Dana White Says He Thought BJ Penn Beat Jon Fitch

By John Heinis

UFC President Dana White wasted little time in voicing his opinion about UFC 127’s main event.  White told ESPN.com “I didn’t think it was a draw”, disagreeing with the final decision of the fight.

“Personally, I scored the first two rounds for Penn and had him winning the fight. There’s no doubt B.J. got pounded in the third round, but that wasn’t a 10-8 round.”

White is notorious for having a problem with guys who can’t finish fights, and few fighters have the propensity to grind out decisions like Jon Fitch does.  Fitch has had his past nine fights go to the scorecards, not finishing a fight since 2007, when he made Roan Carneiro tap out from a rear naked choke.

In 23 professional victories, Fitch has won 13 by decision.

White, who said that Fitch would get a welterweight title shot after his victory against Thiago Alves in August of 2010, quickly changed his tune once Jake Shields signed with the UFC.  Is a draw against BJ Penn reason enough for Fitch to get another crack at the title?

Well, the short answer is no, as far as Dana White is concerned.

“Fitch is one of these guys that goes, ‘Oh, I want my respect,'” White said. “He just fought a 155-pound guy and went to a draw with him and in my opinion, he lost the first two rounds — and he’s crying for a title shot?”


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‘Rampage’-Hamill official for UFC 130

By Sergio Non, USA Today

The Ultimate Fighting Championship has officially lined up former titleholder Quinton “Rampage” Jackson‘s next bout for its Memorial Day weekend show.

UFC 130’s official website now includes Jackson against Matt “The Hammer” Hamill for the May 28 event in Las Vegas. A welterweight bout between Rick “Horror” Story and Thiago Alves has also been added the card, which will be headlined by the rubber match between lightweight champion Frankie “The Answer” Edgar and Gray “The Bully” Maynard.

Jackson originally was slated to face Thiago Silva at UFC 130. But one of Silva’s urine samples from his Jan. 1 fight in Las Vegas with Brandon Vera tested positive for a banned substance, and the Nevada Athletic Commission is still waiting for test results for the second sample.

Promoters offered a title fight on short notice to Jackson in March against light-heavyweight champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, after original challenger “Sugar” Rashad Evans suffered a sprained knee ligament in training. Jackson declined, saying that he did not have enough time to properly prepare for Rua, who dominated him in 2005.


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Dana White doesn’t want to see Rampage-Rashad rematch, believes Matt Hamill will be a better fight

By Jamie Penick

Before Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Matt Hamill were matched up for UFC 130, a second bout between Rampage and Rashad Evans was discussed for the event with the removal of Thiago Alves from the card.

While the Jackson-Hamill bout seems much more uninspired and less interesting than a big money rematch between Jackson and Evans, there is one man who doesn’t share that feeling: UFC President Dana White.

“Talking’s fun before the fight, but if you do all this talking and then you go in there and don’t fight, who wants to see that (crap) again?” White said in an interview with USA Today. “Rampage-Rashad, the (freaking) snoozefest? I don’t want to see that (freaking) fight again.”

“Matt Hamill and Rampage might not talk a bunch of (crap) about each other before the fight, but when have you not seen Matt Hamill fight? Matt Hamill’s going to go in there and try to beat him.”


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Thiago Alves vs. Rick Story Official for UFC 130

By Mike Chiappetta

Thiago Alves and Rick Story are set to do battle during the upcoming UFC 130 event in Las Vegas after the UFC made the bout official on Saturday.

The welterweight scrap is expected to be on the main card of the event, which will take place on May 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

The fight features a respected veteran trying to claw his way back into the title picture against a young upstart trying to crack the top 10.

Alves (18-7) rose to as high as No. 2 in the world in the welterweight division according to some rankings before taking on UFC champion Georges St. Pierre in July 2009. Alves lost a decision and followed that up with another decision loss in August 2010, this time to Jon Fitch.


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Is Jon Fitch Ever Getting Another Shot at GSP?

By Elton Hobson

Purgatory: A timeless place between worlds where restless souls hang in limbo.

We see the concept pop up across most major religions, in endless philosophical debates, in many creative or artistic works, and in particularly acid-trippy episodes of Lost (always the best kind).

I imagine Jon Fitch could tell you a little something about being stuck in limbo.

That’s because since time immemorial, since the earth first cooled and the stars in the cosmos first took their shape, Jon Fitch has been the No. 1 contender in the UFC welterweight division.

Like Sisyphus, pushing his boulder up a hill for all eternity, Fitch seems doomed to an eternity of futile toil.

Ok, so that’s an exaggeration, but the fundemental point is not.

Fitch has been spinning his wheels in the 170 lbs division since 2005, winning plenty of fights, but not many fans – and only one title shot.

As a case study, Fitch is fascinating.

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Jon Fitch Done Talking About Title Shots Until After UFC 127

By Damon Martin

For the last couple of years, Jon Fitch has become the forgotten contender in the UFC’s welterweight title picture. The American Kickboxing Academy standout has an astonishing 13-1 record in the UFC, with his lone loss coming to the current 170-pound champion Georges St-Pierre. Fitch has also never backed down from proclaiming his goal of wanting another crack at St-Pierre and the title. He was even supposed to get that title shot after beating Thiago Alves last August, but it never materialized.

The former Purdue wrestler also stated, when he made an initial trip to Australia to promote his upcoming fight against B.J. Penn, that he believed it should be him fighting St-Pierre in Toronto at UFC 129 and not Jake Shields, who got the shot.

“I think I’m better than Jake. I think I should be fighting for the title,” Fitch said.

With his fight against Penn now just a couple of weeks away, Fitch has stopped talking about title shots or potential rematches against St-Pierre. He’s not even worried about being considered the top contender anymore. All of that falls by the wayside now because he knows Penn is someone you can never underestimate.

“This fight is such a huge fight with B.J. and I have a lot of responsibility to carry with this fight being the main event in Australia my focus is B.J. Penn. That’s all I’m worried about or thinking about right now,” Fitch said in an interview with MMAWeekly Radio.


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Fitch says 24/7 focus on Penn will pay off

By The Canadian Press

Jon Fitch has been riveted on B.J. (The Prodigy) Penn 24/7 leading up to UFC 127.

“I wake up thinking about B.J.,” Fitch said. “I go to sleep at night . . . thinking about fighting B.J. “Sometimes when I’m asleep, I’m still thinking about fighting B.J.”

The two welterweights meet Feb. 27 in the main event of UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia. Fitch’s single-minded approach only makes sense when your opponent is a former lightweight and welterweight title-holder who smashed former champion Matt Hughes in 21 seconds last time out. But Fitch (25-3 with one no contest) sees that focus as a key to avoiding past distractions on the road to success.

Fitch has rarely tasted failure in the cage, but the 32-year-old has not always agreed with the welterweight pecking order. Fitch is 13-1 in the UFC — the lone loss was to champion Georges St-Pierre at UFC 87 in August 2008 — and has won 21 of his last 22 fights dating back to 2003.

“All I can do is worry about the fight in front of me,” he said when asked if he had felt left out in the cold after the GSP loss. “I can’t stress or fret about things I don’t really have control over.

“And what I do have control over is this fight with B.J. Penn so my focus is 100 per cent on him and putting on the absolutely best fight I possibly can for the fans and hopefully bring some cheer to the Australian fans because they’ve been going through some tough times with a lot of the natural disasters that have been going on the past few weeks there.”

The UFC hopes to help survivors of the recent flooding and cyclone in Australia with some charity auctions. In a sport that rewards sudden, violent finishes, Fitch has suffered for grinding out a string of decisions. He has won five straight decision since the GSP loss, most recently dominating Thiago Alves at UFC 117 last August.

Asked if winning by decision is not enough these days, Fitch opens a window on his inner workings.

“You know it’s hard to say and that’s exactly why I’ve put so much focus on just B.J. right now,” he said. “I think in the past maybe I’ve thought about too many things other than just the fight right in front of me. And maybe that’s part of the reason why I haven’t finished the last few fights, so that’s another reason why I haven’t really thought of anything other than just fighting B.J.”


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Jon Fitch preparing to become a legend

By Jason Benfari

Long regarded as the UFC‘s best welterweight not named Georges St. Pierre, Jon Fitch wants more. Since being shutout in a loss to current UFC welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, Fitch has reeled off five straight victories, including dominant performances over Paulo Thiago, Ben Saunders and Thiago Alves.

Fitch (23-3) wants to be a legend, but in order to do so, he believes he must beat one. Something that in his mind is already a foregone conclusion.

“I’m going to beat B.J. Penn,” said Fitch. “The question is, can I can finish B.J. Penn. I want to become a legend and the only way to become a legend is to beat a legend, and B.J.’s definitely a legend.

Fitch clearly understands the unique tools that Penn brings to the fight, but chooses instead to focus on himself.

“I’m not going to spend my time worring about what B.J.’s going to do,” Fitch said. “I’m going to spend my time focusing on what I need to get done to win the fight. I can’t rely on just being stronger than him and expect to push him around the ring. You’re in for non-stop action. No matter where I take the fight I’m constantly looking to finish, I’m constantly throwing punches, I’m constantly throwing elbows. I literally want to make my opponent feel like I put him through a meat-grinder.


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