Former UFC welterweight title challenger Jon Fitch is considering retirement from the sport as he feels that “it’s all about entertainment”, instead of competition.
The 42-year old welterweight title has spent his career competing under some of the biggest banners in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA), including the UFC, WSOF, PFL and more recently – Bellator MMA.
Fitch last competed in MMA against Rory MacDonald for the Bellator welterweight title at Bellator 220 in April of 2019. After 5 rounds of fighting, the bout was ruled a majority draw.
After a 12-month layout, Fitch says he would only come back for a “money fight”. He recently talked about his future in professional fighting with MMAJunkie:
“If they offer me more than what I’m currently contracted for, I would fight anybody.” Jon Fitch said.
“But otherwise, a title eliminator or the title – that’s what would do it.”
If Fitch is unable to get the a fight for the “right price”, he says he would certainly be open to retiring from the sport of MMA. He also criticized the current state of MMA, accusing the sport of being more about the entertainment value, rather than competition:
“I’ve been thinking about retirement for a while because the body is beat up and the money is not there,” he said.
“I’ve been doing this 17 years and it’s not the sport I thought it was going to be. It’s not even a sport anymore.” Jon Fitch stated. “It’s pro wrestling without the predetermined outcome. So it’s a frustrating thing to be bound to these promoters. You never know when you’re going to fight, or if you’re going to get a fight, or if it’s good fight. There’s no merit system at all – it’s all about entertainment. They’re just putting on a show. It’s a show.”
Fitch even went as far as saying that MMA is not a real sport. He believes that it’s not worth putting his body through a grueling training camp, if it’s not for a main event fight:
“It’s not a sport, and that’s really frustrating to deal with. That, paired with physical issues – I have kids now, so if the fights are not really appealing, it’s not worth doing. It’s not worth getting into training camp and breaking down my body for the amount of money that we’re making.” Fitch said.
“There’s other jobs you can do and get by and not get brain damage. I’ve being doing this for so long that if it’s not a main event fight and it’s not for a title or title eliminator, it doesn’t really make sense.” he concluded.
Jon Fitch has a professional MMA record of 32–7–2 (1). Throughout his career he has shared the cage with some of the finest fighters the sport has had to offer. Fitch holds notable wins over fighters like Shonie Carter, Josh Burkman, Thiago Alves 2x, Diego Sanchez, Akihiro Gono, Paulo Thiago, Mike Pierce, Ben Saunders, Erick Silva, Dennis Hallman, Yushin Okami, Jake Shields and Paul Daley among others.
He has held titles in promotions such as World Series of Fighting (WSOF) and Professional Fighters League (PFL). At one point, Fitch was considered to be one of the Pound-for-Pound (P4P) best fighters in the world.
This article first appeared on CLOSEDGUARDMEDIA.com on 4th April, 2020.