UFC 156 Results: 5 Fights for Jon Fitch to Take Next
While Fitch's loss to Demian Maia was much different from his previous loss—a 12-second knockout by Johny Hendricks—it was just as thorough. The Brazilian utterly dominating from bell to bell.
In spite of his recent struggles, Fitch remains one of the 170-pound division's premier competitors, and he will be looking to reposition himself near the top of the heap by getting back on track next time out.
Here we'll take a look at five potential opponents for Fitch as he tries to right the ship.
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Like Fitch, Martin Kampmann would enter the fight coming off a loss. But also like Fitch, he remains one of the welterweight division's more accomplished competitors. The bout would be good enough to add to the main card of a pay-per-view.
It would be a dangerous pairing, however, as a loss would be devastating for both guys. Dropping consecutive contests in an ultra-competitive division can really hinder a title run, and for Fitch, a loss would mark his third in five outings.
Still, the fight is a reasonable enough one to make given the resumes of Kampmann and Fitch, and it would feature an intriguing conflict of styles that could make for some entertaining action.
Dong Hyun Kim
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Dong Hyun Kim already has a fight with Siyar Bahadurzada booked for March 3, but should he win that bout, he'd embody a viable opponent for Fitch's next match.
The pairing would deliver an ultimate grinder's affair, with two of the most persistent and unrelenting grapplers in the division squaring off. On one hand, that could make for an incredibly dull affair, but on the other, it could produce a very exciting and competitive contest.
The matchup would also make for a meaningful fight in the welterweight division. Though Kim is still just one fight removed from a loss, he looked outstanding last time out. Should he grab another win at UFC on Fuel TV 8, he and Fitch would make a ton of sense for the summer.
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Nate Marquardt will reenter the UFC coming off a loss, but he is still a good fighter with a name big enough to make the main card of a pay-per-view.
A fight with Fitch would pit two fighters seemingly at a career crossroads against one another. The winner would quickly rebound into fringe contention, the loser would be pushed to the precipice of relevancy.
Perhaps the UFC will be hesitant to put these two in a position where one could suffer such a fall, but if they are interested in thinning out the herd at 170, it makes a fair amount of sense.
Pyle (left) defeated James Head in Dec. 2012
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Mike Pyle really hit his stride in 2012, reeling off a trio of first-round knockout stoppages over some fairly tough opponents.
But now it's time for the UFC to give him the opportunity to make inroads into the division's top 10. A shot against Fitch would make a lot of sense for sometime this summer.
For Fitch, Pyle represents a step back in terms of quality of name, but that's what happens when you post just one win over a four-fight stretch. Besides, Pyle is a terrific fighter, and a victory over him would be meaningful, if not spectacular, for Fitch's recovery process.
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If Tyron Woodley's UFC 156 debut victory over the durable Jay Hieron was any indication, Dana White and his chums might just have a budding welterweight star on their hands.
Woodley found significant success as a member of the Strikeforce roster, but the explosiveness he displayed on Saturday night was quite surprising. It should be enough to earn him a big fight next time he competes.
Fitch would be ideal since he currently resides near the top of the welterweight division, but he is no longer at the very top. That means the pairing would signify a natural progression for Woodley.
It would also be a logical match from the Fitch-perspective, as he'd be given the chance to rebound from a loss by taking on a fighter that is amassing considerable hype.