Perennial UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch only had one fight in 2012, but it was certainly a good one. The 34-year-old handed prospect-extraordinaire Erick Silva his second UFC loss, grinding him down in vintage style, securing a victory, and restating his claim to a title shot at 170-pounds.
That title shot might not come for awhile though, and Fitch knows that. So, in 2013, he'll just be looking to build on his performance and let the ships fall where they may.
Because, as Fitch told MMA Junkie, Georges St-Pierre and his divisional title are "already booked," this year.
"I think a shake-up could have happened if Johny Hendricks would have gotten the title shot," explains Fitch. "I think right now it looks like 'GSP' will probably defeat Diaz. The way it looks, I think there's a strong possibility the fight after that will probably be [Strikeforce champion, Nate] Marquardt just because it's champion vs. champion."
Unless Fitch misses his guess, that keeps him outside the title picture for the immediate future, but he knows that that is something beyond his control. And at 34 years of age, that's something he is OK with:
I think one of the mistakes I made in the past was thinking about what this next fight is going to bring me rather than just focusing on the fight, itself. Throw all of my attention, all my energy, into one fight at a time and make sure I get the most out of that one fight. I think that showed. When I do that, that's what happened in the last fight. If I continue that process, it's going to be a lot more great fights like that.
That means Fitch's focus right now should be firmly on Demian Maia, who has looked superb since dropping from middleweight to welterweight, and who will contest Fitch at UFC 156 this February 2.
A win in that bout would do wonders for Fitch in 2013, but as he says, the subsequent meaning will not be of concern heading into the Octagon.
"Fight by fight," Fitch reiterates. "Each fight is it's own fight."