Jon Fitch is back in the win column, taking a split-decision victory from Marcelo Alfaya at WSOF 6.
In the first round, Fitch was taken down early, and he simply couldn't get up. He gave up his back with time and was threatened with a rear-naked choke. He would survive the round, but it was a sign of things to come.
In the second, Fitch was once again challenged on what is supposed to be his greatest skill, as Alfaya challenged the UFC veteran in the clinch and scored a big double-leg takedown. While Fitch would land a hard uppercut, he failed to mount any major offensive effort outside of that. However, Alfaya was visibly tired as the round wore on, and he took some damage from punches.
In the third, Alfaya shot for an early takedown and was slow to get up. He showed how little he had left in him. Fitch would use that to his advantage, peppering him with unanswered punches between Alfaya's failed takedown attempts. With a minute left, Fitch landed a big punch and pounced atop Alfaya, dealing serious damage with ground-and-pound.
In the end, Fitch would take a split decision, with two judges scoring the fight in his favor to the tune of 29-28 (and the other scoring it 28-29 in favor of Alfaya).
In spite of the win, this was a very lackluster performance from Fitch, who failed to show the grappling prowess that made him a Top 10 mainstay in the UFC's welterweight division for five years. He ultimately took rounds with his striking and cardio, but Fitch is far from top-notch in the welterweight division in either category.
Fitch was controversially released from the UFC in February after a relatively rough stretch where he went 1-2-1 (though he owned an otherwise excellent 14-3-1 overall record in the promotion). The release was criticized by fans and media who believed the UFC had cut Fitch due to his grappling-focused style, but the move was somewhat vindicated when Fitch lost his WSOF debut to Josh Burkman in June via first-round submission.
Fitch will continue fighting for WSOF, at least for one more fight, and will likely face another fighter the UFC controversially casted off, Gerald Harris, who was released with a 3-1 record, which included two knockout of the night bonuses.
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