World Series Of Fighting is becoming more interesting by the minute, as they continue to nurture past and future MMA stars outside the UFC. One fighter from the big leagues that failed in making an impressive debut was Jon Fitch; the former UFC Welterweight challenger was choked out in 40 seconds by Josh Burkman at WSOF 3.
Burkman went on to lose in his title fight with Steve Carl, who has since been booked to face UFC cast out Rousimar Palhares. Abdel-Aziz, VP of WSOF, stopped by with MMAFighting to discuss Fitch and his plans to face the winner of Carl/Paul Harris:
“The winner will be fighting Jon Fitch, he has the next title shot. Jon Fitch is a professional, Jon Fitch will fight anybody,” Abdel-Aziz said. “I respect him a lot. It’s up to him, but I talked to his manager and he’s all for it, he’ll fight the winner.”
“If you look at the rankings, ‘Toquinho’ is ranked higher than everybody we have at WSOF,” he said. “He’s ranked at 15, and Steve Carl is 16, so we put the two best guys to fight each other. He always gives you goose bumps, you never know what to expect from the guy. He’s exciting. People always talk about him, whatever he does, people always pay attention.”
So Jon Fitch went from losing his title eliminator, to getting the shot after his win against Marcelo Alfaya at WSOF 6. He will have another chance to prove himself in his new home, but would he be able to handle a guy as powerful as ‘Toquinho’?
“I think he’s a ferocious fighter. He’s one of the best finishers in MMA. If ‘Toquinho’ comes focused, he’s gonna give everybody problem, but he’s fighting also a very tough guy now. ‘Toquinho’ is the guy everybody wants to see fight, win lose or draw, because he puts on an exciting show and he always go for the finish.”
Fitch was knocked out in spectacular fashion at UFC 141 by Johny Hendricks, and his UFC 156 loss to Demian Maia was enough for the UFC to release Fitch from his duties. A loss against Paul Harris or Steve Carl may not cost him his WSOF contract, but Fitch might want to consider calling it quits or applying for the regional circuit.