UFC welterweight Jon Fitch (14-2) has been contacted about the possibility of fighting Diego Sanchez (17-1) at UFC 76 on September 22 in Anaheim, Calif., according to the Ft. Wayne, Indiana, native.
UFCmania finally tracked Fitch down yesterday afternoon after learning that his cell phone is broken — apologies for the delay. Numerous readers sent me emails and left posts trying to determine if the bout was indeed legit after news of the match up emerged late last week.
"There's nothing on paper yet, we're just in early discussions," said Fitch. "I won't know for sure until I receive a bout agreement. However, I'm hoping this fight happens.
"I think it will," he added.
Fitch is fresh off a submission win over Roan Carneiro at UFC Fight Night 10 in June, extending his unbeaten streak inside the Octagon to six. The former Purdue University wrestling captain is also riding a 13-fight win streak.
In fact, he hasn't dropped a bout since 2002.
Sanchez, on the other hand, will look to rebound from his first career loss to Fitch's training partner at the American Kickboxing Academy, Josh Koscheck, at UFC 69 in April. The season one middleweight winner from The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) is also recovering from a severe staph infection, which may or may not have hampered him during the Koscheck bout.
Regardless, this would be the most high-profile fight for Fitch, who up until this point has flown under the radar despite his remarkable achievements. There's no doubt Sanchez is looking for redemption, while Fitch will attempt to elevate his status to a larger audience with a win over the popular and well-known "Nightmare."
For those who have been following this story, Fitch has mentioned numerous times that he wanted to face Karo Parisyan. There's no word yet on the reason he wasn't offered that bout — it seems like the UFC has other plans for the Armenian-born Judo fighter.
Rest assured, however, Fitch is extremely pleased with this opportunity if it comes about. And I'm pretty sure most fans will be, too.
Fitch is headed out to Japan tomorrow for a week. He's cornering Katsuhiko Nagata at the upcoming HERO's 154-pound tournament at Yokohama Arena on July 16.
Hopefully, when he returns we'll have an update on whether or not both he and Sanchez are offered bout agreements for UFC 76 and sign them, thus making this dynamite 170-pound clash official.