Jon Fitch has finally been called off the sidelines and into action. Out of the cage since February with a shoulder injury, Fitch will return to competition at the end of December at UFC 141. Ready to welcome him back is fellow collegiate wrestler Johny Hendricks.
News of the bout was first reported by ESPN and has since been confirmed by the UFC.
Fitch was cleared for competition from his shoulder injury in August, and has been itching to get back in the cage ever since. It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks for the Purdue Boilermaker. He was rumored to replace Diego Sanchez against Matt Hughes, but that fight went to Fitch’s AKA teammate Josh Koscheck. There was also talk that he could rematch BJ Penn at UFC 137 when Penn was without a fight after Carlos Condit got bumped to the main event. With those options off the table, Fitch was hoping to get on the UFC 139 card in San Jose, the city where he trains out of.
Now that he has a fight, he’s ready to continue to prove why he’s one of the best welterweights in the sport. In 15 UFC bouts, Fitch has only tasted defeat once, to current welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. In his last bout at UFC 127, Fitch and Penn fought to a majority draw. The two were scheduled to rematch this past July, but the bout was scrapped after both men suffered injuries.
Even though Hendricks doesn’t have the experience of Fitch, he’s just as talented. A two time national wrestling champion in college and a four time All-American, Hendricks has transitioned to MMA with ease. With his wrestling and natural power, Hendricks has picked up victories over the likes of Amir Sadollah, Mike Pierce, and Charlie Brenneman.
UFC 141 is scheduled for December 30 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event will be headlined by the return of former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar taking on the UFC debuting Alistair Overeem.
*PHOTO CREDIT – UFC*