POST UFC 64 INTERVIEW: UFC WELTERWEIGHT FIGHTER JON FITCH- IS HE THE NEXT OUTSTANDING FIGHTER?
A resume of 4-0 in UFC constructs a good reputation and this was what called my attention to Jon Fitch's name, even though he only fought at PPV once. He was able to dominate fighters of the caliber of Tiago 'PitBull' Alves(16-5), Brock Larson(18-1), Josh Burkman(7-3), Kuniyoshi Hironaka(10-3) and Shonie Carter (35-15-7). Fitch featured the UFC 64 and earned a unanimous decision over Kuniyoshi Hironaka of Academia Az. After this last victory that added the 12th victory to his resume, Fitch was caught up by us for an interview.
DENIS MARTINS: Congratulations man. Now you're 4-0 in UFC and nice streak resume. How do you analyze yourself in this last bout against Kuniyoshi Hironaka at UFC 64?
JON FITCH: I am happy with the win but there are a lot of things that I did not like about my performance. I wanted to stand a lot more than I did. I feel that I could have finished the fight if I would have kept it on the feet. I also feel I should have finished the rear naked choke when I took Hironaka's back.
DM: I have to say to you, I didn't expect this fight to go to the distance. So what surprised you from Hironaka?
JF: I did not think it was going to go the distance either. Hironaka was very tough, he did not react to anything I hit him with. I was looking to finish in the third when he broke my nose. I knew it was broken right away so I got the takedown to check to see how bad the nose was. When it started bleeding so much I was afraid they would stop the fight. So I kept the fight on the ground to hide the blood.
DM: Had you studied his footage? What didn't he do that you expected him to do?
JF: Yes, I got some footage of him fighting and grappling. He did exactly what I thought he would. He did not surprise me with anything. I knew that his ground was very slick; I also new that he has good Judo. I knew that I had better stand up. I just didn't use it as much as I should have.
DM: You've two win by submission and two by decision in UFC. Have you any way of comparing your fight against Brock Lesnar (first one to go to the distance) to this one against Hironaka?
JF: I think these fights are very similar in the fact that Brock was my first UFC fight and Hironaka was my first pay-per-view. So I think that I had a little nervousness for both that kept me from opening up as much as I would have liked to.
DM: And Jon, did you see any difference on fighting TUF Finale/UFN to this time in UFC?
JF: Yes, it is a big difference. It is just a bigger deal, lots more fans walking around more people talking about it and for me I got to be on the pay-per-view. There is just a lot more energy fighting at the ppv event.
DM: This fight against Hironaka was your third one on 2006. What would be the ideal schedule of fights for you?
JF: I think 3 to 5 fights a year are a good number. It's enough to stay busy and make good money and it gives you plenty of time to heal up and stay healthy. And gives you some much needed vacation time.
DM: Do you think your 4-0 at UFC fits you like a contender for the welterweight belt in next year? Why?
JF: I think that it can put me in contention in this next year. I just need to keep working hard and hopefully by the end of next year I might get my shot. I'm not real worried about the belt right now, I am more concerned with improving my game and improving my performances in the ring.
DM: And how do you see your plans inside thiscategory? I meant, do you see yourself fighting against who in the next fights?
JF: I'm not really sure. I'm not going to worry about who I might fight anymore, every-time I try to think who the UFC will have me fight they throw in someone I never would have guessed.
DM: We've St. Pierre x Hughes in UFC 65 and Diego Sanchez x Joe Riggs in UFC 66. What is your opinion of these fights and do you think if Diego wins, he'll be the contender?
JF: I think that Hughes will pull it out. I think Diego will sub Riggs. Diego is definitively going to be at the top now. He might get the call real soon.
DM Okay, Jon- let me know a bit about in-depth info from you. How is your training routine and do you follow any kind of diet?
JF:: My diet is nothing to crazy. I just eat three meals a day with healthy snacks, like fruit, when I get hungry. I try to eat a lot of brown rice and fish. I train 6 days a week for 8 weeks before a fight. We have team training a 11am at AKA, Monday through Friday. We spar three times a week. Some-times we also technique spar once or twice a week. We also do circuit training and mit work. We also grapple and do ground and pound training during the second half of
the work out. At night time 5:30-9pm I do Jiu Jitsu and do cardio. I use a Gi until about 4 weeks out from my fight, then I do all no Gi training. Saturdays are usually mit work and cardio. I rest on sun.
DM: What can you tell us about AKA and your teammates? Is there any chance of your teammates appear at UFC soon?
JF: Our gym is one of the best teams in the US right now. The number of UFC and Pride fighters we have is crazy. A few years ago it was only a couple of guys in the big shows. Now it's like we are all in a big show. It's pretty cool to see everyone hard work pay off.
DM: Do you think you already are a known fighter under UFC's banner? I mean, do you feel a famous fighter due to your good display of technique and power inside the octagon?
JF: No way do I feel famous. I think people barely noticed me. A gnp decision doesn't have to many people talking about by the water cooler on Monday morning. It’s good to have some people see me fight and see I have potential to do great things. Hopefully I will keep winning and keep opening up my game and then some day I will be a famous fighter.
DM: Are you still expecting to fight this year or do
you think this UFC 64 is the end of history for you in
JF: I am not sure, but I do think that I am probably done for the year. My nose is broke and I will not be able to spar for a little while.
DM: Thanks for your time Jon, this was a pleasure, would like to add anything else or leave a message to the readers?
JF: Just want to say thanks to any new fans I may have gotten and to say thanks to all the old fans that helped get me here. Check out my website www.fitchfighter.com and look for me on myspace.