Jon Fitch Calls Rousimar Palhares ‘Unprofessional,’ Says The Champion Should Have ‘Manned Up’

June 20, 2014
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Jon Fitch 478x270World Series of Fighting welterweight contender Jon Fitch was supposed to fight for the WSOF 170-pound title on July 5, but champion Rousimar Palhares withdrew from the scheduled fight to tend to his ailing mother. Now Fitch can only wish he were fighting for the belt.

“I wish it was for the title. I wish Palhares would have manned up and showed up to fight,” said Fitch during a promotional press conference for the event on Friday (see video here).

The 36-year-old Fitch believes Palhares should have taken the fight, calling Palhares withdrawal “unprofessional.”

“We all have problems. My dad’s sick too. He’s going to have a heart procedure the week of the fight,” said Fitch. “This is a big fight on NBC. He’s the titleholder. You have a responsibility as a titleholder to defend your damn title. It’s unprofessional. I hope his mom is well. I wish him the best and I’ll pray for him, but you do your job. We’re professionals. You do your job.”

The organization had a hard time maintaining an opponent for the welterweight contender after Palhares dropped out of the fight. Newly signed Jake Shields stepped in as Palhares’ replacement, but was forced to withdraw due to injury. A trilogy fight with Josh Burkman was put together, but quickly fell apart when Burkman suffered an elbow injury. Fitch now faces veteran mixed martial artist Dennis Hallman on the NBC-televised fight card.

“I’ve got nothing but respect for Dennis Hallman. He’s a real fighter. Real fighters fight. It doesn’t matter where. It doesn’t matter who. You get a date, you show up and you fight. That’s what real fighters do,” said former UFC title contender.

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  • Darin


  • Damian Cross

    Meh, can go either way on this one. You are screwing with people’s jobs and thus their home life by pulling out, but its kinda understandable if she’s like…on her death bed. Needs more info.

  • MuayThaiFood

    When your profession is to punch people in the face for other people’s entertainment I don’t think it gives you the moral high ground to tell another they are unprofessional for taking care of their ailing mother. In fact, I think it makes you look pretty ridiculous and unprofessional yourself.

  • Lawdog1521

    I think unless you know what his mother’s condition is, you’re a colossal douche, Fitch.

    No, that’s not right. a boring, colossal douche. There that’s better

  • Bob Sacamanto

    Jake shields dad died 3 days before his fight with ellenburger and still fought, he was also knocked unconscious, but at least he kept his word and showed up. I’m sure palhares mother would’ve survived 36 hours just fine if he flew into town and fought.

    • Milosc

      Yeah, I’m sure Jake is glad he manned-up and did a solid for the fans on that one..

      Good thing the public understands all that hidden background/keeping it real side of things and it didn’t count against his career or anything

  • Roger Shike

    Wish I could take 2 months off work when my mom gets sick.

    • Liam O’Keefe

      You can under the FMLA. You are entitled to take up to three months of to either take care of a child, spouse, or parent. Without pay.

      • MuayThaiFood

        Actually you can use your vacation pay and after that is exhausted you can use any sick leave pay you have saved up.

        • Liam O’Keefe

          that is true, I forgot the part about vacation and sick leave. But you still get 3 months for qualified employees.

  • TrentSki

    I actually agree with Fitch, the guy was kicked out of ufc for being unprofessional