by Jeff Cain – MMAWeekly.com
Jon Fitch earned his way back to a UFC welterweight title bout with his unanimous decision win over Thiago Alves at UFC 117 on Saturday.
Going 21-1 in his last 22 outings, Fitch has solidified himself as the No. 2 ranked welterweight in the world.
The rematch with Alves, who Fitch defeated by TKO in 2006, was a question of had Alves’ takedown defense improved more than Fitch’s striking since their first meeting.
The answer came early as Fitch used head movement to make Alves miss and returned counter punches to the body and head. Anytime Alves got aggressive, Fitch put him on his back and controlled the American Top Team fighter.
Fitch did what he does best, grind on his opponents with takedowns and constant pressure never allowing Alves to implement his strategy.
The American Kickboxing Academy trained athlete was impressive and dominating in his performance against Alves. The only question now is, will he fight a training partner and friend for the belt if it comes to that?
Fitch secured himself a shot against the winner of teammate Josh Koscheck and titleholder Georges St-Pierre, who are opposing coaches on the next season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and slated to face off on Dec. 11, likely in Las Vegas.
Hypothetically speaking, if Koscheck does defeat St-Pierre, UFC president Dana White believes the training partners, Fitch and Koscheck, would fight each other.
It remains to be seen. Fitch may not have to make that choice if St-Pierre defeats Koscheck for the second time. But one thing is for certain, Jon Fitch has earned his title shot and deserves to get it.