The past year hasn’t been easy for former perennial welterweight title contender Jon Fitch. After a loss to Demian Maia, Fitch was still ranked by the UFC as one of the division’s very best, but that didn’t stop the promotion from firing him.
After being priced out of his job with the UFC, the top-ten ranked Fitch next fought and lost to Josh Burkman in his World Series of Fighting debut. Now, Fitch finds himself apparently unable to make ends meet through fighting alone and he has packed up his family and moved them from San Jose, California, to Syracuse, New York, to take a job at a mega-gym called Pacific Health Club.
“There are financial things to take into consideration — it’s a salaried job with guaranteed income and health benefits for my family,” Fitch told MMAFighting in a recent interview.
“Those are huge, really. Honestly, California is falling apart. The whole country’s kind of falling apart. But the cost of living here in California is ridiculous, and the taxation in California is ridiculous. I’m not sure it’s any better in New York yet, but I’ve got to start doing something, thinking outside the box trying to keep yourself and your family above water and outside the sinking ship.”
Fitch says that he’ll head up the mixed martial arts programs at the 90,000 square foot fitness center in upstate New York. “Just in my MMA section, we’ve got 8,000 square feet of mat space and two full-sized cages,” he said.
“It’s just a ridiculous facility, and that’s one of the reasons I made the move, just to take advantage of what they have going on up there. I’m running the MMA and grappling program, but I’m trying to start a fight team.”
The former Purdue wrestling team captain will still conduct his training camps at the American Kickboxing Academy gym in San Jose that he has helped build, and that helped build his career in return. Fitch next fights on October 26 in Florida against Marcelo Alfaya at WSOF 6.
What do you say, ‘Taters? Are you bummed out that a recently top-ten ranked fighter with one of the very best records in the history of the welterweight division has to travel the entire length of the country to take a civilian job at a gym in order to support his family? Or is cashing in on his reputation and building an MMA camp the best possible move for him at this point?