Is it any surprise that Jon Fitch is one of the guys leading the charge against MMA slowly transforming into its bastard cousin, pro wrestling?
"For me, I want to make sure we stay true to the sport and I don't want to see this become pro wrestling because I hate pro wrestling. I was betrayed by pro wrestling when I was a child and I don't want to be doing that to some other kid now who's watching fights and UFC fights and watching me and other guys and thinking that it's real. I want to make sure that it's real. When I went to my first wrestling practice in the fourth grade, I found out that pro wrestling was fake. And that was the worst, ultimate betrayal I could have ever encountered in my life at that time. Since then, shut 'em off, threw all my wrestling stuff away that day. I was just over it. I want to make sure (MMA) stays a sport."
Fitch, who fights Johny Hendricks at UFC 141 this Fri., Dec. 30, 2011, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada, certainly has a point. The essence of the sport will always be the competition between two men once the cage door closes. But people have to have a reason to watch those two men fight and whether he likes it or not, his game is the least aesthetically pleasing, meaning he needs to make up for it in other places. And, if we're being honest here, as the UFC lends itself more and more to charismatic trash talkers, Fitch is slowly being phased out. Yes, he's winning, but he does so quietly.
He might be MMA's version of "The Excellence of Execution" but the reality of both pro wrestling and MMA is that you have to draw people to see you ply your craft. Winning, sadly, isn't enough. After all, if a Fitch wins inside the Octagon and no one sees it, did it really happen?
What are your thoughts on the matter, Maniacs? Agree with Fitch? Or are you more from the Chael Sonnen school of the fight game?