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Steve Cofield

Fitch methodically takes apart Saunders, crowd not pleased

Steve Cofield
Cagewriter

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NEWARK, N.J. -- Jon Fitch is not yet a fan favorite. Georges St. Pierre, Matt Hughes and Randy Couture are all great ground and pound fighters. Fitch is getting close but he rarely feels love from the UFC faithful. The reason? Fitch employs a similar style but doesn't convert it into finishes. He mauled Ben Saunders at UFC 111 but the crowd in New Jersey was not pleased. Fitch gets another UFC win via unanimous decision, 30-27 on all three cards.

This was an important fight for Fitch to get back into the legitimate discussion for a rematch against UFC welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre. He didn't do much to move himself forward in that banter. The UFC is in the business of selling fights. Unfortunately, there was nothing exciting to sell from this victory.

In Fitch's defense, Saunders was an easy fight for him. The 6-feet-3 Saunders' takedown defense is weak and Fitch took the most effective path to a win. He also missed the opportunity to beat another top contender when Thiago Alves was dropped from the card on Thursday morning when the New Jersey State Athletic Commission found irregularities during a prefight CAT Scan.

Alves is a tougher fighter to take down and much more dangerous on the feet. A Fitch victory over Alves would've opened eyes and potentially spearheaded more discussion for him to get that much coveted GSP rematch. Fitch (22-3, 12-1 UFC) lost badly over five rounds to St. Pierre at UFC 87.

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