by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Like ground and pound, sometimes terminology around mixed martial arts is created, and one particular style revolves around American Kickboxing Academy welterweight fighter Jon Fitch. His opponents have now coined the phrase when fighting him as simply “getting Fitch’d.”
The style that the former University of Purdue wrestler employs is a suffocating, devastating and overpowering attack that puts his opponents on their backs, looking for a way out, and usually finding a fist or elbow in their face instead.
One of the best examples of that style early on in his UFC career was when Fitch faced young Brazilian fighter Thiago Alves at UFC Fight Night 5 in 2006. Fitch controlled the action on the ground with takedowns, vicious attacks from above, and worked to take his opponent’s back when he made a mistake in just a split second’s notice.
As Fitch prepares for the long awaited rematch with Alves, he calls back to their first fight as one that helped define who he is as a fighter, and knows that a second go-round was eventually going to happen.
“It’s a game plan, this fight defined my style,” Fitch told MMAWeekly Radio about his first fight with Alves. “It will be great to get through this fight, get this win, and then get moving forward to the next guy.”
Most rankings have Fitch and Alves occupying the No. 2 and No. 3 spots behind champion Georges St-Pierre, and the San Jose, Calif., based fighter knows that with the career paths they’ve taken, they had to collide again.
“It’s just very, very important the path that our careers have taken over the last four years, the guys that we’ve beaten, the victories we’ve piled up. It’s a fight that needs to happen,” said Fitch.
Fitch and Alves have been scheduled to fight three times prior to UFC 117, but the Brazilian was forced out each time. Fitch stayed active defeating Alves’ teammate Ben Saunders and tough wrestler Mike Pierce. While he credits both of those opponents for great fights, Fitch understands that to get back to the title shot he so desires, it’s a co-main event bout like the one he has against Alves at UFC 117 that will get him in the spotlight.
“Even though Ben Saunders if a very tough opponent and Mike Pierce, very tough opponent, people don’t give you the same respect for beating them as somebody like Thiago,” Fitch commented.
Can he make it two for two against Alves? He believes that it all comes down to who gets the upper hand and employs their strategy.
“I think it’s mostly going to be a fight of who is going to be able to implement their game plan the best. We both know what we want to do. It’s a matter of who’s able to shut the other guy down, and impose their will,” said Fitch.
His plan is clear. Thiago Alves is going to get Fitch’d.