UFC welterweight fighter Jon Fitch has expressed his excitement at facing MMA legend BJ Penn on several occasions, but at a recent press conference to promote his UFC 127 bout with Penn, the American Kickboxing Academy team captain explained why he believes his next fight should be for the UFC welterweight title.
Fitch is on a five fight winning streak currently (with wins over Akihiro Gono, Paulo Thiago, Mike Pierce, Ben Saunders, and Thiago Alves) and has only lost once in the UFC, to current champion Georges “Rush” St. Pierre. He explained to media in attendance that he thinks this should be enough to push him into the next title shot and that current number one contender Jake Shields is not deserving of his title shot at this point in time.
“I think I’m better than Jake (Shields), I think I should be fighting for the title, but I’ve been given a huge opportunity here to fight B.J. Penn and that’s a big fight, belt or no belt,” Fitch said. “We’re in a sport of selling fights right now, and the sport’s growing, we’re trying to get international, trying to get into every country, every household, and part of that is ticket sales is the idea that Jake Shields is coming over from Strikeforce with two belts. I understand that, it’s a business decision.”
Shields made his UFC debut this past October, earning a very close split decision win over the tough Martin Kampmann. Prior to that, Shields had racked up fourteen straight wins in other promotions over the likes of Yushin Okami, Carlos Condit, Mike Pyle, Paul Daley, Robbie Lawler, Jason “Mayhem” Miller, and Dan Henderson. He and St. Pierre will likely fight for the welterweight title this April at UFC 131, the UFC’s first event to be held in Toronto.
Fitch and Penn will square off this February 27th at UFC 127, which will be going down at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia.
Who do you think is more deserving of the next title shot, Fitch or Shields? Let us know in the comments section.