On a day when the New York Yankees passed the torch from one Steinbrenner to another, was anyone else thinking that the UFC resembled the old days of the Yankees' Bronx Zoo on Thursday? People were shocked in the morning to learn that welterweight title contender Jon Fitch was booted from the company over a contract squabble. And then just like the old days when manager Billy Martin and George Steinbrenner would go crazy on each other and then make nice hours later, the UFC and Fitch buried the hatchet by the evening.
MMARated's Ariel Helwani caught up with Fitch at American Kick Boxing Academy in San Jose before tonight's Strikeforce event. The smirk on Fitch's face tells you what kind of day it was:
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"It was never even about the agreement or the contract. It was the approach we felt that Dana (White) was a little hot-headed and threatening us right off the bat. It didn't seem like a professional way to do things."
Fitch paints a picture portraying UFC president Dana White as the root of the problem in the squabble and that owner Lorenzo Fertitta was the voice of reason. Kevin Iole of Yahoo! Sports told ESPNRadio1100 in a radio interview on Thursday that during a telephone interview with White on Wednesday, Fertitta was just as impassioned and could be heard in the background backing strongly exactly what the very angry White was saying about Fitch.