Sometimes in this and every sport, unthinkable things happen. While some fighters need to win one or two big fights to get a title shot, others get the short end of the stick and still don’t receive a title shot after several fights. Jon Fitch fits the latter category.
While he did receive a title fight against GSP back in 2008, after that fight, Fitch has won five consecutive fights to some of the best in the weight class, such as Paulo Thiago and Thiago Alves. Granted, all have been by way of decision, and the way a fight is won has importance when determining contenders.
However, these rules don’t apply to every fighter. Just look at Gray Maynard, who has won his last seven fights via decision and not all unanimously.
I can’t help but feel Fitch might have had some sort of conflict with Dana White or Joe Silva, since he was already in line for the next title shot against the GSP vs Kos winner.
And after Jake Shields lackluster win against Martin Kampmann, Shields is now getting the title shot. Fitch will now be fighting Jake Ellenberger instead.
No disrespect to Ellenberger, I think he has a lot of potential and is a good fighter, but Fitch has nothing to win and everything to lose going into this fight. If Fitch wins, I can’t imagine he will be the next No. 1 contender; he will at least have another fight or two before a title shot. If Fitch loses, he will be considerably lower on the rank of contenders, and Ellenberger will rise significantly.
That is why I feel this was a “punishment” fight for Fitch. I have no idea what could have happened for this situation to arise, but Fitch deserveda second shot at the title and got a significantly lower profile fight instead.