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Jon Fitch draws Johny Hendricks in return at UFC 141

Jon Fitch has finally been called off the sidelines and into action. Out of the cage since February with a shoulder injury, Fitch will return to competition at the end of December at UFC 141. Ready to welcome him back is fellow collegiate wrestler Johny Hendricks.

News of the bout was first reported by ESPN and has since been confirmed by the UFC.

Fitch was cleared for competition from his shoulder injury in August, and has been itching to get back in the cage ever since. It’s been a whirlwind couple of weeks for the Purdue Boilermaker. He was rumored to replace Diego Sanchez against Matt Hughes, but that fight went to Fitch’s AKA teammate Josh Koscheck. There was also talk that he could rematch BJ Penn at UFC 137 when Penn was without a fight after Carlos Condit got bumped to the main event. With those options off the table, Fitch was hoping to get on the UFC 139 card in San Jose, the city where he trains out of.

Now that he has a fight, he’s ready to continue to prove why he’s one of the best welterweights in the sport. In 15 UFC bouts, Fitch has only tasted defeat once, to current welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre. In his last bout at UFC 127, Fitch and Penn fought to a majority draw. The two were scheduled to rematch this past July, but the bout was scrapped after both men suffered injuries.

Even though Hendricks doesn’t have the experience of Fitch, he’s just as talented. A two time national wrestling champion in college and a four time All-American, Hendricks has transitioned to MMA with ease. With his wrestling and natural power, Hendricks has picked up victories over the likes of Amir Sadollah, Mike Pierce, and Charlie Brenneman.

UFC 141 is scheduled for December 30 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Nevada. The event will be headlined by the return of former heavyweight champion Brock Lesnar taking on the UFC debuting Alistair Overeem.

*PHOTO CREDIT – UFC*

20 COMMENTS
  • BULLSHIT! Fitch gets an up and comer while Diaz gets to come straight in and fight a legend. And Im a huge fan of Diaz but Fitch has earned his due and will probably Fitch Hendricks to a decision and still not get another title shot. I hope he bumblefucks his way into a TKO so Dana will take notice of this guy…he deserves his 2nd shot more than Okami, Hardy, Maia, Leites, Koscheck all deserved their first.

  • Creature says:

    Superdave, i agree completely. Fitch may be well hated because of his “boring” style but he deserves a 2nd shot, I think he should be fighting the winner of Penn/Diaz for a title shot, how do you have a draw on a number one contender fight, then not get a rematch or another straight number one contender fight? thats complete crap. The guy works his ass off, supports his company, and wins. give him his due.

  • Guthookd says:

    Alright Johny!! Makin’ waves. I’ve really liked this guy ever since I saw him on Tapout’s show; he was the polar opposite of the cranky-assed Mac Danzig and it really stood out, though they both won their end-of-show fights.

    I’m glad to see that Zuffa has taken note of Johny’s good performances and success because he’s also improving.

    I hoping he can match Fitch’s wrestling because he is supposedly a really good wrestler him self. If he can keep it standing I think his chances of handing Fitch a TKO are good.

    War Johny!

  • Angry Mike says:

    They’re both high level wrestlers, so maybe that cancels out and they keep it standing. Watching two wrestlers try to strike can be as attractive as a fat girl doing the grind, but it’s not boring, either, is it?

  • Creature says:

    I think Fitch’s striking is still underrated, if the almost impossible happens and it turns into a stand up fight, i think he will shock some people, watch his exchanges with alves in there last fight, there werent too many but he did very well. After the beating GSP put on him and still survivng, i dont see anyone TKOing Fitch

  • MCM says:

    superdave and Creature-

    When are you two gonna get it? The UFC is not a sanctioned Sport, it is a playground for Billionaires. That’s why Diaz gets a title shot after beating no one of consequence, and why Brock gets to be in a #1 contenders match right after losing the title, and why Faber only ever needs one fight before his next shot at a belt. Because the owners don’t like Fitch, and because it’s their company and they can do whatever they want with it, he will continue to beat the crap out of everyone they throw at him and never be allowed to advance up the ranks.

  • I get it MCM I just wish people would actually get on the Fitch bandwagon. Diaz got his initial title shot because people asked for it, after doin what he did he then gets a shot at Penn because once again people asked for it.
    Fitch isnt the most exciting fighter but I really like the guy, he’s the mma me. No real natural talent ugly as sin and works his ass off to get anything he gets. I too think his striking is underrated, people can say what they want but other than Shields he’s the only guy to bloody GSP and fight till the final moment of the fight when he was getting his ass whooped all over the ring. You cant teach heart like that.
    If Hendricks had problems with Story, he’s gonna have a real problem with Fitch.

  • Creature says:

    True MCM but if there gonna always talk about whos good and bad for the sport, and always talk about doing whats right for it, they need to stop being hypocrites. Fitch is most deserving of a shot, do whats right and give it to him..

    “If Hendricks had problems with Story, he’s gonna have a real problem with Fitch.” -couldnt agree more

  • GIKE MOLDBERG says:

    Don’t count Hendricks out just yet-If anyone can make Fitch have an exciting fight-It’s Hendricks-This guy’s will to win, great counter wrestling and KO power make him a very dangerous opponent for Fitch

  • fanoftna33 says:

    I think this is a very good test for Fitch acually as he is coming off a major surgury and layoff, and he is fighting a tough but not top 5 tough guy in Hendricks. If Fitch gets past Johnny then by all means give him a title shot or true # 1 contender spot, but for now I feel throwing him in with a top 5 guy after the layoff would have been worse. Of course if anybody can come back from a long layoff looking as good as before Fitch can, the guy is double tough.

  • stone says:

    Good fight for both guys…. I don’t think Fitch is ready for GSP & it sounds like he doesn’t wanna wait around for a title shot anyways… He wants to fight & everyone else is booked! So please STOP bitchin about Fitch’s shot at the strap, already!

  • Creature says:

    Stone you have a good point, but he could easily fight the winner of ellenburger/shields by that time since there fight is in less than a week

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Fitch has built an impressive resume, no doubt. He’s a really tough dude who goes into each fight with at least even odds to win, against anybody not named GSP. But at the same time, I don’t feel like he’s being unfairly overlooked for a 2nd title shot for a few reasons…

    1) In his title shot he wasn’t even competitive, and the guy who delivered that beatdown is still the champ.

    2) Fitch’s best win since his title shot is probably Alves, who’s lost 3 of 4. Of the six guys he’s fought since losing to GSP, two have been cut from the UFC and overall those six opponents have posted a combined record of 7-5 under the UFC banner since going up against Fitch.

    3) Fitch hasn’t finished a fight in over 4 years. For better or worse, there is a subjective element to match-making and Fitch couldn’t grade out any worse in those aspects.

    4) In those 4+ years without finishing a fight he’s had a split decision, a beatdown at the hands of GSP, and a draw.

    5) That draw was his last time in the cage, meaning he’s gone over a full calendar year without having his arm raised.

    Again, Fitch’s track record speaks for itself. He’s very legitimately a top contender, who unless he suffers a loss will remain in the discussion for another crack at the belt. But given all the of the circumstances in recent years, I just don’t feel any strong momentum behind a Fitch title shot right at the moment.

  • Creature says:

    Richard you do have some valid points, but regardless of those, he should at least be fighting in a number one contenders fight. his draw was one, so if BJ gets to fight in one Fitch deserves one just as much if not more than BJ on track record alone in my opinion.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Well Fitch was all set for his 2nd consecutive #1 contender tilt, to settle the first one with BJ, but his own injury is what did him in. And then BJ was ready to fight sooner (hell, I’m still skeptical BJ was that injured at all, since he pulled out after Fitch announced he wouldn’t be able to go). The show must go on.

    So the way I see it, that’s just the way the cookie crumbled. Sucks for Fitch but, like I said before, not a case of Fitch being trealy unfairly.

  • MickeyC says:

    Until it was in the UFCs best interest, they were not doing much for Koz either. Can’t help but wonder if it all goes back to AKAs reluctance to fight one another.& it would take a fool not to see that fan favorites get better & more high profile fights. There are more than one example listed above. Henderson is a prime example. He never should have been relaeased from the UFC.

  • Rece Rock says:

    Bret Hart screwed Bret Hart… damn it, I mean Jon Fitch screwed Jon Fitch.

  • fanoftna33 says:

    Now that is funny Rece.

  • MCM says:

    I hear what you’re saying Boner, but we’re talking about the fairness of the situation, and in comparison to the way other fighters are treated in the UFC, Fitch is getting short shifted every time.

    He’s fought in 2 (almost 3) consecutive #1 contender matches since loosing his shot at the belt.

    -One against Alves who had just lost his title fight (and looked less impressive than Fitch). Why was Alves in a contender’s match having fought no one since loosing to the champ where as Fitch had to fight and win 4 times in a row before getting another shot?

    -His next fight was again a #1 contenders match against BJ Penn. Penn was 1-2 in his last 3 fights and 1-3 in his last 4 fights at WW. Jon was on a 5 fight win streak.

    -Condit is now in a title shot. He is on a 4 fight win streak that includes an razor thin Split Dec win over Ellenberger, not much different than Fitch/Pierce. A controversial TKO stoppage in a fight he was loosing against McDonald who was ridding the same hype as Killa B when he fought Fitch. A win over Hardy who was in the exact same position as Alves. And a win over Stungun who may have been undefeated but was ranked lower than undefeated Paulo Thiago when he fought Fitch.

    I’m cool with Carlos getting the title shot, since Fitch is coming off a draw and injury, but to think Jon’s being treated fairly is just ridiculous IMO.
    And I’m only discussing the WW division of the UFC. I’m totally ignoring the Lesnar’s, Rampage’s, KenFlo’s and Faber’s that are handed title shot after title shot without ever putting together a 5 fight win streak.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    The UFC is hardly unique in giving preferential treatment to the top superstars/teams, largely dictated by overall fan sentiment. Leagues are smart to cater to the fans, as it’s in both their short-term (monetarily) and long-term (maintaining & growing the fanbase) best interests. Sports are, first & foremost, a business.

    Back to more of the specific topic at hand, with Fitch, I won’t rehash why I don’t believe he’s being treated unfairly or overlooked for another shot at GSP in the current WW title picture.

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