For Bellator’s Jon Fitch, Waiting for Title Shot Had More Positives than Negatives

While waiting is never fun, there were more positives than negatives for Jon Fitch, who will finally fight for Bellator gold in April in San Jose.

Los Angeles, CA — Jon Fitch is finally getting his shot at gold in Bellator MMA. Nearly a year after making his debut in the promotion with a win over Paul Daley, Fitch will face Rory MacDonald on April 27 in San Jose. It’s a big card (Ilimia-Lei Macfarlane is in the co-main event), and the fight, beyond just a title fight, is part of the welterweight grand prix.

MacDonald, of course, recently lost his bid to claim a second title, at middleweight. Jon Fitch, mind you, isn’t putting too much into that loss. “Moving up a weight class, and fighting someone on Gegard’s level, I’m not going to put too much weight on that. Fifteen, twenty pounds of muscle, it’s a lot to deal with when you’re dealing with guys on that level.” Fitch made the comments over the weekend, back stage at Bellator 214.

“There’s some things to take from that fight, but there’s plenty of things to look at in other fights too,” he pointed out. Later, he’d make a simple comparison when it comes to the weight MacDonald was giving up at middlewieght. “Me and Luke Rockhold are both similarly skilled, different styles, but he’s 15, 20 pounds heavier than me. He’s going to crush me if he wants to.”

Back to the 170lb situation then. Fitch has been sitting longer than he’d like. “Way, way longer.” Yet the benefits made it worthwhile for the 40 year old to sit. “There was one negative in waiting, but there was too many positives for me to be upset about it. I get to fight for the title, I’m in this awesome tournament, I’m with Bellator, I get to fight in San Jose, they took care of me a little bit on the back end money wise. So I have no complaints. I’m really pumped about this.”

It also gives him a chance to go out on top, after earning the WSOF/PFL welterweight title and defending it once. Titles in two major promotions would be the icing on the cake.

“This is an opportunity for me to write my story. To write the final chapter. Ride off into the sunset, with all the hardware, and [accolades] for everything I’ve put into the sport,” Fitch said Saturday. “This is my opportunity, and I’m going to make the most of it.”

How would he like to close out his career? “Why not go out with a bang? I’d like to win this tournament, and then move up and win the belt at 185. Why not? That sounds like a pretty good story, finale for me.”

Of course, he saw what happened when MacDonald tried that. Gegard Mousasi had his way with him. But it’s a challenge Fitch would accept. “If he’s still the champ. [Rafael] Lovato’s looking amazing right now. There’s a lot of sharks out there, but I’ve been killing sharks for a long time.”