According to MMAWeekly.com, perennial UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch will remain in a holding pattern as opposed to finally getting his second shot at the 170-pound strap. The UFC has set Fitch up in a match with 22-5 Jake Ellenberger, which is scheduled to go down at UFC 126 this February.
Fitch, who holds an overall record of 22-3, has been working his way steadily back towards a title shot since losing a five round decision to champion Georges St. Pierre in August of 2008. Since then, Fitch has racked up wins over Akihiro Gono, Paulo Thiago, Mike Pierce, Ben Saunders and Thiago Alves (all by unanimous decision). Though nothing has officially been announced, most signs are pointing to the UFC choosing Octagon newcomer but welterweight veteran Jake Shields as the next title contender; to face the winner of the upcoming St. Pierre-Josh Koscheck title fight. While that portion of the title picture plays itself out, Fitch will do as he usually does and stay busy risking his record in the cage.
Jake Ellenberger entered into the UFC in September of 2009 against Carlos Condit at UFC Fight Night 19, sporting a record of 20-4. Ellenberger lost a controversial split decision to Condit, but would rebound with stoppage wins over tough fighters in Mike Pyle (TKO-punches) and John Howard (TKO-doctor’s stoppage). His only losses have come against Jay Hieron, Derrick Noble, Delson Heleno, Rick Story, and Condit; and he holds notable wins over Pyle, Howard, Jose Landi-Jons and Zach Light. Ellenberger will be the lesser-known underdog against Fitch but has proven himself to be a tough and dangerous competitor.
UFC 126 will be held at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada on February 5th. The card is expected to feature bouts between UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Vitor Belfort, light heavyweight staples Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin, and light heavyweight prospects Jon Jones and Ryan Bader.
Do you think Fitch should be next in line for a title shot? How do you think Ellenberger will fare against the likely betting favorite in Fitch? Let us know in the comments section below.