Jon Fitch has enjoyed a lengthy career in MMA. It’s seen him experience many ups and downs, but one thing has remained constant: Fitch is an elite 170-pound fighter. Given all that he’s accomplished during his MMA career, it’s easy to let some unique facts slip through the cracks. Refresh your memory or even learn some new things about the WSOF welterweight champ before he battles Brian Foster at Professional Fighters League: Daytona for the top seed in the innaugural 2018 season.
1) He’s Fought For Gold Multiple Times In His Career
One of Fitch’s most famous bouts was against Canadian legend Georges St-Pierre at UFC 87 where he fought for his first a major promotional championship. Unfortunately he lost that bout by a unanimous decision but went on to compete twice for the WSOF welterweight title eventually earning it at WSOF30. His fight against Jake Shields at the historic WSOFNYC was the veteran’s 1st welterweight title defense.
2) His WSOF30 Title Victory Was About More…
Fitch has spent over a decade competing as a professional mixed martial artist and among the MMA faithful, many believed he was long-overdue for a major promotional title. When the former UFC veteran won the welterweight strap against Joao Zeferino at WSOF30 he was relieved that he was able to accomplish the career-defining feat while his father was still alive, despite months before almost dying from a fatal heart attack.
3) He Sustained A Magnificent Five-Year Win Streak
After a bittersweet no contest result against Soloman Hutcherson in 2003, Fitch went on to rebound with an incredible 16-fight win streak over the course of five solid years. Eight out of the 16 were fights in which Fitch fought in the UFC including against present time contender such as Thiago Alves and Diego Sanchez.
4) He Believes He “Broke” Georges St-Pierre After Their UFC 87 Battle
Last year Fitch revealed that he felt he was responsible for changing the way the former welterweight champion fought until his departure from the UFC in 2013. The 38-year-old claims that the French Canadian began fighting more “safely” after their war. There are statistics to support his claim with GSP earning 12 of his 17 victories by stoppage prior to their bout and 7 of 8 after all coming by decision.
5) Science Backs Up That Fitch Is A Heavy Hitter
In 2008 the welterweight was on an episode of “Mythbusters” where he was confined to a coffin and was asked to punch himself out on his back. The force that Fitch generated was astonishing and perhaps indicative of a reoccurring headache for his past and future opponents. The sensor read that Fitch punched with just under 1,500 pounds of force.
6) His Journey Didn’t Begin At Welterweight
The WSOF welterweight champion is best known for his incredible feats at 170 but his career began at a heavier weight. Fitch began fighting as a light heavyweight, earning himself four wins, two losses and one no contest. He then competed as a middleweight for seven straight fights before dropping down once again.
7) A Gritty Wrestler From The Start…
Fitch spent his entire college career competing as a NCAA Division 1 wrestler who finished his post-secondary tenure at a record of 45-51. Some of his collegiate wrestler accolades in university are as follows: 2002 Purdue Wrestling Team Captain, 2002 Purdue wrestling Most Dedicated Big Ten Conference Scholar-Athlete Award winner and 4 year letter winner in wrestling at Purdue University.
8) His Grappling Prowess Is Well Layered
It’s easy to profile Fitch as a grinder who suffocates his way to victories at times, but that doesn’t fairly highlight his accomplishments in Jiu-Jitsu. The welterweight champion is also a black belt in Guerilla Jiu-Jitsu; he earned the honor from esteemed Dave Camarillo and was the first ever to become a black belt within the discipline.
9) MMA Partially Found Fitch Before He Found It
The former NCAA Division 1 wrestler spent his collegiate career under the tutelage of Tom Erikson a former PRIDE competitor and mixed martial artist. Occasionally Erikson would bring in other MMA vets onto the wrestling mats like Mark Coleman and Gary Goodridge – an experience that ultimately adding to his sparked interest to begin MMA in 2002.
10) Fitch Defended the WSOF Welterweight Title Twice During His Reign
The 38-year-old Fitch defended the WSOF Welterweight title twice since seizing the vacant belt on October 17, 2015, when he earned an unanimous decision over Yushin Okami. Fitch, who has faced and defeated some of the best welterweight fighters of his era to cement his legacy in the sport, risked his WSOF belt for the first time on April 2, defeating Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Joao Zeferino by way of unanimous decision. Fitch made another successful title defense at the historic WSOFNYC at the Theater of Madison Square Garden against grappling legend Jake Shields.
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