by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
The road to the welterweight championship can be described as a rocky path to say the least. Being possibly the deepest division in the UFC, getting a shot at champion Georges St-Pierre is no easy task.
Currently ranked as the No. 2 welterweight in the world by MMAWeekly.com’s World MMA Rankings, Jon Fitch, while he respects Dan Hardy, doesn’t believe the Brit has done enough in the division to fight for the title at UFC 111.
With both Fitch and teammate Josh Koscheck vying for a shot at the belt, Hardy came in and won four fights in a row – most recently defeating their fellow American Kickboxing Academy teammate, Mike Swick – to earn the shot. Fitch believes that the shot should have gone to Koscheck first, and then to him if he can keep winning.
“It’s kind of going to be up to them to decide,” Fitch answered when asked who should get the next shot between he and Koscheck. “That’s kind of one of the reasons we were both upset about Dan Hardy. No knock against Hardy, I think he’s a great guy. He’s a great fighter. He’s got a bright future ahead of him. I just think he’s untested and hasn’t put in as much work as some other guys in the weight class.
“It’s kind of disrespectful to a lot of the other fighters in the weight class that got passed by. I think Koscheck should be fighting for the title right now. I think him and GSP should have been fighting at UFC 111.”
Hardy has been bombarded by fighters that believe he didn’t earn his shot at the title, but he brushes them off and notes that most of the people complaining have already fought and lost to GSP in the past. Fitch says he’s honestly not sure what criteria he has to fill out for another crack at the belt, but it’s frustrating nonetheless.
“It’s nothing against Dan Hardy, he’s a great fighter, a great guy, and I think some day he was going to get a title shot anyways. The fact of the matter is he’s only four fights deep in the UFC. I had to win eight fights to get a title shot,” said Fitch.
“There’s a lot of other guys who had to put in a lot more work to get there. For a lot of the guys watching and sitting around, it’s discouraging. What exactly do you have to do to get a title shot?”
While Fitch feels strongly about the way things have been laid out, he’s still willing to work his way back and he’ll try to take the final step of that journey when he faces Ben Saunders at UFC 111.