It’s hard to believe that five years have passed since the UFC cut perennial welterweight contender Jon Fitch. Since then, all Fitch has done is dominate the competition, winning the WSOF welterweight title in the process and defending it against Jake Shields.
On Saturday the man who has come to be known by Fitch “Smash” embarks on the next phase of his MMA journey as he makes his Bellator MMA debut against the always dangerous Paul Daley. The bout goes down at the stacked Bellator 199 card in San Jose, CA, with the final opening round fight of the World Heavyweight Grand Prix topping the bill.
Speaking with Cageside Press earlier this week, Fort Wayne, Indiana native Fitch gave us some insight into his game plan heading into this weekend. “I like to take the path of least resistance,” Fitch explained.
“Depending on what he [Daley] is giving me, that’s what I’ll take. I don’t think it’s a good idea to go into a fight and have one strategy or one idea of what’s going to happen. They tend to show you how they want to lose,” Fitch elaborated.
Perhaps most impressive is the way Fitch has been able to change with the times and stay relevant in today’s MMA climate. You can find the longtime AKA fighter on his YouTube channel where he posts daily shake break videos and other insightful content. Be that as it may, he can see the end drawing near as far as actively fighting. “I might only have about five years left to fight,” said Fitch.
“I’m definitely looking towards post-career stuff now, I’m taking the fight game one fight at a time right now. I’m trying to build a following on social media, I’m doing some online coaching, and commentating is something I’d love to get into,” Fitch revealed.
He’s certainly fighting for the right promoter in that regard. Scott Coker might just jump at the chance to add a fighter like Fitch to an already formidable broadcast team.
Fitch, the grizzled vet that he is, prides himself on his mental acuity, that is, it’s just as important to keep your mind as healthy as your body. “Any time you can challenge yourself, that’s part of keeping your mind young,” Fitch explains.
“You have to constantly challenge yourself, learn new things, learn new skills, reading- but actually retaining the information you read, don’t just read garbage,” Fitch detailed.
Heading into Bellator 199 this Saturday it appears this MMA mainstay is poised to make yet another run at the title, albeit in a new promotion. However, for Fitch it’s business as usual. “I’m going to put the pressure on him [Daley], just like I always do, and I will impose my will….just like I always do.”
Jon Fitch meets Paul Daley on the main card of Bellator 199, airing live from the SAP Center in San Jose, CA on the Paramount Network. The televised action kicks off at 9PM ET.