“It’s Not a Sport Anymore” – Former UFC Fighter Unhappy With MMA

Published 04/05/2020, 5:33 PM EDT

Ever since its inception, MMA has evolved to a whole new level. The way the business was conducted back then, is nothing compared to what it is now. Veteran mixed martial artist and former UFC fighter, Jon Fitch is unhappy with the recent changes in the sport.

Jon Fitch (32-7-2, 1NC) had an impressive run in the UFC. He was on a 16 fight win streak—8 in the UFC—before challenging for the welterweight title. Although he was unsuccessful in dethroning Georges St-Pierre, Fitch would go on to win his next five bouts. He found himself in murky waters after his fight against Johny Hendricks and eventually tried his luck in other promotions.

As of now, Fitch competes in Bellator’s welterweight division. His last fight was against Rory MacDonald, which ended in a majority draw. At 42 years old, Fitch is disappointed with the sport of MMA.

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The former UFC star is open to other career options

Speaking to MMA Junkie, Fitch said:

“I’ve been doing this 17 years and it’s not the sport I thought it was going to be. It’s not even a sport anymore.”

Indeed, MMA has changed drastically since the McGregor era. The number of fighters talking trash to sell their fights has gone up remarkably. However, trash-talking is not a new concept in MMA. It was present before Conor McGregor too. Chael Sonnen was one of the pioneers of cutting pro-wrestling style promos.

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All of it has to do with the business model; many MMA events go live on pay-per-view. A fighter with good microphone skills is likely to attract more attention because people either want to see him lose, or win. Also, a fighter with more flashy knockouts or submissions will get paid higher than the rest.

“It’s pro wrestling without the pre-determined outcome. So it’s a frustrating thing to be bound to these promoters. You never know when you’re going to fight, or if you’re going to get a fight, or if it’s a good fight. There’s no merit system at all – it’s all about entertainment. They’re just putting on a show. It’s a show.” Fitch said.

Super-fights have become common as well. Not only the UFC but even Bellator has begun to set up mega fights between champions of two different weight classes. Fitch feels that the sport has become frustrating to deal with. He plans to move on if he does not get the money he feels he deserves.

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“There are other jobs you can do and get by and not get brain damage.”

From now onwards, Fitch plans to only look at opportunities that are lucrative enough.

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Shantanu Mayenkar

530 articles

MMA | Boxing

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