Fitch Ready To Run The Table In Grand Prix
Jon Fitch walked away from the Professional Fighters League for not giving him fights. Now the former PFL champion finds himself standing across from one of the most dangerous men in Mixed Martial Arts at Bellator 220.
Fitch squares off with welterweight champion Rory MacDonald on April 27th, not only in the first round of the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix, but also for MacDonald’s first welterweight title defense.
“I don’t focus too much on my opponents and what they’re going to do,” Fitch told FIGHT SPORTS prior to fight week. “I’m more focused on what I need to do and what game plan I need to implement to achieve victory.”
“Frustration with the PFL because of inconsistencies in the contract,” is what helped usher Fitch into the Viacom owned brand, after Fitch’s contract with the former World Series of Fighting was deemed breached after fights being moved outside of an agreed upon window.
“Scott Coker was more than happy to offer me a contract,” Fitch said of the process of joining Bellator. In only his the second fight of this deal he faces the “Red King” for a title.
“I think Rory having wins over certain guys like (Demian) Maia and BJ (Penn) are appealing to me, because those are losses I had. So, it’s like I can get those back by beating him. He has a win over Tyron Woodley… so there’s an added little bonus there…”
With MacDonald being an active world champion, every fight in the welterweight grand prix is five-rounds to keep an even playing field through each of the three rounds of the tournament.
“I’m super excited,” Fitch said about getting a world title shot at 41-years old. “I get a pay bump for being champ, I’ll be getting paid more per round for the rest of the tournament.”
“I think that Bellator’s welterweights stack a bit better than the UFC’s,” Fitch said when looking at the depth of both organization’s 170-pound divisions.
Fitch looks to test that in the main event of Bellator 220, as he and McDonald close out the first round of the Welterweight Grand Prix. The event occurs on April 27th from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, California only on DAZN.
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The full card for Bellator 220:
Welterweight World Grand Prix Title Bout: Rory MacDonald (20-5) vs. Jon Fitch (32-7-1, 1 NC)
Women’s Flyweight World Title Bout: Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (9-0) vs. Veta Arteaga (5-2)
Lightweight Main Card Bout: Benson Henderson (26-8) vs. Adam Piccolotti (11-2)
Light Heavyweight Main Card Bout: Phil Davis (19-5, 1 NC) vs. Liam McGeary (13-3)
Featherweight Main Card Bout: Gaston Bolanos (4-1) vs. Nathan Stolen (8-4)
Lightweight Undercard Bout: Aviv Gozali (1-0) vs. Travis Crain (Pro Debut)
160-lb. Catchweight Undercard Bout: Chris Avila (6-7) vs. Brandon Faumui (4-3)
Flyweight Undercard Bout: Justin Tenedora (2-1) vs. Matt Perez (2-2)
140-lb. Catchweight Undercard Bout: Cass Bell (2-0) vs. Peter Ishiguro (1-0)
Featherweight Undercard Bout: Hyder Amil (2-0) vs. Paradise Vaovasa (6-3, 1 NC)
140-lb. Catchweight Undercard Bout: Josh San Diego (8-4) vs. Brandon Laroco (5-1)
Middleweight Undercard Bout: Diego Herzog (4-2-1) vs. Jordan Williams (7-2, 1 NC)
Welterweight Undercard Bout: Justin Roswell (3-2, 1 NC) vs. Abraham Vaesau (4-2, 1 NC)
Featherweight Undercard Bout: Ignacio Ortiz (2-0) vs. Roger Severson (3-3)
Light Heavyweight Undercard Bout: Chuck Campbell (1-0) vs. Bruno Casillas (Pro Debut)
Featherweight Undercard Bout: Boris Novachkov (Pro Debut) vs. Chris Inocencio (0-1)
Welterweight Undercard Bout: Thomas Ponce de Leon (2-0) vs. Jamario Mulder (2-3)
Flyweight Undercard Bout: Erik Gunha (Pro Debut) vs. Jon Adams (Pro Debut)