Jon Fitch

USA

Hangs up the gloves
WelterweightBellator
September 14, 2020
Fitch was defeated by Neman Gracia via submission (heel hook) at 4:47 of Round 2 at Bellator 246 on Saturday at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. After the fight, the 42-year-old announced his retirement from MMA.
ANALYSIS
Fitch has constantly used a wrestling-focused attack to face some of the best fighters in the world across all promotions since he started his UFC run all the way back in 2005. He accumulated 14 victories under the UFC banner, including an eight-fight winning streak that eventually led to an unsuccessful title challenge against Georges St. Pierre in which he lasted all 25 minutes. Included in that run are wins over Diego Sanchez, Thiago Alves and Ben Saunders, just to name a few. After his UFC days were behind him, Fitch went on to World Series of Fighter, where he became a champion in 2016. He went on to fight under the bellator banner from there, where he picked up a win over Paul Daley and fought Rory MacDonald to a draw, despite being in his 40s. Fitch will go down as one of the best 170-pounders of all time and is absolutely a hall-of-fame caliber fighter.
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Doesn't advance in WW Grand Prix
WelterweightBellator
April 28, 2019
Fitch and Rory McDonald fought to a majority draw (48-46, 47-47, 47-47) in the main event of Bellator 220 on Saturday in San Jose.
ANALYSIS
Fitch caught a raw deal in this one, as he was competitive enough to win the fight on at least one card, but will not advance in the welterweight grand prix due to Bellator rules. Because MacDonald is the current champion and wasn't beaten, he will retain his belt and advance to the next round at Madison Square Garden. Fitch has little to hang his head about, as he nearly executed the perfect game plan to take down the champion. While MacDonald is clearly a better striker and caught Fitch several times, he was never able to truly finish the job. As the fight wore on, Fitch continued to execute takedowns and maintain top position, throwing mildly effective, yet consistent, ground and pound for extended periods of time. It was a staple Jon Fitch fight. Though MacDonald will advance, he brought forth plenty of doubts about his fighting future during the post-fight interview. Should anything go wrong with the planned bout against Neiman Gracie, Fitch -- who said afterwards he wasn't sure about retirement -- might be a logical candidate to step in.
Continues late-career resurgence with win over Paul Daley
WelterweightBellator
May 12, 2018
Fitch defeated Paul Daley via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-26) at Bellator 199 on Saturday in San Jose, Calif.
ANALYSIS
Fitch made his Bellator debut in the 16th year of his professional career, and he picked up the win in vintage style. He closed the distance and worked for takedowns along the cage throughout the fight. Towards the end of the first round, Daley landed some strikes in a barrage, but Fitch survived. The veteran spent the rest of the fight controlling the contest with his grinding grappling. Fitch left the UFC in 2013, and it appeared as if he might be nearing the end of his career. He lost two of his first three bouts for World Series of Fighting. However, since losing to Rousimar Palhares in 2014, he has gone on a five-fight winning streak. This wins put him in position to challenge Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald.
To make Bellator debut against Paul Daley
WelterweightBellator
March 2, 2018
During the broadcast of Bellator 195, the promotion announced that Fitch would make his company debut against Daley. The bout will be part of Bellator 199, which takes place May 12 at the SAP Center in San Jose.
ANALYSIS
Fitch is currently riding a four-fight winning streak, and he has won six of his last seven bouts. In 2016, he won the WSOF welterweight title over Joao Zeferino. He defended the belt, now known as the Professional Fighters League title, twice over Jake Shields and Brian Foster before leaving the promotion. Fitch fought extensively for the UFC from 2005 to 2013 and holds signature wins over Thiago Silva and Diego Sanchez. In 2008, he challenge Georges St. Pierre for the UFC welterweight title and fell via decision.
Inks multi-fight deal with Bellator
WelterweightBellator
March 1, 2018
Fitch signed a multi-year deal with Bellator on Thursday, Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
Fitch turned 40 years old less than a week ago, but there's always a place under the Bellator banner for past-their-prime fighters that still have name recognition. That's not to discount his performance of late, however, as Fitch has picked up four wins in a row under the World Series of Fighting (now Pro Fight League) banner. After the re-branding to PFL, the league vacated all of their champions, which led to Fitch asking for his release. Fitch has an extensive fighting resume, as he joined the UFC all the way back in 2005, and won his first eight fights with the promotion. During much of his UFC tenure, current Bellator President Scott Coker was an executive, so there's a working relationship there. It appears to be an excellent fit on both sides.
Earns first finish since 2007
WelterweightBellator
July 2, 2017
Fitch defeated Brian Foster via submission (side choke) at 3:12 of Round 2 at Pro Fighters League: Daytona on Friday.
ANALYSIS
Fitch kept his winning streak alive at the promotion's inaugural event, picking up his fourth straight win with the company formerly known as the World Series of Fighting. The biggest knock on Fitch is that although he owns a 30-7-1 (1 NC) record, he rarely finishes his fights. That wasn't the case Friday, however, as he was able to survive many early charges from Foster, several of which had his legs wobbled. Foster would often go for a submission after hurting Fitch, and that ultimately proved to be his downfall, as Fitch was able to reverse position and secure the fight-ending choke from the side. It was probably closer to a Bulldog choke than a true rear-naked choke, but the move was effective nonetheless. Fitch himself referred to the move as a "ninja choke." Other fighters to pick up victories at the inaugural event include Herman Terrado (split decision), Jason High (unanimous decision) and Ronny Markes (unanimous decision).