Jon Fitch was one of the most well-established welterweights in the UFC with 14 wins inside the Octagon. The grinding wrestler was released from the organization at a career low, going 1-2-1 in his last four fights since 2010. Fitch is looking to get back on track, signing with WSOF immediately and is already booked to fight Josh Burkman in what will be Fitch’s first fight outside the UFC in eight years.
Fitch’s last fight at UFC 156 against the jiu-jitsu ace Demian Maia, where the Perdue wrestler showed to be a few steps behind the submission wizard, was enough for the higher ups to kick him to the curb. He has found a new home in the WSOF and it appears he doesn’t want anything to do with the UFC from now on.
Still in the top 10 at 170lbs, Fitch spoke out about the company not wanting him around from the very beginning at the conference call (via MMAWEEKLY).
“From very early on, I was fighting for my job every single fight. They made it very clear they didn’t like me or want me around.
I’m proud of my history, proud of what I’ve done. I’m even more proud of what I’ve done under the circumstances. It’s not easy to be successful in a hostile work environment. Anyone who has worked in any profession that had to go through that knows that for a fact.
I feel like I have double the wins because of the circumstances that I fought against.”
Fourteen of his 18 UFC fights were on pay-per-view, so this could be an irrational statement from Fitch. He has only won a single fight in the last two years, and we’ve seen fighters get the boot for a lot less. Then again, fighters have stuck around after four consecutive losses.
And the funny thing is… Fitch gets more attention now that he’s cut from the UFC roster than he got when he was on it.
The American Kickboxing Academy-trained product seems to have taken his cut in stride and is focused on the task at hand, hoping to repeat a performance from April 2006 against Burkman, where he defeated “The People’s Warrior” via rear naked choke in Round 2.
Burkman (25-9) is no rookie to the sport. Avenging the loss to Fitch has got to be the only thing he’s thinking about. He fought four times in 2012, during the most inactive period of Fitch’s pro career, winning all four. It’s safe to say the People’s Warrior has a lot more momentum behind him.
Can Fitch get on the path to put himself in big fights outside of the UFC at 35-years old, or will Burkman avenge his loss in ’06?