Posts Tagged ‘Jon Fitch’

In WSOF debut, Jon Fitch gets choked out in 41 seconds by Josh Burkman

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Josh Burkman knocked out veteran (Lucas Noonan/World Series of Fighting)

Josh Burkman (pictured above) knocked  veteran Jon Fitch unconscious in just 41 seconds during the World Series of Fighting. (Lucas Noonan/World Series of Fighting)

Oh, how the mighty have fallen.

Jon Fitch, the longtime UFC welterweight contender and the No. 7 fighter in the SI.com 170-pound mixed martial arts rankings, made his debut with the nascent World Series of Fighting on Saturday night in Las Vegas. The fight lasted all of 41 seconds and did not end well for him.

Fitch was floored by a Josh Burkman left-right combination in their first exchange of fisticuffs, then was choked unconscious so swiftly that referee Steve Mazzagatti didn’t seem to notice that he was out. The ref just stood there watching as Burkman let go of the submission hold all on his own, climbed to his feet and raised a fist triumphantly in the air. Fitch lay limply on the canvas.

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  • Published On Jun 15, 2013
  • Experts’ Predictions for UFC 156

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    Jose Aldo

    Two of SI.com’s three experts believe Jose Aldo (above) will defeat Frankie Edgar on Saturday. (Andrew Richardson/Icon SMI)

    SI.com analysts Dave Doyle, Loretta Hunt and Jeff Wagenheim provide their predictions for UFC 156 on Saturday in Las Vegas. 

    Jose Aldo vs. Frankie Edgar

    HUNT: This is one of those rare occasions where I’m glad a fighter was cajoled into something he didn’t want to do. After a stellar run at lightweight, the smaller Edgar makes his featherweight debut against the explosive Brazilian champ, who will finally have an opponent who can match his speed and skill. Trilogy potential here. Aldo by decision.

    DOYLE: This is the toughest pick I’ve had to make in seven years covering MMA. I’ve changed my mind 100 times and might change it 100 more before fight time. As of now, I think Aldo’s kicks will be enough to keep Edgar from getting his offense fully untracked. Aldo via decision. 

    WAGENHEIM: Anyone have a coin I can borrow to flip? Too many variables here for the math to make any sense to me, so let me try to keep it simple: Aldo has won 14 straight fights, while Edgar has lost two in a row. So obviously the answer is… well, “The Answer” is Frankie. Why? Because he always has an adjustment, an answer, for anything thrown at him. So look for him to weather an early storm (been there, done that) and settle into a rhythm and a pace that gradually makes him the lead in this dance. Edgar by decision.

    Rashad Evans vs. Antonio Rogério Nogueira

    HUNT: Speed and nimbler footwork will give Evans the edge against the more plodding Nogueira. Evans by TKO.

    DOYLE: “Li’l Nog” has always been just a cut below the championship level, and he isn’t getting any younger. Evans is going to be motivated in his first fight since losing to Jon Jones. I smell 30-27 across the board. Evans via decision.

    WAGENHEIM: “Little Nog” is coming off a win, but beating Tito Ortiz does not mean what it used to. On the other hand, losing to Phil Davis and Ryan Bader speaks volumes. Nogueira is a solid light heavy, but Rashad is simply too quick, too slick, too good for him to contend with. Where a victory here will lead “Suga Rashad” is uncertain, but that’s a question for another day. Evans by KO.

    Alistair Overeem vs. Antonio Silva

    HUNT: This is a career re-builder for Overeem, whose reputation took the hit everyone anticipated when he was flagged for steroid use last summer. With a brutally bloody battering from Cain Velasquez still in the back of his mind, the 6-foot-4, 285-pound “Big Foot” won’t be overshadowed by Overeem’s stature, but he will be bullied on its feet and from his back. Overeem by TKO.

    DOYLE: I’m calling an upset here. Overeem has been out a year and his win streak is frankly a bit of a hype. Silva seems to perform best when he’s counted out. “Bigfoot” tags a rusty Overeem and scores the early finish. Silva via TKO.

    WAGENHEIM: Overeem might be rusty after being idle since December 2011, and “Bigfoot” might have what it takes to step up. Silva is coming off an upset of rising heavyweight Travis Browne, and the two losses that preceded it were to the iron of the division, Cain Velasquez and Daniel Cormier. But “The Reem” has too much riding on this. Overeem by KO.

    Jon Fitch vs. Demian Maia

    HUNT: BJJ black belt Maia’s work ethic is top-tier in and he constantly pushes himself out of his comfort zone to even out his skill set. This isn’t necessarily a bad matchup for him — Fitch is a wrestler and Maia is a shark on the canvas — but if Fitch pushes this one to the fence and lingers there, he can eat crucial time and ride out a decision. Fitch by decision.

    DOYLE: Fitch has never been known to take easy fights. This is no different. Maia’s undergone a career rebirth at welterweight, but ultimately, Fitch’s wrestling and submission defense will be too much for the jiu-jitsu specialist. Fitch by decision.

    WAGENHEIM: Wouldn’t it be a cool turnabout if the crowd were to boo as the fighters come out of their corners and trade punches, then let out one of those bloodthirsty cheers as soon as they take the contest to the mat? After all, it is in the grappling (usually a dirty word for cageside fans) where the magic will happen. Fitch by decision.

    Joseph Benavidez vs. Ian McCall

    HUNT:  A rebound fight for Benavidez, the faster, more assertive, and most importantly, more marketable fighter of the pair coming off a split decision loss against champion Johnson. Benavidez by submission.

    DOYLE: McCall’s had a nice run at flyweight, but Benavidez is simply a notch above. I see a dominant win for Benavidez, the type that demands a shot at Demetrious Johnson’s title. Benavidez via submission.

    WAGENHEIM: I must admit I was surprised to see Demetrious Johnson beat Benavidez, who I thought was going to own the new UFC flyweight division. Now Joseph faces a guy “Mighty Mouse” had to fight twice on the way to the championship. All roads lead to rematch, no? Benavidez by decision.


  • Published On Jan 31, 2013
  • Experts’ predictions for UFC 153

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    Anderson Silva (left) is a lopsided favorite to defeat Stephan Bonnar in the main event of Saturday’s UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro. (Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC)

    SI.com analysts Dave Doyle, Loretta Hunt, Jeff Wagenheim and Jon Wertheim provide their predictions for UFC 153 on Saturday in Rio de Janeiro.

    Anderson Silva vs. Stephan Bonnar

    DOYLE: I’m tempted to go with Bonnar simply because this would fit right into the UFC’s 2012 “whatever can go wrong, will” theme. But a Bonnar victory is a bridge too far. Silva by KO.

    HUNT: Knowing my colleagues will cover the bases, I’ll cut to the chase: it’s a mismatch. Silva by TKO.

    WAGENHEIM: Bonnar is going to shock the world … by surviving the first round. He’s rugged and resilient, having never been knocked out. And Silva will not be done putting on a show for his countrymen by the end of one act. But eventually … Silva by KO.

    WERTHEIM: We can debate whether Silva is the G.O.A.T., but Bonnar is not going to change the discussion. Just two completely different tiers of fighter. Admire Bonnar’s sensibilities, his heart, his role in growing the UFC brand by virtue of that TUF finale. But in no universe does he win this fight. Silva by TKO.

    Antônio Rodrigo Nogueira vs. Dave Herman

    DOYLE: The veteran Nogueira’s UFC fights have followed a familiar pattern: Losses to the elite and wins over the guys just a cut below. Herman falls into the latter camp. Nogueira by TKO.

    HUNT: Big Nog has this one in the bag as long as it goes to the canvas, which is likely. Nogueira by submission.

    WAGENHEIM: How’s the arm, Big Nog? We’ll find out if there are any lingering issues when the ref raises the rehabbed wing after Nogueira taps out Pee-Wee. Nogueira by submission.

    WERTHEIM: When we last saw Big Nog, Frank Mir was nearly divorcing his arm from the rest of his body, his third loss in five fights. The UFC threw him a bone, pitting him against Herman, a beatable fighter. On a two-fight losing streak. In Rio. Nogueira by submission.
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  • Published On Oct 12, 2012
  • Jon Fitch looks forward to Johny Hendricks test at UFC 141

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    Jon Fitch never knows what’s coming next.

    Most professional athletes don’t like to look past their upcoming competition — Mike McCarthy isn’t answering Super Bowl questions right now — but when you ask Fitch where a win over Johny Hendricks at UFC 141 on Friday would put him in the currently Georges St. Pierre-less welterweight division he honestly has no idea.

    “I don’t always get a lot of credit, but I keep plugging away and I keep winning fights,” Fitch said. Even over the phone his voice sounds beleaguered. He’s been answering questions about where he thinks he is in the division since he lost to GSP at UFC 87 in 2008. The answer hasn’t changed. He’s believes he’s number two, right behind the future UFC Hall of Famer.

    Nate Diaz and Chael Sonnen have both had successful MMA careers by using their outspoken personalities to market themselves. Don’t expect that kind of strategy from Fitch anytime soon.

    “Jon’s not flashy,” said former PRIDE fighter Tom Erikson, who coached Fitch during his wrestling days at Purdue. “People don’t want to hear about guys doing the right things.”

    In fact, if you want someone to tell you about how underappreciated Fitch is in the UFC, the best person to talk to is anyone but Jon Fitch. The welterweight is quick to point out that Purdue doesn’t have the reputation of cranking out top fighters like it should. He’ll sign action figures at Purdue wrestling’s alumni golf tournament every year and passionately list guys like Stefan Bonner, Matt Hamill, Matt Mitrione, Miguel Torres, Nate Moore, Jake O’Brien and Chase Beebe — all of whom have Purdue ties — but thinks Purdue is under the radar because many of the fighters did wrestle. Erikson, who is still an assistant wrestling coach at Purdue, has a different theory.

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  • Published On Dec 30, 2011
  • Experts’ predictions for UFC 141

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    Former UFC heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar (above) can earn another shot at the title with a victory Friday over Alistair Overeem. (AP)

    SI.com analysts Ben Fowlkes, Loretta Hunt and Jeff Wagenheim provide their predictions for UFC 141 on Friday in Las Vegas.

    Brock Lesnar vs. Alistair Overeem

    FOWLKES: For all Overeem’s accomplishments, we’ve yet to see him shut down a powerhouse wrestler of Lesnar’s caliber. I have my doubts that he can stay off his back for long, and he won’t do well with those engine blocks that Lesnar calls fists raining down on him. Lesnar by TKO.

    HUNT: One of the harder main events to handicap in quite some time. Both have had some circumstances to overcome, but I just can’t get past the rollercoaster camp Overeem has had in the last eight weeks. I’m banking on Lesnar playing it smart by only trading strikes with the K-1 champion to set up his takedowns. Lesnar by TKO. 

    WAGENHEIM: I’ve ranked Overeem higher than Lesnar among heavyweights for a long time. So Alistair’s the pick here, right? Um, no. As the bout has crept up, I’ve had a nagging suspicion that when Overeem is taken down — and he will be, just like every Brock opponent has, including Cain Velasquez — the bulky striker won’t have what it takes to get back up. Lesnar by TKO.

    Nate Diaz vs. Donald Cerrone

    FOWLKES: Diaz’s best chance is to submit Cerrone, but I don’t think he has it in his DNA to admit weakness and take a fight down if he’s getting beat on the feet. Cerrone’s the more diverse striker, and the better tactician. Cerrone by decision.

    HUNT: Behind Jon Jones, Cerrone has had the second most memorable 2011 campaign. I think he’s figured out that if he comes out on fire, he’s unstoppable. I’m banking on that same mentality against the second Diaz brother. Cerrone by decision.

    WAGENHEIM: Diaz has stepped up his game since returning to lightweight. But “The Cowboy” simply has too much game for him. Cerrone by TKO.

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  • Published On Dec 29, 2011
  • UFC in violation of anti-trust laws?

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    If anyone might have an interest in an anti-trust investigation against the UFC, it's Jon Fitch -- but he could be better served by a fighters' union. (AP)

    An unlikely source is criticizing the UFC. It’s not a fighter unhappy with his contract or an agent who thinks his client deserves a title shot.

    No, it’s a group of cooks.

    As reported in a post on The Economist‘s Game Theory blog, Culinary Workers Union Local 226, a Las Vegas-based trade union that represents 60,000 hotel and casino employees, has written a letter to the Federal Trade Commission asking them to investigate the UFC for “widespread anti-competitive practices.” It also suggests that the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act — a law passed in 2000 to protect boxers from greedy promoters and sanctioning bodies since there is no single governing organization in boxing — could possibly be expanded to mixed martial arts.

    The key difference between the Ultimate Fighting Championship and other top-level professional sports leagues in America is UFC fighters aren’t unionized. Expanding the Muhammad Ali Boxing Reform Act to MMA would give fighters more freedom, and therefore more leverage, which might be a good thing. To see a UFC fighter who could use some more leverage one needs look no further than consensus No. 1 welterweight contender Jon Fitch.

    Fitch was briefly cut by the UFC when he refused to sign a lifetime contract with THQ to be included in the UFC Undisputed video-game franchise. Although he was uncomfortable giving THQ his lifetime video rights, Fitch relented when he realized his choice was sign the contract or never fight in the UFC again. UFC commissioner Dana White re-signed the welterweight after he agreed to the contract with THQ.

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  • Published On Oct 07, 2011


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