diligence and work ethic.
    The kid is a true middle American. He is the F-100 of MMA. What Ford used to be to manufacturing in the USA.

  4. Brain Smasher on October 14th, 2012 12:05 AM

    No one has ever questioned that. Still doesnt change the fact if you are out of work you will not make much money. He has no right to complain about finances when he made bad investments and hasnt won a fight in over 2 years. No one wants to here how he has a hard time in his over priced home and vacation home in a expensive state he choose to live in. I like Fitch. But there is a lot of people with real problems these days. For him to be stupid enough to even mentioned his struggles with his luxurious lifestyle s very disrespectful! Counting tonight he has made around $900,000 in the UFC in just the last 4 years not counting sponsors and his appearance fees or undisclosed pay. Thats not too bad considering he has been hurt most of the last 2 years.

  5. william hardiek on October 18th, 2012 8:08 AM

    Fitch has the chance to make money. All he needs to do is take a few short notice fights. Jon has been with the UFC for years, taking a short notice fight will do his career wonders. Fight fans have a short attention span, most new fans probably don’t even know who Jon Fitch is. Zuffa have the ability to sell Fitchs’ work ethic and everyman approach. He just needs to make himself more available.

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