UFC just cut their #9 ranked welterweight; what to make of the Fitch release

Posted: February 21, 2013 in Commentary/Opinion
Tags: ,

fitchI just wrote a tongue-in-cheek article about how to get fired from the UFC. I actually wrote it yesterday before the hammer fell on so many fighters. Obviously, if you read the article, you know it was about Jacob Volkmann. Of course as the day progressed, there were many more names added to the list of releases. None were more surprising (although maybe it wasn’t surprising) than Jon Fitch.

For years, I’ve joked that Fitch must be the most hated man n the UFC; or should I say, hated BY the UFC. For the better part of the last half-decade Fitch was arguably the second best welterweight in the world. He fought 18 times for the company, with only three losses. All during that time, Fitch was presented as the poster boy for the “boring wrestler.”

His most recent string in the UFC was un-Fitch-like. After dominating every fighter in the organization not named GSP, he took a draw against legend BJ Penn; a one-punch knockout loss to Johny Hendricks and a rough loss to Demian Maia. Sandwiched in between the losses was a stellar Fight of the Night performance against Erick Silva, which I thought was going to be the catalyst for the “new” Jon Fitch.

For the record, I certainly didn’t think the Penn fight was boring at all. In fact, he dominated Penn so thoroughly in the 3rd round; I don’t remember a prolonged ground-based beating like that in years. Still, Fitch was on a short leash with his bosses.

At 14-3-1, he’s actually just a belt away from being a shoo-in UFC Hall of Famer. It’s possible that if St-Pierre was never born, Fitch could have been champion this whole time, but we’ll never know. So instead of rolling out the red carpet for one of the most successful fighters in welterweight history, it looks like we’ll be seeing him fighting in a Bellator tournament, or MFC or RFA or another promotion just outside the spotlight.

I’ve never been a huge fan of Fitch; nor a huge detractor. But I have always thought he’s gotten a bad rap from fans and general opinion. The pink slip pretty much confirmed what I already suspected about how the UFC felt about him. Cutting a guy who’s ranked #9 in the world sends a pretty clear message, doesn’t it?

  1. mammothmma says:

    Good read. The Fitch release was without a doubt a head-scratcher. I guess the UFC can justify it by saying he only won one of his last four fights.

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