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Former UFC welterweight number one contender Jon Fitch needs to pay the bills and realizes that he's not going to put butts in seats without fireworks. Will Fitch 2.0 return with a bang against Erick Silva at UFC 153 this weekend in Rio?
"Priorities have changed and things I've had to accept. I think I was kind of just stubborn with wanting this sport to just be a sport kind of like an amateur sport. Well, it's not, it's an entertainment industry and at the end of the day, the people who get the opportunity are the people who sell tickets. It doesn't matter who you beat, it might matter how you beat them, but if people see you as boring and you don't sell tickets, you're not going to get opportunities. It doesn't matter how many times you win. It doesn't matter who you've beaten. All that matters is: do you put butts in the seat? With that acceptance and my priorities changing towards me needing to take care of my family, me needing to make money, you have to make those changes, you have to adapt and evolve into the system that's there. I know the kind of fireworks this fight can bring and that means dollar signs. So fireworks, fans loving it, that all equals dollar signs at the end of the day."
At 13-2-1, former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight number one contender Jon Fitch has one of the highest winning percentages inside the Octagon. So why isn't he raking in boku bucks? Probably because of his refusal to embrace the entertainment side of mixed martial arts (MMA) in favor of winning at all costs. Now, Fitch tells MMA Weekly he's got bills to pay and has evolved from amateur sportsman to professional entertainer, which adds an interesting wrinkle to his upcoming fight against Erick Silva at UFC 153 this Saturday night in Rio. Anyone think Fitch 2.0 can make a second run at division gold? Or will he be a stepping stone for "Indio" in Brazil?