It appears those looking to cheer on former UFC welterweight title challenge Jon Fitch in his return to the promotion at UFC 94 following a 24-hour release from the company may have to do so in person at the MGM Garden Arena — or hope his fight vs. Akihiro Gono makes the PPV telecast on a tape-delay basis.
According to the UFC’s official website, Fitch’s bout vs. Gono is currently not one of the five fights guaranteed to make the January 31 PPV event. As of now, the guaranteed televised lineup for the show consists of UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre defending his title vs. UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn, Karo Parisyan taking on Dong Hyun Kim, Lyoto Machida vs. Thiago Silva, Nate Diaz vs. Clay Guida, and Stephan Bonnar vs. Jon Jones.
It should be noted that this development is based solely off the UFC’s official listing for the card on its website and the company has yet to make an official statement. It’s also possible that a change in the televised lineup could always be made at a later date.
Fitch was released in November after being caught in the crossfire of a dispute between UFC management and his trainers at the American Kickboxing Academy and management at Zinkin Entertainment. However, after a great deal of negative publicity directed at the UFC, the issue was resolved the next day after Fitch contacted UFC CEO Lorenzo Fertitta and successfully negotiated a return to the company’s roster.
If Fitch’s UFC 94 bout is not broadcast it will be interesting to see what his reaction will be. When he initially began his career in the UFC, his early bouts were not made available during the televised portion of UFC events, a situation that he was once very outspoken about.