UFC 82: Jon Fitch to fight in Columbus against possibly Akihiro Gono (Exclusive)
MMAmania.com (www.mmamania.com) learned earlier this morning that welterweight contender Jon Fitch (15-2) has been approached about fighting Akihiro Gono (27-12-7) at UFC 82 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on March 1.
Fitch will fight on the card; however, Gono is not a lock to be his opponent at this time. Our sources indicate that the Fitch camp is working hard to line up a showdown with Karo Parisyan instead. That fight makes the most sense in terms of clearing up the 170-pound log jam.
In addition, it doesn’t really offer much of an up-side for Fitch — Gono just won his Octagon debut against Tamdan McCrory via submission (armbar) at UFC 78: “Validation” this past weekend. Fitch, on the other hand, is undefeated in the UFC (7-0) and has not lost a bout since 2002.
His most recent win over Diego Sanchez at UFC 76: “Knockout” moved him closer to a title shot … or so it seemed (Georges St. Pierre has the first crack against the winner of Matt Serra and Matt Hughes sometime in early 2008.)
What makes the most sense?
Have Fitch fight Parisyan in March and the Hughes/Serra winner against St. Pierre should headline a pay-per-view (PPV) shortly thereafter. Then, the Fitch-Parisyan winner would fight the winner of Hughes/Serra vs. St. Pierre later in 2008.
Not to take anything away from Gono — he’s talented and very experienced. He has everything to gain from a fight with Fitch and nothing to lose. It’s the exact opposite for Fitch.
This news makes very little sense, unless of course Parisyan earned a guaranteed spot behind St. Pierre with his recent win over Ryo Chonan and he won’t fight again until mid-2008.
Fitch and Karo to fight for a #2 contender makes the most sense since GSP already has the #1 spot.
Have Gono fight Alves.
Chris Lytle fights Marcus Davis.
Ryo Chonan fights Hironaka or Luke Cummo.
And I don't really give a shit about Kos; maybe give him Burkman or something.
Anyways, who you you think would take Fitch/Karo? Karo's had trouble with good wrestlers in the past (GSP, Sherk, even Diego). Fitch is an amazing wrestler and even though Karo improved his striking, Fitch is still better on the feet. Also, Fitch is better at finishing fights and has great conditioning. Karo showed poor cardio against Serra and Diego and the longer it goes, the more it favors Fitch. I could imagine Fitch getting a RNC in the second or third, but a decision is more likely.