UFC fighter Jon Fitch told MMACanada.net this week that he is angry at himself, the UFC, Nick Diaz, and just irritated in general. The irony here is that if Fitch fought with this same kind of aggression in the UFC, he probably would be a much more likeable fighter.
Jon Fitch is one of the most polarizing fighters in MMA. There is no denying his skills and the fact that he is one of the best fighters in the sport, arguably the second best overall in his division. Yet Fitch is undefeated in his last six fights and continues to be overlooked in championship fights. Needless to say, Fitch is angry and appears to be done playing Mr. Nice Guy.
According to Fitch in the interview, he was under the impression that everything was ready to go for a rematch. Fitch noted that he and Penn even agreed to stir it up on Twitter to sustain interest in their rematch. Fitch was surprised and “irritated” when he heard that Penn would instead be fighting Condit on October 29, saying he would have been ready for October or November. He does admit that he hasn’t been able to get medical clearance for the date, which is why the UFC refused to book the fight.
I never particularly liked Fitch as a fighter, but I like the guy I see in this interview. I think Fitch should do more interviews like this and show UFC fans how angry he is. Fitch mentioned in the interview that he was told in the past that he would be getting a title shot, only to have plans change without reason. There is certainly a story here that even his biggest critics can sink their teeth into.
One thing that won’t help Fitch is his continued stance on fighting teammates. It is one thing to say it behind closed doors, but he continues to anger critics when he just outright refuses to fight Josh Koscheck. This is obviously a reason that the UFC is afraid to book him in a championship fight. Fitch says he would rather murder someone than fight his teammate. Now he just sounds downright stupid.
The UFC and Jon Fitch have had a very tenuous relationship over the last few years. UFC president Dana White actually cut Fitch in 2008 because Fitch refused to sign his name and likeness over to the UFC. Of course this all got resolved, but White has been “irritated” at Fitch’s refusal to fight Koscheck. Fitch told White at a press conference that the only way that the fight would happen would be in a gym, to which White responded “That fight would make a lot of money.”
Which made it kind of odd to hear Fitch tell the interviewer he was offended when Nick Diaz insulted the UFC because he is a “UFC guy.” I don’t know if that loyalty has ever been reciprocated by the organization.
With Penn, Condit, Diaz, and GSP all booked up, he thinks that Martin Kampmann is his next likely opponent. That could be a real fun fight but until he gets doctor’s clearance, he can only sit back and wait.
Jon Fitch is upset and he is letting people know. I don’t know if he ever gets back to Georges St-Pierre, but GSP made some really interesting comments about Fitch. Even though GSP dominated Fitch in their first fight, he called Fitch his toughest opponent. He said Fitch was “unkillable.”
Words like that and interviews like this could turn a boring rematch on paper into a must-see fight in 2012.
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