clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Beltless Jon Fitch doesn't want to become the Dan Marino of MMA

He also didn't take too kindly to Rousimar Palhares bailing on their proposed WSOF welterweight championship fight.

Ryan Pierse

Dan Marino is considered one of the greatest NFL quarterbacks of all time. He's a Hall of Famer with a number of individual accolades and countless records under his belt. Accomplishments he achieved while under center for the Miami Dolphins for 17 years.

But as impressive as all his stats are, Marino never won an NFL championship, coming up short in his only shot at a Super Bowl ring back in 1984.

Dan joins a number of professional athletes who have enjoyed much success in their respective sports without winning a title; such as Charles Barkley, Karl Malone and Barry Bonds, just to name a few.

Still, Marino is the poster boy for greatest athletes to never win a title, and Jon Fitch does not want to be like the legendary quarterback.

Speaking to Sherdog, Fitch says he is still eyeing a title in mixed martial arts (MMA) in an effort to avoid having his great career come to an end without ever winning the hardware to prove he was one of the best.

He explains:

"I don't want to be Dan Marino, I said that 10 years ago. I don't want to go through my career being awesome and being talked about as a Hall of Famer and not having the hardware to prove it. It's a big deal for me."

Fitch came up short in his first and only shot at the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight title in 2008, losing to then champion Georges St-Pierre via unanimous decision at UFC 87.

After having his second attempt of winning gold taken away from him with his new fight promotion, World Series of Fighting (WSOF), Fitch criticized division champion Rousimar Palhares for leaving him high-and-dry for their proposed title fight.

Though he understands caring for a sick parent is important, Fitch points out the Jake Shields still fought Jake Ellenberger two weeks after his father passed away, so Rousimar really had no excuse.

His words:

"I'm not trying to badmouth him, I'm not trying to be a dick; but we have a job. When you hold the belt, you have a responsibility. I understand his mom is sick, I hope she is better and I do hope everything works out great. But to me, Jake Shields set the standard, he really did. His father died the week of his fight and he still fought. If you don't have a bigger tragedy than that happen in your life, then I don't think you have an excuse."

Fitch went on to say that vying for the title is the only way he would really want to fight Palhares, seeing as how "Toquinho" has garnered the reputation as a dirty fighter, thanks to his refusal to let go of submission holds long after his opponent has tapped.

He explains:

"I want the belt, regardless of who has it, that's really the only way I would fight him. I don't like the fact that he likes to hurt people after they've submitted, he's done that a number of times. When's he going to stop? We have a professional agreement to follow a certain set of rules. What's the difference than coming in and treating it like a street fight? Stomping on the head or kicking them on the ground or bringing a knife? We have some rules, you respect the rules."

After Palhares dropped out of the fight, Jake Shields and Josh Burkman -- the two men pegged as replacements for Fitch -- followed suit and bowed out as well, due to injuries.

No fret, because "Superman" swooped in to save the day, as Dennis Hallman agreed to step in to fight Fitch at WSOF 11 on July 5, 2014 in Daytona Beach, Florida.

For Fitch, A win over Hallman is one giant step in re-earning his much-desired title shot, winning the strap and avoiding a not-so-prestigious club of greats who never won a championship.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania