Jon Fitch: UFC system to decide #1 contender 'sucks'

“My head wasn’t even in the (Hendricks) fight in the first place," said Jon Fitch. "I fought because I needed money. I should have pulled out of the fight because I had a second-degree MCL tear in my right knee. I wasn’t able to grapple or wrestle at all during the training camp."

“I don’t want to disrespect Johny Hendricks. He’s a hell of a fighter, but I didn’t even put myself in a position to win that fight. I was struggling a little bit with the mortgage and I couldn’t afford not to fight."

“I think I could have continued in that fight. I think I got hit twice, but I was conscious. I saw the ref jumping on me, and I was like ‘what are you doing?’ I knew what was going on the whole time. I just lost half a second from the time that he hit me to the time that I hit the ground. That was the only time I was out. It wasn’t a clean, full knockout. I just want to make sure that if I’m out, I’m out. I want to make sure that the ref isn’t making a mistake. If I get hurt from it, so be it, but we’re talking about a lot of money, whether you win or lose. It’s a big hit to the bank account if the ref steps in even a little bit early."

“He’s a great fighter and I’d like to test myself against him again. I feel like I owe him a real fight. I didn’t put myself in a situation to give him a real fight and I kind of robbed him of that opportunity too.”

On October 13th, Fitch will look to ascend the ladder again, as he takes on dynamic young contender Erick Silva at UFC 153 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Fitch will look to turn a win over Silva into the beginning of another impressive win streak, but he is unsure of what exactly he’ll have to do before another title shot is in his sights.

“It’s impossible to tell," said Fitch. "There’s no system for picking number one contenders. There’s no order, there’s no lineup, there’s no point system. It’s just whoever they feel they’re going to make the most money off of. That’s who gets the title shot. It kind of sucks, because in other sports there’s kind of a clear path; you do this, this and this, and you get this.  That’s just not the way combat sports work I guess. It doesn’t work that way with boxing or the UFC. It comes down to showmanship. I have to be a better showman to get a title shot. I don’t have to be a better fighter I just have to be a better showman.”

“I’m going to out there and put the old-man strength on him and put the beat down on him wherever I can. I’ve always gone into fights with the mindset that I’m not just going to take what they give me, I’m going to put pressure on them and make them make mistakes. I’ve always done that and it’s always worked out pretty well.”

“I think we’re going to have a really fast fight, and I’d like to submit Erick Silva, you know, I think I can. I think I can get him to expose some things that make him vulnerable and I think I can put him away.”

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