Fitch: Brazilians in Brazil will be cheering for me like Rocky IV I hope

Monday, August 20, 2012

In another in a series of tremendous interviews, Stephie Daniels sat down with Jon Fitch and covered a wide range of topics, including whether this stoppage was too fast.

Stephie Daniels: How did you feel about the stoppage in your fight with Johny Hendricks?

Jon Fitch: He dropped me with a good punch. I’ve been dropped before. Three has always been the number I believe, three unanswered blows before they should stop it, but I only got hit twice. I was up and completely fine immediately after. I immediately recognized the ref as he was jumping on me. I was fine, and I think I could have went longer.

SD: Has the fight experience sort of changed or mutated along the way from your initial title run to now?

JF: I think the climate of fighting has changed a little bit. I think it’s a little more excitement and entertainment based than a sport, and I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, I’m just saying that it’s heading more in that direction. I think the adaptation that the fighters have to make is to up their game to that more modern trend.

The original pioneers of the sport started dropping off when they failed to adapt to the new, mixed style. Guys with jiu jitsu and wrestling and striking were putting it together, so guys stuck with just jiu jitsu or just wrestling started falling behind. It’s just a different kind of metamorphosis in the sport now. That excitement factor, that little extra flair on top is a part of the sport now.

SD: Ideally, how many more years would you like to continue fighting?

JF: Well, I feel good, and I like my job, so as long as I stay healthy and I’m having fun, I can see myself fighting for another 10 years. You know, I’ve put 10 years in this summer, and I think I can get another 10 in.

SD: You’ve recently verbally agreed to meet a rising prospect in Erick Silva at UFC 153. What’s the overall feeling about fighting him on his home turf in Brazil?

JF: I’m excited about this fight. One of the reasons I got into the fight game was to travel the world and visit exotic places and fight the locals, so now one of my dreams is coming true. I get to go to Brazil and fight Erick Silva in his home town.

I love Brazilians. I love jiu jitsu. I’ve always gotten a lot of warmth for my jiu jitsu from the Brazilian fans, so I’m hoping I’ll be well received and hopefully, by the end of the fight, I’ll have them cheering for me like Rocky in Rocky IV.

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“During this fight, I’ve seen a lot of changing, in the way you feel about me, and in the way I feel about you. In here, there were two guys killing each other, but I guess that’s better than twenty million. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!”
[loud applause, even by the Politburo]