Jon Fitch has proven himself to be one of the top welterweight fighters in the entire world. Think about that for a second. You have trouble making the cut for your office softball team while Jon Fitch is one of the best on the planet when it comes to mixed martial arts. Your idea of hard work is folding your laundry while Fitch has put in enough work to be considered one of the top fighters in the known universe. Basically, you suck and Jon Fitch is scary awesome.
While emerging as an elite fighter, Jon Fitch has also proven to be a pretty down to earth guy and a good interview to boot. He had a recent chat with Chris Howie over at MMANews and had a few interesting things to say.
MMANews.com: What else have you worked on since your last fight in August?
Jon Fitch: Getting back to blending all my skills together and being a true mixed martial artist. I find now [that] people are starting to get away from the blending of the disciplines, and are just trying to stand or wrestle. It’s kind of backwards because it should be evolving. You’ll see wrestlers fight each other but they will stand up the whole time. You won’t see anyone force the clinch or take the shot to mix it up a bit. It’s not a kickboxing fight, so, why are you just kickboxing? It’s almost like a regression.
It’s hard to argue with Fitch here. Fights like Sean Sherk vs. Tyson Griffin immediately come to mind where two wrestlers who have proven themselves to be pretty adept at all areas of mixed martial arts chose instead to stand and bang for 15 minutes. My (imaginary) girlfriend told me she wishes I could stand and bang for 15 minutes. Actually, she would probably be happy if I could do it for more than 2 minutes.
MMANews.com: After the fight, St. Pierre talked to you about how the fight would be a learning experience and just make you a better fighter in the long run. Do you look back and agree with his advice to you?
Jon Fitch: Yeah, honestly. The holes in my game needed to be exposed for me to see them clearly. I knew some things were there but I didn’t realize how big they were until they were exposed like the athleticism. I realized that just having good technique and being a technician just isn’t enough. You need agility and speed so I had to go back and retrain my body to regain those things and to be more flexible and fit.
It’s a shame that some guys aren’t as modest and realistic about their strengths and weaknesses as Fitch. Here’s lookin’ at you, Alan Belcher.
MMANews.com: Considering you were in the main event of your last fight, fighting for a title, what are your thoughts on being dropped to the under card of the show?
Jon Fitch: You know I’m not going to let anything outside of the fight itself worry me. I’m there to fight Gono whether it is the main event of the card or the first fight of the night, and whether it is a sold out venue to just ten people in the stands it really doesn’t matter to me. All that other stuff is just outside crap and I am just focused on the fight itself and beating Gono and that is all that matters.
This is likely due more to Fitch reading the message from UFC brass loud and clear (“Don’t you fuck with us”) more than anything else. In any case, it looks like Fitch has continued to improve himself and will be back in title contention after this fight, unless Gono distracts him with a silly entrance.