UPDATE: Ray texted shortly after this piece went up that he was misinformed as to whether Fitch had officially (verbally or otherwise) accepted the offer. His text states that an offer has been sent out, and they are waiting to get confirmation that it has been accepted from Jon Fitch's camp. As soon as it is confirmed, Ray will let me know, and I will pass it along to you all.
Well, that didn't take long at all. The UFC releases Jon Fitch, and inside 72 hours, he has been signed to World Series Of Fighting. The promotion, headed up by kickboxing legend, Ray Sefo, is just one event into their lifespan, but has been making waves with a TV deal and a huge card scheduled for March. I spoke with Sefo just a few minutes ago to get the 411 for our readers.
Stephie Daniels: Did you officially sign Jon Fitch?
Ray Sefo: We have made a verbal agreement with him, and sent out the contract to him yesterday.
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.
Stephie Daniels: When are you planning to feature him on a card?
Ray Sefo: I think that's entirely up to him, but he most likely would find a home on a June or July card.
Stephie Daniels: Dana White said one of the reasons Fitch was cut was because he was insanely expensive, despite being one of the Top 10 ranked fighters in the world. Did you find that it was hard to negotiate terms with him?
Ray Sefo: Not at all. He was easy to talk to, and his team was very easy to deal with. We never had a problem going back and forth with them. It was pretty much straightforward.
Stephie Daniels: Do you guys already have the wheels turning to match him up with an opponent?
Ray Sefo: We haven't gotten that far yet. There's so many guys out there, especially with all these UFC cuts. We're hearing that there's going to be a lot more free agents, so the competition is endless for him.
Stephie Daniels: 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?
Ray Sefo: 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.
You can follow Ray via his Twitter, @SugarRaySefo