Bellator 199’s Jon Fitch Talks Moving to Bellator, And MMA Having Grown

Bellator MMA has become a destination of choice for big names in MMA, and another debuts this Saturday at Bellator 199: Jon Fitch.

Jon Fitch makes his Bellator MMA debut Saturday at Bellator 199 in San Jose, CA. It’s a classic striker vs. grappler bout against once of the deadliest guns in Bellator’s welterweight division, Paul Daley. Going down right in Fitch’s backyard, it might even be the starting point for a run at the title. Time will, tell, but for now, it’s another big career move for the former UFC fighter.

As to why he left his previous stomping grounds in the WSOF/PFL, where he captured the promotion’s welterweight title, “I wasn’t 100% happy with the way they were promoting their shows,” Fitch told Cageside Press. “I just thought there were more challenges and bigger names in Bellator,” he added. “I wanted to fight in my home town, I wanted to be local, and Bellator’s local here in San Jose now.”

The first of those big names is Daley. Also in the welterweight ranks is Douglas Lima, Andrey Koreshkov, and of course Rory MacDonald. But for now, it’s Daley in the crosshairs. And while many have dismissed this fight as an easy one for Fitch, given Daley’s struggles with grapplers, Fitch refuses to underestimate his opponent.

“Everybody’s tough in this sport these nowadays,” Fitch said. As to the idea that he just needs to get the fight to the ground and it’s a done deal, “that might have been true 10, 15 years ago, but not today.”

“Everybody’s good, everybody knows what they’re doing,” he continued. “There’s accountants walking down the street that are purple belts in jiu-jitsu. The sport’s grown, the martial arts mindset has grown. Everybody’s tough now, you gotta respect everybody and bring your best game to the table.”

For Fitch, his best game on Saturday will involving wearing Paul Daley down. “I’m going to drag him out into deep water. I’m going to wear him out. And I think I can get on that neck sometime in the third,” he predicted.

Jon Fitch vs. Paul Daley serves as Bellator 199’s co-main event this Saturday in San Jose, CA. You can watch the fight live and free on The Paramount Network, with the main card getting underway at 9PM ET. And catch our full interview with Jon Fitch above!