Former UFC welterweight Jon Fitch, a contender who was surprisingly and unceremoniously released in February from his UFC contract, said he is happy in his new promotional home with World Series of Fighting.
"I'm actually very excited and in a very happy place right now," Fitch said Monday on The MMA Hour broadcast with host Ariel Helwani. "Working with World Series, I get to help build something. I get to work with people rather than against people."
Fitch confirmed Monday that he will make his World Series of Fighting debut June 14, though no opponent has yet been announced.
Fitch, 35, lost two of his last three fights in the UFC. One was a first-round knockout loss to Johny Hendricks, and the other was a decision defeat to Demian Maia, which came Feb. 2 at UFC 156. Still, Fitch (24-5-1-1) put together an impressive win over Erick Silva last October, and he was almost universally considered one of the best 170-pounders in MMA.
Fitch said Monday that his release from the UFC revealed the promotion's interest in just that—promotion—over wins and losses.
"I guess it isn’t really a sport about winning," Fitch said. "Winning doesn’t really count for anything."
In explaining the release, UFC president Dana White said Fitch was on the "downside" of his fight career. Fitch rejected that assertion Monday.
"No," Fitch said. "In no way am I on the downside of my career. I don’t agree with that at all."
Though no opponent is yet set for his debut with World Series of Fighting, a newer promotion broadcast on the NBC Sports Network, Fitch said Monday that former UFC fighters Gerald Harris and Aaron Simpson could both be possibilities.
Other interesting potential opponents on the WSOF roster include Gregor Gracie, Jorge Santiago, Josh Burkman and Paul Bradley.
A former standout college wrestler, Fitch was considered a "boring" fighter by many fans and pundits. Of his 24 professional wins, 14 have come by way of decision.