In the not-too-distant past UFC welterweight Jon Fitch was 13-1 inside the Octagon with five straight wins since suffering the lone loss champion Georges St-Pierre. That being said, Fitch’s success was far from aesthetically pleasing based on his interest in grinding opponents down rather than finishing them, earning him the reputation of a boring fighter and ultimately costing him a second shot at GSP’s title.
Fitch is scheduled to face Erick Silva this coming weekend at UFC 153 where he’ll look to get back on the winning track after going 0-1-1 in his last two tilts. Not only will the American Kickboxing Academy staple enter the cage with a newfound attitude on fighting but, much to his relief, he’ll do so healthy as well.
“I shouldn’t have fought that night. I had no business fighting that night. I had a second degree MCL tear; my mind wasn’t in the fight,” said Fitch of his previous outing (a knockout loss to Johny Hendricks last December) in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio. “The only reason I stepped through that cage door is because I needed the money. I had a pregnant wife and two mortgages. If I didn’t fight, I probably would have had to retire and get a day job. I did what I set out to do in that fight. I have no negative feelings towards that fight at all.”
With a series of injuries limiting his activity over the last two years, Fitch is now in a strange position career-wise where desperately needs to come out with his hand raised against the dynamic Brazilian but has to take additional risks as well in order to remain relevant in the division. Fitch is fully aware of his circumstances, and though the husband/father won’t deny his bank account has been hurting based on his inactivity since 2010, he understands upping his aggression in the Octagon is a necessary evil if hoping to truly provide for his family.
“It’s an entertainment industry and at the end of the day, the people who get the opportunity are the people who sell tickets. It doesn’t matter who you beat, it might matter how you beat them, but if people see you as boring and you don’t sell tickets, you’re not going to get opportunities,” admitted Fitch. “It doesn’t matter how many times you win. It doesn’t matter who you’ve beaten. All that matters is: do you put butts in the seat? With that acceptance and my priorities changing towards me needing to take care of my family, me needing to make money, you have to make those changes, you have to adapt and evolve into the system that’s there.”
The 34-year old Fitch holds an overall mark of 23-4-1 with past wins over Paulo Thiago, Ben Saunders, Diego Sanchez, and Thiago Alves. However, thirteen of his victories have come on the judges’ scorecards rather than within the bout’s allotted time-limit and he hasn’t finished a foe in more than five years.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC