Former UFC welterweight title challenger and World Series of Fighting welterweight champion Jon Fitch has retired from MMA.
Fitch, 42, competed in his final fight at Bellator 246 on Saturday, losing to Neiman Gracie by submission. Post-fight, he announced his decision to hang up the gloves.
“I’m having fun, but at the same time, the body doesn’t react the way I want it to anymore, the recovery’s not quite the same,” Fitch told MMA Junkie after the fight. “I don’t want to go down a dirty road, so I think it’s a great time, 32-8-2-1, pretty good, I’ve got titles I’ve won, Neiman’s a great fighter and a great guy and a total class act, I hope he keeps continuing to improve and becomes the champ, that would be great.”
After announcing retirement, Fitch recounted some of the best moments of his career, highlighting his UFC welterweight title fight with Georges St-Pierre, his Fight of the Night-winning victory over Erick Silva in Brazil, and his World Series of Fighting title win.
“The two biggest moments were the GSP fight and when I got to fight in Brazil, just because of the whole, everything around those fights, the buildup, the title fight, everything was amazing,” said Fitch, who never missed weight in his 18-year career. “The World Series of Fighting title fight, fighting Jake Shields in Madison Square Garden, that fight was amazing, just a list of hits.”
MMA retirements are infamous for being short-lived, but if Fitch’s post fight comments are any indication, his will stick. The decorated welterweight, who never missed weight during his 43-fight career, seems to be at peace with his decision
“It’s wild, I haven’t had time to sit back and reflect because I’ve been in it, but I’m very proud of what I’ve done,” Fitch said. “When I look at the landscape and we’re people are I’m very proud of it. Some mistakes here and there along the way, but overall it’s been a good run. It’s something for my kids to look up to and admire when they’re old enough to understand it.”
Congrats to Jon Fitch on a great career!