Analyzing GSP vs. Fitch
On August 9 we will see GSP, the reigning UFC welterweight champion defend his title against Jon Fitch, the #1 contender at 170.
GSP is a well rounded machine. He excels at wrestling, striking, and jiu-jitsu and is always looking to improve outside of his comfort zone, such as training overseas in jiu-jitsu, training with olympc heavyweight wrestlers, or training with world class boxers. He currently trains out of Team Jackson leading up to his fights, where he can train and prepare with some of the top athletes in the game right now.
Fitch is moderately tall for a welterweight standing at 6 ft. He is a strong wrestler and enjoyes a reach advantage over GSP in this fight. He trains out of American Kickboxing Academy where they are loaded with welterweight talent and he has been improving on his striking.
GSP has proven that he can out-wrestle the top wrestlers in his weight division even though his "wrestling resume" isn't on par with some of the others in his division. He has shown great octagon control while using his striking to lead to his take downs and uses his top control to lead to his submissions. GSP has put together his wrestling, striking, and jiu-jitsu to make him one of the most well rounded fighters in MMA today. While his striking is good, he is not known to knock guys out with his fists, instead he uses his striking to setup other aspects of his game.
Fitch trains with Koscheck who was one of GSP's last fights and is thought to be one of the best wrestlers in MMA today. In this fight, Koscheck was out-wrestled due to GSP's ability to combine all the aspects of MMA and keep Koscheck guessing and not allow him to be comfortable in the octagon. While Koscheck is the better wrestler, Fitch puts it all together better than he does and this should benefit him in this fight. I am sure AKA is picking apart the Koscheck/GSP fight to improve Fitch's chances.
Fitch is a great wrestler, but not the caliber of wrestler of Koscheck or Hughes for that matter. Fitch needs to utilize his reach advantage to keep GSP shooting from the outside and make it hard for him to setup. I honestly do not see Fitch winning this match. Fitch's strength will more than likely be equalized by GSP's wrestling ability and fitch will more than likely find himself on his back where GSP is known to muscle you around and either submit or GNP to a victory. I don't see this fight being completely one-sided, as I think Fitch will do ok for a round or two before GSP wears him out and capitalizes on a mistake. Fitch is a different build of fighter than GSP has fought before and it will be interesting to see how it all unfolds.