One fight back into his return from nearly a year on the sidelines and the questions about a title shot for Jon Fitch are already forthcoming.
It’s surely a little premature for such talk.
Fitch, following a loss to current UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, went on a five-fight victory streak before ending up in a draw with B.J. Penn and getting knocked out by Johny Hendricks.
That brought him to the end of 2011, but he has been sidelined with injuries for the better part of 2012. He returned for his first fight of the year at UFC 153 on Saturday night, putting on a Fight of the Night performance against Erick Silva and walking away with a unanimous decision victory.
It was an exciting fight and impressive performance by Fitch, but that’s not going to put him squarely back in the mix. The outcome of St-Pierre’s upcoming UFC 154 bout with interim champion Carlos Condit, however, could have a significant effect on Fitch’s climb back up the ladder.
“Will (Fitch) have to go on another eight-fight win streak (to get another title shot)? I don't know; we'll see,” said UFC president Dana White when asked about Fitch’s title prospects following UFC 153.
“The hard part about a guy like Fitch – as tough and durable as he is – he fought Georges St-Pierre and it was very one-sided (and he lost). The best thing that could happen to him is Carlos Condit wins (against St-Pierre at UFC 154). He's in a tough spot.”
Should GSP win in November, Fitch could very well be relegated to gatekeeper status. A Condit victory, however, could put Fitch in a position to win just another bout or two against top competition to earn another shot.
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- Carlos Condit