Posted on: March 27, 2010 10:35 pm
Edited on: March 27, 2010 10:59 pm
Jon Fitch fights Ben Saunders in a welterweight bout thrown together with about two day's notice.
Fitch's original opponent was supposed to be Thiago Alves, but Alves wasn't cleared to fight due to some concern over his pre-fight CAT scan. At first, it was thought that Fitch was off the show due to the UFC having no time to find a suitable replacement, until Saunders -- scheduled to fight Jake Ellenberger on the undercard -- contacted Dana White and asked for Fitch.
Round 1: Saunders with a leg kick. Saunders with a counterpunch as Fitch lunges forward. Saunders takes a clinch but his first knee attempt is blocked, as Fitch takes double underhooks. Fitch with a takedown, and now he's hammering at the body with ground and pound. Saunders trying to push off and escape from the bottom, but Fitch is staying active with strikes. Saunders takes half guard.
Fitch elevates his hips and throws more strikes, then settles into Saunders' full guard. Saunders walks the cage wall and tries to take a limb, but no dice. Fitch still peppering Saunders with elbows and fists from within his guard. The round ends, and it's a no brainer for Fitch, 10-9.
Round 2: Inside leg kick by Fitch. Head kick by Fitch, but it's blocked. Saunders with a lunging left hand into a Muay Thai clinch attempt, but Fitch sees it coming and bodylocks him against the fence. Saunders is known for those Muay Thai knees from the clinch, but he's totally telegraphing that game plan tonight.
Takedown by Fitch, and he goes right back to ground and pound. Fitch spends the next several minutes tenderizing Saunders' head with elbows and fists, bloodying his face and controlling the action entirely. The crowd boos the groundfighting, so referee Dan Miragliotta stands them up, even though Fitch is staying active. That was a bad call. The end the round with some standup, and it's 10-9 Fitch again.
Round 3: Fitch tags Saunders with a straight right, then bodylocks him against the fence again. They separate after a brief struggle. Leg kick by Fitch. Fitch with a boxing combo, then a Muay Thai clinch of his own. A knee doesn't land, so Fitch moves back to the body lock. Miragliotta separates them. Fitch with a nice combo of fists and knees. Saunders applies a clinch briefly before going for a standing kimura. They break, and Fitch lands a nice uppercut on the separation.
Fitch with a takedown. Fitch working his ground and pound. Saunders throws a fist here and there from the bottom, but otherwise, he's just being worked over. Fitch throws elbows and fists until the final buzzer. The audience boos, but hey, this is MMA. You want all-standup fights, try K-1. That's gotta be a 30-27 win for Fitch.
Winner: Jon Fitch defeats Ben Saunders via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after three rounds.
Posted on: December 12, 2009 11:10 pm
Edited on: December 12, 2009 11:32 pm
Next up is Jon Fitch vs. Mike Pierce at welterweight.
Fitch has won 18 of his last 19 fights, and the only loss was a 25-minute war with Georges St. Pierre. Pierce is making his UFC debut after winning six straight bouts outside of the promotion.
Round 1: Fitch misses a head kick. Fitch lands a right hand and catches Pierce's leg on a kick. Fitch tries to muscle him down to the mat, and succeeds. fitch takes his back and gets both hooks in. Pierce is trying to stand with Fitch hanging on his back, to escape out the back door by throwing Fitch forward. Not happening. Fitch is beating Pierce up with uppercuts while on his back. Pierce is on his knees now. Fitch is landing short three-punch combos every few seconds. Pierce finally gets free of the hooks and stands up, taking Fitch down. Nice recovery from a tough spot by Pierce. Fitch foregoes pulling guard to escape back to his feet. Referee Mario Yamasaki separates them after a brief peroid of inactivity against the fence. Left hook by Fitch. Inside leg kick by Pierce. Both guys land shots in an exchange of fists. Fitch shoots for a takedown with 10 seconds left, but since everybody does that now, Pierce saw it coming and sprawled. 10-9 Fitch.
Round 2: Fitch lands a straight right on a counterpunch. Pierce shoots, but they end up against the cage. Nothing happens there, so they separate. Fitch is bleeding near the left eye. Fitch catches Pierce's leg on a kick attempt and takes him down again, but he can't get back control this time. Pierce is back up, throwing fists from close range. Fitch throws a Muay Thai knee that Pierce avoids. Fitch with a pair of light jabs. Pierce with a more powerful punch combo that connects. Knee to the body by Fitch. Outside leg kick by Fitch. Fitch grapples Pierce to the mat and throws knees to the body. Pierce gets back to his feet. Fitch comes alive and tries to land a bunch of strikes in the last few seconds. 10-9 Fitch.
Round 3: The crowd is relatively dead for this fight. Pierce is throwing hands but isn't landing much of note. He grapples Fitch against the fence but Fitch gets the better of it with knees to the body. Fitch throws hands as Pierce moves in for another takedown, but they end up against the fence again. Body punch combo by Pierce. Pierce connects with a pair of nice left hooks. His problem is that he needs to finish Fitch to win at this point, and Fitch is very hard to finish. Fitch is making Pierce chase him down and throwing countering punches when he gets close. Fitch with a takedown. He uses an ankle pick to try to take Pierce's back again but Pierce escapes. Straight left-leg kick combo by Pierce connects. Knee to the head from Fitch and a jab connect.Pierce tags Fitch on the chin with a left hand that makes his knees buckle. Fitch is wobbly, but Pierce can't put him away. 10-9 Pierce, and I give the bout 29-28 to Fitch.
Winner: Jon Fitch defeats Mike Pierce via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after three rounds.
Posted on: November 20, 2008 7:29 pm
Edited on: November 20, 2008 7:36 pm
In a follow-up to the story on the UFC's falling-out with American Kickboxing Academy fighters over their refusal to sign over the lifetime rights to their names and likenesses for video games, both Jon Fitch and Christian Wellisch were re-hired Thursday, according to a report by MMARated.com.
Fitch reportedly contacted UFC owner Lorenzo Fertitta directly and agreed to sign the rights agreement after all, and was subsequently re-hired. His fight at UFC 94 with Akihiro Gono is back on.
Wellisch, according to Dave Meltzer of the Wrestling Observer newsletter, had agreed all along to sign the rights agreement, but was fired anyway when UFC president Dana White had a falling out with manager DeWayne Zinkin, who represents many UFC fighters both independently and in cooperation with Bob Cook at AKA. Wellisch also got his job back today.
Meltzer reports that the other fighters in question -- which include Josh Koscheck and Cain Velasquez, along with possible others -- due to the rights agreement issue are still in negotiations.
Posted on: November 20, 2008 10:35 am
Edited on: November 20, 2008 10:49 am
The UFC has cut top welterweight Jon Fitch from his contract over a dispute regarding the rights to his name and likeness, several outlets reported on Wednesday. Christian Wellisch has also been cut by the UFC, reportedly over the same issue.
The dispute began over the UFC's attempt to get its fighters to sign over the lifetime rights to their names and likenesses for use in video games as the UFC saw fit -- a deal AKA management, under Bob Cook, advised its fighters not to sign.
Fitch appeared on Hardcore Sports Radio's 'Road Rage' on Wednesday to give his side of the story. In a story posted on Sherdog.com on Wednesday, Fitch was quoted as telling the radio show that the UFC cut fellow AKA fighter Wellisch first, "I think as kind of a scare for me and (Josh) Koscheck and Cain (Velasquez)."
Fitch believes both Koscheck and Velasquez will be cut over the rights dispute as well, but since both are on winning streaks -- and since Koscheck recently bailed out the organization by fighting Thiago Alves on less than two weeks' notice, and is slated to headline against Yoshiyuki Yoshida on Dec. 10 -- neither can be cut immediately.
“I guess Cain Velasquez wouldn't sign under his contract and they were saying that after his fight he was done and they weren't going to re-up his contract," Fitch said, as quoted by Sherdog. "I think the same thing goes for Koscheck. I think they would drop him right now too, if he wasn't fighting on the 10th, if he wasn't headlining that show -- so they can't drop him."
Fitch had no problem with signing over his likeness for the game, but the details -- the fact that it was a lifetime deal, that the fighters got no compensation at all for the deal outside of the exposure of having their character in the video game -- were too great to overlook. Fitch recently turned in his signed bout agreement to the UFC for a fight with Akihiro Gono at UFC 94. But since he would not agree to the licensing deal, the UFC terminated that bout agreement, along with his UFC deal, Fitch said.
"They basically kicked the door open, guns blazing, pointed it in our face and said, 'Sign this or you're going to pay,'" Fitch said.
In a story published by Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday, UFC president Dana White said he was done working with the AKA.
"We're looking for guys who want to work with us and not against us, and frankly I'm just so [expletive] sick of this [expletive] it's not even funny," White said. "Affliction is still out there trying to build its company. Let [Fitch] go work with them. Let him see what he thinks of those [expletives]. [Expletive] him. These guys aren't partners with us. [Expletive] them. All of them, every last [expletive] one of them."
White further explained to USA Today's Sergio Non that the problem isn't with Fitch, or any individual fighter, but with the AKA management itself.
"They knew exactly where this was going, and now they want to run around and cry and say, 'Oh, these guys are bullying us,' or whatever their claim is out there. ... Those idiots know exactly what happened and exactly why we're in this position right now," White said, as quoted by Non.
White added that one AKA fighter -- Mike Swick -- personally contacted him to pledge allegiance to the UFC in light of the dispute with AKA.
"Any of the fighters can come and talk to me one-on-one. ... Mike Swick called me 10 minutes after it happened and said, 'I'm with you.' "
CBSSports.com has requested to speak with White numerous times within the past two months, but has received no response from UFC officials.
Fitch was on an eight-fight win streak in the UFC leading up to his five-round decision loss to Georges St. Pierre in a welterweight title fight at UFC 87 on Aug. 9. The streak was a UFC record.
Now, one of the UFC's recent success stories finds himself looking for work.
"I never wanted anything more than to fight in the UFC and be a UFC champ," Fitch said on Hardcore Sports Radio. "I put a lot of blood and guts and sweat and tears into this. This is my reward, I guess."
Posted on: August 10, 2008 12:14 am
Edited on: August 10, 2008 12:56 am
The main event up next, as Georges St. Pierre defends the welterweight title against Jon Fitch, who still hasn't lost in the UFC.
Round 1: GSP immediately takes Fitch down with a double leg. Fitch with a closed guard. GSP working elbows and fists to the head but Fitch is defending very well. GSP with a pair of fists to the jaw as Fitch tries to get up. Fitch gets upright for a split second before GSP takes him to the canvas again. Fitch back up. Fitch throws a kick and eats a big right hand that rocks him. GSP follows him down with a series of hard punches to the face. Fitch absorbs a ton of shots before working to scramble back to his feet. Fitch gets up but he's on rubber legs. St. Pierre with a series of punches that brings Fitch back to his knees. GSP follows him down and strikes him with elbows. GSP passes Fitch's guard, with is the first time anyone in the UFC has ever done that. The round ends with Fitch struggling to improve his position. 10-9 St. Pierre, maybe even 10-8.
Round 2: Fitch looks to trade. St. Pierre with jabs. Punch to the ribs by Fitch. GSP landing more jabs. Fitch with a body shot and tries to throw a knee but misses. GSP with jabs and a body kick. Fitch throwing lots of fists and knees but not connecting with much. GSP with a spinning back kick, then back to the jab. Fitch's nose is bloody. Fitch with a nice left hand. Fitch is more aggressive now. GSP shoots and Fitch stuffs it. GSP with a left and Fitch answers with an uppercut. Right hand and spinning back kick by GSP as the round ends. GSP 20-18, although Fitch seems to have recovered nicely from the disasterous first round. He's still in it.
Round 3: GSP rocks Fitch with a big right counterpunch and Fitch crumbles to the canvas. GSP takes Fitch's back and tries to get the hooks in, but Fitch scrambles to top position and GSP takes guard. Fitch with punches to the ribs and the side of GSP's head. GSP closes his guard. Fitch keeps busy with punches to the body and head. GSP sweeps and escapes to his feet, then takes Fitch down. GSP on top with Fitch's head back against the fence. Fitch gets to his knees and GSP hits him with a right before letting him up. Leg kick by GSP and Fitch counters with a fist. Fitch throws a leg kick and GSP tries for a takedown. Fitch punches his way off the cage. GSP lands a nice head kick and a knee to the left side of Fitch's head and Fitch falls again. He scrambles back to his feet but GSP has him cornered and is banging away. Takedown by St. Pierre and the round ends. 30-27 St. Pierre, but you have to admire Fitch's toughness. He should have been knocked out long ago.
Round 4: Fitch throwing knees and kicks. St. Pierre is now bleeding near his left eye. Fitch with a body kick. Fitch shoots for a takedown off a jab and St. Pierre stuffs him. Left jab by St. Pierre. Fitch with a left jab of his own. Fitch works the left cross and aims for GSP's cut. Fitch with another takedown attempt and GSP won't go down. Fitch fights for the takedown and finally lets the leg go, as GSP takes him to his back. GSP works some ground and pound with Fitch's head against the fence. GSP tries and fails to take a leg as the round ends. GSP 40-36.
Round 5: St. Pierre with a nice left hand. He mixes in a leg kick with more fists. Spinning backfist by St. Pierre connects on the button. GSP takes Fitch back to the canvas and throws body and head punches. St. Pierre drops two heavy left hands down on Fitch. GSP with elbows to Fitch's jaw. GSP lands another pair of lefts as Fitch powers back to his feet. St. Pierre takes him right back to the mat and throws more elbows to the face. St. Pierre spends the rest of the fight stifling Fitch's attempts to get back up and throwing short strikes. 50-45 St. Pierre. A dominant performance by a tremendous athlete, and Fitch was most definitely a worthy opponent.
Winner: Georges St. Pierre defeats Jon Fitch via unanimous decision (50-43, 50-44, 50-44) after five rounds to retain the UFC welterweight title.
Posted on: August 9, 2008 9:54 am
Edited on: August 9, 2008 9:56 am
I'll have a live blog of UFC 87 starting later tonight, at roughly 9:45 p.m. ET. Be sure to check back for round-by-round coverage of the fights.
Everybody made weight on Friday, with Brock Lesnar once again getting a hero's welcome:
My guess is there will be a loud contingent of fans saying that Brock sucks and writing him off for good, just because he couldn't waltz into the top promotion in the sport with a 1-0 record and immediately dominate guys like Mir and Herring. People forget that Brock never really got the chance to work his way up the ladder. The guy has two professional fights on his record as we speak, but he's being talked about as a total bust if he can't beat guys with years of experience.
Brock could smash Herring and all of this would become irrelevant. But if he loses, will UFC fans allow him to start fighting guys with similar experience without crying that he's being "protected"? Something tells me there will be some serious ignorance flying around the internet if and when Brock goes 0-2 in the UFC. Give the guy a chance to learn.
Posted on: March 1, 2008 10:10 pm
Edited on: March 1, 2008 10:36 pm
The first fight of the main PPV is Chris Wilson vs. Jon Fitch. Wilson is making his UFC debut, while Fitch is undefeated in 7 UFC fights and barring a loss here, should be the No. 1 contender at welterweight after tonight.
Round 1: Wilson came out getting the better of standup, connecting on more than a few punches and some body kicks and knees. He succeeded in stuffing Fitch's takedowns for a while but did end up on his back to end the round. 10-9 Wilson based on better striking and Fitch having some difficulty imposing his game plan.
Round 2: Fitch definitely settled into his groove here. Wilson couldn't keep Fitch from taking him down this time. Fitch worked the ground and pound with side control before powering into a mount. Fitch is just grinding away here with consistent, small strikes to the head and face. Wilson scrambled out from under Fitch briefly before finding himself right back in Fitch's control. Solid round for Fitch, 10-9. Once this thing goes to the ground, Fitch is clearly the better man.
Round 3: They stand for the first few minutes with Fitch actually landing more punches than Wilson this time around. Wilson mixed in some kicks and even a throw attempt. With two minutes left, Fitch takes Wilson down again. He's got him backed against the cage on the ground and is going to work with fists to the head and ribs. With 30 seconds left, Wilson trapped Fitch in a triangle choke that Fitch couldn't get out of, but he didn't submit before the round ended. A strong submission attempt at the end there, but it wasn't enough to offset Fitch's dominance in the first four and a half minutes of the round. I'd call it 10-9 Fitch, for the win.
Winner: Jon Fitch defeated Chris Wilson via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27) after three rounds.