After getting the ax from Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) earlier this year, Jon Fitch made his long-awaited Word Series of Fighting (WSOF) debut on June 14, 2013, taking on Josh Burkman in Las Vegas, Nevada, for the second time in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career.
The splash Fitch was hoping to make in his new home, however, didn't quite go as planned, as "The People's Warrior" choked out the American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) - trained fighter just 41 seconds into the opening round at WSOF 3.
The loss marked Jon's second straight, a devastating blow to the former UFC No. 1 welterweight contender. And while there's nothing left to do but to pick up the pieces and move on, Fitch says that's always easier said than done, seeing as how fighters never really get over losses.
He explained during a recent appearance on "The MMA Hour:"
"I mean, fighters, I don't think we ever really get over losses. It's kind of what drives us to keep working and keeps us moving to get better and try to get better. So, I've dealt with it, but I'll never be over the loss. It's just a matter of me putting together a win or two and getting a rematch."
Admittedly, Fitch revealed he "didn't respect" Burkman's choke "at all," but says he did respect him. Unfortunately, he also says he may have unintentionally underestimated him and made a split-second decision to go for a slam rather than defend the hold.
It was that lack of respect that the former Purdue Boilermaker says was the reason for his downfall.
Furthermore, Fitch feels he might have been a bit overzealous while looking to make splash in his debut, especially considering everything that had transpired in his career the previous months.
"I think I put a lot of pressure on myself to make this debut the biggest debut I could. I was looking for something bigger. I think this company put a lot of effort into promoting me and getting me out there and I wanted to step up and represent and help take World Series to that next level, because I knew a lot of people would be watching after everything that's transpired over the last several months."
At 35 years of age and with 32 professional MMA fights under his belt, Fitch has no plans on letting up anytime soon. In fact, he feels he has at least 15 more fights left in him.
"I figure three times a year, that's at least 15 fights in five years, if you're healthy. I think I have 15 fights left in me."
While he doesn't have an opponent lined up at the moment, Fitch expects to step back into the cage this October as he looks to string together two or three straight wins in order to receive a rematch with Burkman in what Jon hopes is a title fight.
Fitch vs. Burkman 3 for the gold ... who wants to see it?