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Why Jon Fitch Won't Ever Beat Top Wrestler's in the WW Division

Posted 12-01-2007 at 06:14 PM by
Updated 12-01-2007 at 06:18 PM by kds13

I like Jon Fitch. He's my favorite guy at 170, followed closely by GSP. But looking at him realistically, he doesn't have what it takes to beat a top wrestler in his division. That sounds weird, even to me...and I'm the one writing it. Fitch is a wrestler, thats what he does. But diving deeper into his wrestling background has shown me that he can't beat the likes of GSP, Hughes, and Koscheck.

Fitch, as some may know, was a wrestler at Purdue University. All we ever hear was that he was the team captain senior year, that he developed his skill under Tom Erikson. All true...but his record tells a more interesting story about Fitch's skill level.

Fitch lettered his freshman year, but did not participate in Big Ten competitions.

His sophomore year:
In the year 2000, Jon Fitch was 1-15 with 9 of his losses being by 8 points or more (for those of you who don't know, 8 -14 poinit margins are a major decision, 15 point margins are considered a technical fall.
In his junior year:
In the year 2001, Fitch was better. He went 9-6. He did not qualify for the NCAA tournament and in fact did not even wrestle in the Big 10 tournament.

In his senior year:
In the year 2002, Fitch was his best. He was 18-12. He did not qualify for NCAA's again.


Overall, Fitch's record in college was under .500
Fitch never made the NCAA Tourney. While Fitch has applied his wrestling skill to MMA fairly well, so have others.

Fitch got outwrestled for much of the first round in his fight with Roan Carneiro, a BJJ guy. I just can't see him beating the top guys without developing better striking.

Matt Hughes
has made a career off putting people on their butt's and keeping them there. Coupled with his underrated BJJ, Matt Hughes would be able to take Fitch, IMO.

GSP has shown he can outwrestle the fighters that were previously believed to have the best wrestling in the division: Hughes and Koscheck. St. Pierre can outstrike Jon and their jui jitsu matches up fairly evenly.

Koscheck has the most explosive takedowns in MMA. You can feel free to argue, but his speed is what gets you down. He has shown vulnerability in terms of his top control and his TD defense. This match up would be close for Fitch.

IMO, I think Fitch has been a rising star in the WW Division that will eventually hit the wall. He probably won't fight Kos since they train together, but I don't see him winning vs. Hughes or GSP. Both men are better wrestlers than Fitch, which is never good considering wrestling is Fitch's strongest asset.

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    brownpimp88's Avatar
    I admire your research Kev, and you bring up some great points, but we have seen time in and time out that credentials don't mean as much as they stand for in the octagon.

    How many times have BJJ Blackbelts been punched in the face and crumbled?

    How many times have decorated wrestlers not been able to translate their not-so MMA effective wrestling style to MMA? Amateur wrestling is much different then MMA Wrestling. Someone like GSP who has a more flexible and powerful wrestling style was able to out-MMAWrestle a well decorated, more technical wrestler like Josh Koscheck in the octagon.

    It is for that reason, I feel that Jon Fitch's grappling style is tailor made to defeat many of the UFC's best WWs. I actually chose Jon Fitch to defeat Diego Sanchez for this reason. Despite Diego being the more decorated and technical grappler in many people's eyes, Fitch was able to control him on the ground because of his style.

    Personally, I think he matches up bad with someone like Georges St. Pierre, or even Matt Hughes(in the grappling department that is), but I feel he would have the advantage against the likes of Karo Parisyan, Josh Koscheck, Nick Diaz or Josh Burkman.
    Posted 12-01-2007 at 09:44 PM by brownpimp88 brownpimp88 is offline
    kds13's Avatar
    I agree that his wrestling has translated well to MMA, but I just don't see it being good enough to take on Kos, GSP, or Hughes. I thought Fitch would beat Diego too, but after the fight I'm left with the impression that strength played a significant factor in the fight. Fitch got reversed plenty of times in the fight and put in some pretty dangerous spots submission wise.

    How'd he get out of the subs: technically or power out? He powered out. I don't think the technical aspects of his ground game are good enough to last with GSP or Hughes, and I think Kos is the better, more dynamic wrestler.

    I definitely agree he can beat Karo, Diaz, or Burkman. But the top, top guys...he's not beating them.

    And again, I want to bring up how his wrestling looked against Roan Carneiro...he was getting reversed and basically mauled in the first and early second until he got some good strikes in and wore him down. Fitch can't beat someone with top wrestling, good BJJ, and good striking.

    Roan took him down to start the fight and sunk in an anaconda choke. He just wasn't strong enough to turn Fitch. Then later in the first, he got a double underhook body lock and took Fitch down the greco Roman way...all from a BJJ guy, not a wrestler.

    And remember, Fitch is my favorite at 170...I'm just being honest with myself.
    Posted 12-01-2007 at 10:06 PM by kds13 kds13 is offline
    Updated 12-01-2007 at 10:11 PM by kds13
    bbjd7's Avatar
    Intersting stuff and great research. I think Fitch is very good but his wrestling is probably overrated now that I think about the Carneiro fight.

    I would also say against a guy Hughes he would have huge amounts of trouble since Hughes has some of the best submissions at 170 and he unlike Roan, and Diego is powerful enough to finish him.

    I mean Diego belongs at 155 he is small in comparision to everyone. Fitch would beat Karo the same way he beat Diego strength. But against guys who can match his strength and skill level I'm curious to see what will happen.
    Posted 12-02-2007 at 01:27 PM by bbjd7 bbjd7 is offline
    swpthleg's Avatar

    jon fitch the wolfman

    I can't figure out how he got a UFC contract then. that record is not stellar.
    Posted 05-13-2008 at 07:11 PM by swpthleg swpthleg is offline
    Updated 05-13-2008 at 07:13 PM by swpthleg (used the wrong word)
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