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Jon Fitch signs contract extension; signed to fight Akihiro Gono at UFC 82

MMA Mania has confirmed that top UFC welterweight Jon Fitch has signed a bout agreement to fight Akihiro Gono at UFC 82 and that he’s signed a contract extension with the UFC:

Top welterweight contender Jon Fitch (15-2) has signed the bout agreement to fight Akihiro Gono (27-12-7) at UFC 82: “Pride of a Champion” on March 1 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, MMAmania.com (www.mmamania.com) just learned.

In addition, the American Kickboxing Academy standout has re-signed with the organization for another three bouts.

Considering where Fitch is at in the division right now, this is a tough fight for him. Karo Parisyan is talking about fighting someone who he can get an easy victory over to prepare for his title shot while Fitch is taking on quality, experienced competition from overseas. Some guys only want to fight the best guys. Others want to get by and do the bare minimum to get to the top. Karo and Fitch are on separate wavelengths when it comes to this matter.

It’s also good to hear that he’s signed on for another three fights in the UFC. Fitch is a very promising young talent and the UFC should do everything in their power to keep him right where he’s at.

25 COMMENTS
  • Wang Chung says:

    definitely a tough fight for fitch-daddy…but i have faith. the dude is en route to stud status in the next couple of years, no doubt.

    as for karo…he really seems like he’s a bit of a balloon head.

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  • Anton K says:

    “Others want to get by and do the bare minimum to get to the top. Karo and Fitch are on separate wavelengths when it comes to this matter.”

    I think this is a ridiculous statement. I’m no Karo fan, but it’s pretty clear to me that he’s fought and won some tough battles… If the UFC wanted Karo to fight Fitch, he would. What were dealing with now is the fallout from TUF delaying the progress of the entire division. Karo will wind up fighting Kos or Marcus Davis. Does anybody really think they’re going to be any “easier” for Karo than Fitch?

    Actually, maybe Karo can fight Swick, after Swick demolishes Burkman…

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  • garth says:

    Also…Karo already fought Gono, and won. so you can say Fitch is looking for weak opponents too?
    if you look at it a certain way, it’s a clear statement by the UFC that Karo is ahead of Fitch right now.

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  • garth says:

    i’m dumb, never mind. kill me.

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  • Adam Morgan says:

    Garth,

    It’s all good. You were thinking Chonan I’m assuming? Listen, I like Karo and think he’s a great fighter. But when you’re publicly telling everyone that you have no interest in fighting Fitch because you want a “sure thing” before your title shot and Fitch is going out and signing up to fight an extremely dangerous fighter in Akihiro Gono, something is awry.

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  • Anton K says:

    I agree with that… looking over Karo’s record, it’s not like he’s got something to be ashamed of… he took Serra to a decision.

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  • Sam Cupitt says:

    The cat just wants a belt. He’s just so focused on a title shot I don’t think he can get up for any other fight and he knows that he won’t have the right focus to fight fitch and would rather someone with weaker take down defense so he can skate by.

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  • Rln says:

    “Others want to get by and do the bare minimum to get to the top. Karo and Fitch are on separate wavelengths when it comes to this matter.”

    This is a pretty asinine statement imo. You just have to look at his record to know that this comment holds no water. Karo is going to fight Alves in April as well, who is a much tougher challenge then Gono.

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  • Rashad #1 says:

    I hope Alves schools Karo

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  • Wang Chung says:

    it’s not an ‘asinine statement’ if you look at their public positioning on getting to the top. fitch wants to fight anybody and is open and ready. karo on the other hand is making odd statements about a title shot he seems to think he’s guaranteed. maybe he is, i dunno. i don’t think it’s even been confirmed publicly other than from his mouth. but look at his position…essentially ‘i don’t want to take a tough fight because i MAY lose my place in line’. look at it this way…st. pierre had a guaranteed, publicly acknowledged title shot, and he stepped up to fight the most serious WW in the game. and he did it on 30 days notice. can you imagine if karo did that? he’d be like 215lbs a month out with bitch tits jiggling and a tire. karo is a bad ass for sure, but lets have some perspective. he hasn’t looked particularly dominant in many of his fights. his last 8 wins are made up of 7 decisions. he’s fought tough guys, but let’s be realistic…shonie? not really top 10, won a decision. fickett? not exactly top 10, won a decision. burkman? MAYBE top 10, but arguable, and he won another decision. even against a badly gassed serra, who nearly corked him into dreamland, he took it to a decision. my point is, karo might think he’s a little better than he is. and as far as i’m concerned, the jury is still out as to whether he can muster up a championship 5 round war against any of the top five guys. you can’t say he’d take out fitch. you can’t say for sure he’d take out kos. you can’t say for sure he’d beat hughes, and he sure as hell won’t be st. pierre. i don’t even know if he’d take serra in a rematch.

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  • Rln says:

    “it’s not an ‘asinine statement’ if you look at their public positioning on getting to the top.”

    It’s asinine because he is at the top and didn’t duck anybody getting there.

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  • ossBASHA says:

    Let’s not forget that Jon Fitch turned down a fight against Hughes for the interim title because of he had to “take care of personal issues in Vietnam” lol.

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  • Sam Caplan says:

    oss, let’s not exaggerate. Fitch was asked about the fight on short notice. He cuts a ton of weight to make 170 lbs. and wasn’t in training. If the guy isn’t ready to fight, he’s not ready.

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  • ossBASHA says:

    Fair enough.

    Bottom line is Karo or Fitch would both lose ot GSP. Btw, I’m glad you made Karo show his true colours on Inside MMA.

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  • Captain says:

    I believe Karo has successfully whined his way out of a title shot by publicly stating he does not want to fight Fitch and wants an easier opponent. That’s not going to sit well with UFC when Fitch has won 7 or 8 fights in a row and the UFC and not been defeated since 2002 or whatever. If Fitch beats Gono I think he’s getting the call for the title shot.

    Has the Karo/Alves bout been confirmed? If so, I hope Alves lays the smack down on Karo and believe he has a good chance at doing so.

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  • Wang Chung says:

    rln, you miss the point. yes karo is in the top 10, maybe top 5 even. i never said he wasn’t nor did i say he ‘ducked’ people. i just personally don’t feel he’s looked particularly spectacular in most of his fights in the ufc, compared with other top dogs. the context of the original comment is what it is though…and the fact remains karo made some extremely lame comments about fighting fitch on his way to title contention (the ‘top’). did he ‘duck’ john fitch? maybe not, but instead of saying ‘oh you know, i don’t wanna mess up my title shot because fitch is a pretty tough guy and he might beat me up’ he should of said ‘hell yea i’ll fight fitch, and i’ll beat his ass if that’s what i have to do to get my shot’.

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  • Rln says:

    “he should of said ‘hell yea i’ll fight fitch, and i’ll beat his ass if that’s what i have to do to get my shot’.”

    The difference being, at least imo, is that he doesn’t have to beat Fitch to get a title shot. He was told that he’s getting his shot after GSP. I guarantee that if a title shot was on the line in a Fitch fight, he would have no hesitations about taking that fight. With how often UFC belts get defended and how he was dicked over previously, his reaction to the situation was perfectly just.

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  • Anton K says:

    I’m still convinced that TUF’s delay of the WW division is responsible for many fighter’s attitudes… Worthy fighters like Karo basically put their careers on hold, or risk injury by taking meaningless fights.

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  • Beau says:

    Karo could have said it better but he’s still a bad ass. He will take anyone to a decision they put in front of him, anyone.

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    Karo is plenty tough and plenty skilled. The only question in my mind about him on any given night is his cardio. Properly conditioned, he’d have a better shot at GSP than anybody else. The first time he fought GSP and lost, his problem was his gas tank, imo.

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  • Rashad #1 says:

    I dont see how Karo could possibly beat GSP.. he isnt better at any aspect of MMA other then Judo and I havent seen him finish anyone by throwing them to the mat

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  • Mike Wolfe says:

    It’s been 3-4 years since they fought, but Karo lost by decision, not a knock out or a submission. As I recall, Karo looked pretty good and the fight was competitive until the the third round when he faded noticeably. The judo throws are fun to watch and unusual in MMA, so GSP may not be as prepared to defend them. Karo’s got good ground and pound skills, too. I’m not saying Karo will win, I’m just saying he’s got a better chance than anybody else because he’s not a pure striker, which plays to GSP’s strengths.

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  • Adam Morgan says:

    Mike-

    I agree that Karo will probably give GSP a better run for his money than Matt Hughes in their last two fights, but I think GSP has improved so much since he fought Karo last. Karo seems to still be the same fighter whereas GSP has put himself on another level.

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  • Anton K says:

    Didn’t Karo fight his last fight with a broken hand?

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