Jon Fitch’s ability to escape a full on rear naked choke was no accident. Apparently he’s been working on becoming unchokable for a while now:
“Man, I mean, after the training camp for BJ Penn, there’s nobody who’s coming close to finishing me for a rear naked choke. It’s just not going to happen. I was putting bounties out to guys, to black belts starting on my back with deep hooks and still getting out and getting on top. It’s almost a position I used to get on top sometimes because sometimes you can’t sweep guys, whatever. So, I’ll give you my back, give you hooks, let you try to choke me, stick you on your back, and turn around on you.”
This all plays into Fitch’s new ‘go for it and rely on being able to get out of bad positions’ philosophy that turned him from a cautious grinder who’s end game was riding your back for 5 minutes to a guy who repeatedly went for armbars and other submissions. He never pulled any of them off but, just like he thought, he was always able to rescue himself from whatever spot he found himself in afterwards.