As it stands right now, Jon Fitch is slated to take on Erick Silva at UFC 153 in Rio. Yet, after it was announced that Rory McDonald suffered a bad cut in training and had to pull out of his UFC 152 bout with BJ Penn, Fitch made the curious decision to call out BJ, “He should fight me in Rio.”
Now, at first glance it may seem that Fitch is merely fishing for the biggest fight possible. After all, BJ, even in semi-retirement, is still swinging a big stick. His name means something. But look beneath the surface.
If you were Jon Fitch would you want to face Erick Silva? I know I wouldn’t. This is not your ordinary, garden-variety welterweight. Silva is an absolute killer. With explosive striking, homicidal instincts, top notch BJJ and impressive takedown defense, this is a fighter who is almost certain to one day hold a title. Along with Rory McDonald, Silva represents the future of the UFC welterweight division.
Fitch is in the midst of a career stalemate of sorts. Don’t get me wrong, he’s still a rough night out for almost anyone at 170. With a UFC record of 13-2-1, the dude is no joke. But at 34 years old, he’s been around for what seems like an eternity in this sport. He’s an elder. The next generation is coming up, and Silva is at the forefront of that attack. They’re looking to phase out guys like Fitch.
And presumably, so is the UFC. It’s no secret that Fitch isn’t their favorite son. The dude has a rep as a boring fighter, and once you get that rep, and earn it as Fitch has, they’re not going to do you any solids.
Fitch’s fate was sealed the moment Erick Silva signed on the dotted line. But now that Fitch has insulted Silva’s honor by implying that he is somehow not in his league with his weird BJ Penn fight request, Fitch as we know him may be over. Silva is a killer, and Fitch cannot handle a killer at this stage of his career, let alone a killer who feels disrespected. Silva was going to beat Fitch regardless. Now he may just decide to put a hurtin’ on him.