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Jon Fitch Likely Screwed Himself Out of Another Title Shot

Jon Fitch has gotten used to the fact that he may never get a title shot. He’s been promised one for a while now, but the UFC seems to keep yanking the opportunity away right before Fitch can grab it.

The problem isn’t that the American Kickboxing Academy fighter isn’t winning fights (he’s undefeated since 2009), it’s that he hasn’t finished an opponent in nearly four years, and for the UFC to base a pay-per-view on a main card fight between a round-winner like Fitch and an a decision-centric fighter like UFC welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre who hasn’t stopped a fight since 2009 would be a major gamble.

Both the UFC’s president Dana White and CEO Lorenzo Fertitta have long proclaimed that they don’t care if their contracted fighters win every bout as long as they come to fight and perform their best. Fitch seems more content with doing what he needs to outpoint his opponents and coast to a victory, which doesn’t bode well with the promotion’s brass, the fans or the media as it makes for a boring and formulaic fight. THAT’S why White rescinded a proclamation that the winner of Fitch’s UFC 124 bout with Thiago Alves would get the next crack at St-Pierre after Fitch took the decision and THAT’S why he has now said that neither fighter involved in the main event majority draw Saturday night at UFC 127 will likely be next in line for the winner of April’s GSP vs. Jake Shields bout.

Even Fitch said at the post-fight presser that he didn’t know if he should become the number one contender based on his performance against BJ Penn in Australia. If he would have pulled the trigger and *tried* to finish the fight, rather than rack up ground striking points in the third round, he could have eked out a 10-8 round by actually having BJ in trouble before the final frame ended. If that happened, we’d be writing about how GSP was going to beat him, rather than how he Fitched himself out of another title shot.

“I don’t know right now [if I deserve a title shot]. I’m awfully disappointed with my performance. I expect more. I should have put on a better show and performed better tonight to make that a question no one had to ask. I don’t know. I’ll leave it up to the bosses and we’ll see what they want to do with me.”

White told ESPN that, if anyone, Penn won the fight.

“I didn’t think it was a draw,” White told ESPN.com. “I looked at the scorecards and the two judges who had it a draw scored the first two rounds for Penn and the third round a 10-8 [for Fitch]. Personally, I scored the first two rounds for Penn and had him winning the fight. There’s no doubt B.J. got pounded in the third round, but that wasn’t a 10-8 round. You’ve got to get in there and decisively beat people. You have to have fans clamoring for you to fight for the title.”

Fitch on the other hand has changed his tune slightly since Saturday night and is now claiming that he decisively won the bout.

Finally watched the fight back myself. first rnd draw and I won rnd 2 and 3,” he tweeted Sunday night. “I will prove myself if I must. But I know I won that fight. Much respect to BJ. He is the legend I thought he was. I think that was the best BJ ANY of us have ever seen.”

White, who seems like he’s fed up with Fitch protesting that he deserves number one UFC welterweight contender status further discounted his claims that he won, pointing out that not only was he beaten, he was beaten by a much smaller opponent.

“Fitch is one of these guys that goes, ‘Oh, I want my respect,’” White said of the fighter whom was let go by the UFC for two days in 2008 for refusing to sign over his likeness rights to the promotion for use in the Jakks action figure line. “He just fought a 155-pound guy and went to a draw with him and in my opinion, he lost the first two rounds – and he’s crying for a title shot?”

Ouch. Somehow I don’t see him getting a shot any time in the near future unless he fights his teammate, Josh Koscheck to earn it, meaning it probably won’t ever happen.

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Violent By Design- March 1, 2011 at 3:21 am
This is just getting stupid. UFC is becoming like the WWE, trying to script ideal outcomes to fights. Who cares if Fitch / St-Pierre is unlikely to finish in a KO, it's supposed to be about pitting the two best fighters against each other regardless.
ghostboner- February 28, 2011 at 9:39 pm
@Rwilson - Ya with the old Fitch it would have been true, and I would have said it was a stupid matchup. I don't like it when dudes are too big for their weight class or when there is a huge size discrepancy i.e. Anthony Johnson, Ben Saunders, Jon Jones. I was even skeptical when Swick moved to ww, until he just kept shrinking.
ThrashingMad- February 28, 2011 at 8:54 pm
i like fitch and dana is a fag
RwilsonR- February 28, 2011 at 7:30 pm
@ AussieJosh - I'm with you, man. I do not see how BJ won Round 2, and he certainly did not win that fight with Round 3 out there.
Although my world is a bit turned upside-down with BJ being the humble one in all of this. It is making my once totally justified hatred of him seem irrational, and I hate him all the more for doing that to me!
RwilsonR- February 28, 2011 at 7:27 pm
@ ghostboner - Good point on the size advantage. I hate when a fighter at one time held a size advantage, but they keep pointing it out like it is always true. They did this with Matt Hughes for a long time, because he used to be bigger than a lot of the welterweights that used to occupy the division years ago like Nick Diaz, Karo, Sherk, etc. They kept this going for years, talking about how huge he was, when he was clearly dwarfed by the new crop of guys like Alves, Fitch, Anthony Johnson, and even GSP.
AussieJosh- February 28, 2011 at 6:49 pm
It breaks my heart to read Dana saying BJ won! I gotta tell you this most of the arena was cheering for BJ when he came out! but at the end of the third everyone around me knew that fitch had won the fight rounds 2 and 3....when the draw got anounced everyone was like WHAT THE FUCK!? during the fight i was cheering for BJ but at the end of the fight myself and most of the arena knew Fitch had won it!
Fitch and the number 2 in the Div (and thats not BJ) should be fighting for the belt after GSP leaves it.
KingZipperhed- February 28, 2011 at 6:12 pm
and i'm batman dont tell noone
KingZipperhed- February 28, 2011 at 6:09 pm
oh michael keaton you're such a trouble maker
KingZipperhed- February 28, 2011 at 6:09 pm
and i thought it meant beetlejuice. that guy will fuck up your living room bad
KingZipperhed- February 28, 2011 at 6:07 pm
i was just refering to the mostest awesomer english CP used. Looks like they fixed it.
HomeSchooled- February 28, 2011 at 5:49 pm
Okami, Fitch these 2 guys are being set aside for more exciting fighters.
noizy- February 28, 2011 at 4:26 pm
I mean, unless someone gets a foul, the round can't be a draw.
ghostboner- February 28, 2011 at 4:23 pm
Good caption up top though. Shit made me chuckle.
noizy- February 28, 2011 at 4:04 pm
Fitch tweeted: "first rnd draw and I won rnd 2 and 3"

Do I misunderstand the 10 points must system, or you can't have a round that's a draw. Doesn't Mike Goldberg explain it on every broadcast: "A 10 point must scoring system is in effect with the round winner gaining 10 points, his opponent 9 or less".
Bob Reilly- February 28, 2011 at 3:26 pm
Sudden death punch out. Rig a neck brace with a handle of some sort on both fighters, grab hold and go nuts X-Arm style.
newdeal- February 28, 2011 at 2:32 pm
Fitch is on fucking drugs. I had the fight the same as Dana, BJ wins 1 and 2 and third is either 10-9 Fitch or 10-8 Fitch, I can see it both ways because BJ didn't do much. Fitch thinking round 1 was a draw is retarded and thinking he won round 2 is even more retarded. Its one thing to fight shitty and get a draw and its another to then go and claim the judges screwed you. I already didn't like watching Fitch and now I don't care about him at all
portland mma- February 28, 2011 at 2:22 pm
War Shields thats right! Sheilds fans unite! I think there is at least one other guy on here that hasn't made sleeping references in regards to Shields.
Waxedpants- February 28, 2011 at 2:17 pm
Just more evidence of how badly they need a sudden death option ..... no reason for there to ever be a draw.
ghostboner- February 28, 2011 at 1:47 pm
And this size advantage is imaginary. The new emaciated looking veggie Fitch was walking around at 175. 5 lbs is a substantial size advantage? Hell for all we know BJ also had to cut 5 lbs.
ghostboner- February 28, 2011 at 1:44 pm
Dam CP tell us how you really feel.

Dana White says "You have to have fans clamoring for you to fight for the title.” This is a problem, and a big one. Is this the WWE or is this a real sport? You don't fight for the title because you are the best, you fight based on whether or not I think I can make a huge pile of money off it. The belt doesn't mean you are a world champion martial artist/fighter, it means you won the popularity contest.

"You have to have fans clamoring for you to fight for the title.”
So when is Kimbo gonna get his title shot?

And why do we have Jake Shields fighting for the title? Why the hell isn't Dana saying sorry Shielzzzz but you FUCKING LOST TO KAMPMANN? Shields did no damage, gassed out trying for takedowns, got rocked repeatedly and all around just lost the shit out of that fight. Kampmann is awesome but he is no BJ Penn. Fitch went in against a legend and a guy who is almost unfinishable. When was the last time someone finished BJ? Fitch spent 5 minutes doing nothing but punching him in the face. Maybe you should have Shields fight Fitch for a guaranteed title shot? Maybe if your number one contender status meant shit then Fitch would turn it on earlier? I wouldn't get too risky either if I knew you were probably just gonna yank the football out from in front of me again.

This applies to Kos as well. Why would he fight his friend for a title shot when he has been promised one after his last 3 fights and not gotten it? And while I'm on the subject of people failing to finish fights, how about GSP failing to finish Kos? In 5 rounds, not the 3 that Fitch had to finish one of the toughest motherfuckers to ever live, but in 5 rounds failing to finish a guy with one damn eye?
gabrielb- February 28, 2011 at 12:33 pm
he who shall not be named is a harry potter reference.
Savageleto- February 28, 2011 at 12:27 pm
Fitch is the epitome of what I do not like in MMA.

Get close... wrap arms... drag to ground... lay on top and paint brush.

-
I mean if that is the gameplan... then fighters like that have to DEVASTATE their opponents when they get in a position like that- It should never make it 15 mins of GNP if that is your main game.

How many fights have we seen stopped because the guy on top ktfo of the guy on bottom? TONS...

How many times has Fitch done that in recent memory?

I refuse to watch it, I am glad I did not either- I am not paying money to watch Fitch fight... I am not even streaming it.
TheHuytonHandGrenade- February 28, 2011 at 12:18 pm
Dana is right BJ won that fight if it wasnt a draw. Fitch wouldnt do much against someone with Takedown defence like GSP. They need a rematch to sort this out and the winner fights Condit for number 1 contender, just a thought!
Kimbos Bread- February 28, 2011 at 12:06 pm
@CCman

No way, José. Fitch isn't manipulating anything (unlike your welfare people who consciously abuse a social courtesy). He is playing by the rules, and is actually trying to finish the fight, he said so himself. He also tried to choke out BJ on at least two occasions. In a PF-interview he said he regretted that he didn't let BJ stand up in the third sh he could try to knock him out. This shows that he's seriously trying to change his wins. But he shouldn't come out recklessly trying to force a gameplan that isn't his forté (which is what Dana is trying to make him do).

Bottom line: Fitch is a victim of UFC's shitty system of scoring fights; and rather than change the rules, Dana is punishing an otherwise hard working fighter.
jimbonics- February 28, 2011 at 11:42 am
T-shirt for abenormal, STAT!
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