OK, forget about the fact that I picked Jon Fitch to beat Johny Hendricks at UFC 141. What we saw was effectively a non fight, as 12 seconds in, Hendricks landed a big left right on Fitch’s chin, sending him to the canvas stiff as a board. Fitch ate one more punch before instinct kicked in and he defended against the referee as he stepped in. But it was over, and Jon Fitch’s clear cut grasp on top 2 welterweight and top 10 pound for pound fighter was over just like that.
Yes the UFC will probably have Fitch back, as he is the owner of an impressive record in the UFC, one that can sustain a loss it would seem. But this is where his reputation as a methodical fighter wont help Fitch. I watched a Spanish language broadcast of this fight, and the announcers there talked about him being good but boring. How many chances is the UFC going to give a so called boring fighter?
Hendricks did his job, and he was efficient. But I still am going to need to see more out of Johny Hendricks before I move him up to the upper echelons of the weight class. Welterweight is probably the most stacked class the UFC has right now. Perhaps a match with a similar, explosive puncher like a Jake Ellenberger should be next for Johny.
Fitch will now watch Carlos Condit and Nick Diaz fight for an interim title, and it is one he will not get the first crack at. His teammate Josh Koschek has likely moved ahead of him, as has Thiago Alves, Jake Shields and Ellenberger.
It is interesting to me how many chances a guy like Chris Leben has gotten. I mean, he lost twice in the TUF TV show, and they had to bring back a guy who was likely a production plant (Jason Thacker) to get him a win. But he broke, doors, peed on pillows and painted his hair outrageous colors, so of course Leben has to get shot after shot.
Fitch is unlikely to get that many shots, despite being far and away the better fighter. He just isn’t flashy. Fitch has already been passed over for title shots with a long winning streak, so he is going to have to change styles kind of drastically AND pull of some wins that get the people behind him. If he doesn’t do that, he can win all the fights he wants, he will never again be in title contention in the UFC.