by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Jon Fitch has been itching to get another shot at the UFC welterweight title, and he hopes to achieve that goal when he faces Thiago Alves at UFC 117 in Oakland.
The American Kickboxing Academy welterweight has long lobbied for a rematch with champion Georges St-Pierre, who defeated Fitch at UFC 87 in August 2008.
Fitch believes as he matches up with another top five welterweight that a win would secure another shot at the belt, but he knows there are no sure things in MMA.
“I would think so, but I don’t make the decisions,” Fitch told MMAWeekly Radio about getting a title shot after UFC 117. “You never know what the suits are thinking, and what they want to do. I said it jokingly a while ago; I’m going to have win eight more fights to get another title shot. It’s looking like that might be the case.”
The UFC welterweight title will be up for grabs later this year when Fitch’s teammate Josh Koscheck gets his rematch with St-Pierre in December. The American Kickboxing Academy teammates have long been taxed by UFC president Dana White about fighting each other, both stating several times that it would never happen.
For Fitch, he believes that timing will play a big role in what he does after December if his teammate and close friend is victorious in his bid to win the UFC welterweight strap.
“If Josh is able to defeat Georges St-Pierre, I believe they’re probably going to give him an automatic rematch,” Fitch stated. “Just because of who Georges is currently, and the champion that he’s been. It would be hard to argue him not getting an automatic rematch after that fight.”
St-Pierre took a unanimous decision victory over Koscheck in a non-title fight in 2007, but the rematch will be for the Canadian’s 170-pound championship this time around.
A Koscheck victory would be St-Pierre’s first loss since an upset at the hands of Matt Serra in April 2007, but because of the current champion’s longstanding status as the best at 170 pounds, Fitch sees a trilogy of fights as a no-brainer.
Looking down the road, Fitch has now stated that if Koscheck is victorious, he will eat some food, hit the weight room, and go up to 185 pounds in hopes of adding another title to the San Jose, Calif., gym.
“If that’s going to take a lot of time, and by that time I’ve probably fought all the other top welterweights there are, on top of that Koscheck beating (St-Pierre) twice, and retaining the title, I’m going to move up to 185,” Fitch said.
“We have a philosophy at our gym, it’s better to have three world champions at AKA than two as two guys fight it out for one belt.”
Fitch will try to make his case for a shot at the welterweight title first when he faces Thiago Alves at UFC 117 on Aug. 7.