Former UFC top contender and current World Series of Fighting welterweight Jon Fitch will be grappling at the World Jiu Jitsu Expo 2013 against Paulo Miyao. It is among seven superfights that the Expo has signed, thanks to their ability to offer purses, so professional athletes are looking at the competition as a way to make money as well. Fitch is in an interesting situation where a loss could be a further setback to his already fading career, and he is a huge underdog at (+320), as miyao is a 4 to 1 favorite at (-400).
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Miyao is a Jiu Jitsu protege who is still just 22 years old. He is a smaller fighter, competing in the 141 lb weight class, however he has won Absolutes at the BJJ World Championships as a brown belt and at various other high profile events as a brown and purple belt, so Fitch’s size advantage is not expected to worry Miyao. For Miyao, who does not compete in MMA, this is his super bowl, and we should see the best version of the young grappling star possible.
Don’t get me wrong, Fitch is a great grappler. He has a strong wrestling background, and his length and body type make him hard to match up against. He also is smart, and has done the work in Jiu Jitsu that he has more than a fair understanding of the game.
But Fitch has been a student of the game as it applies to MMA, and it made him a top tier fighter for a long time, but he never trained specifically for these rules and competitions now, and Miyao has. Fitch is in Miyao’s world.
To win, Fitch is going to have to get the takedowns and work on the floor. He is unlikely to get a submission, and will likely be looking to pass guard and score points. He has to stifle Miyao with his weight and size, and not let Miyao be offensive from the bottom. If Miyao gets off submission attempts from the guard, Fitch could be left sleeping, and not from punches the way it usually happens.