Jon Fitch returns to action for the first time since February this Friday night when he faces Johny Hendricks at UFC 141. Over Fitch's career, he has been criticized by many for not being exciting and not being a fighter who "goes for the finish." Fitch has seen nine consecutive fights in a row go to the judge's scorecards which isn't helping that reputation.
Riddum.com was able to catch up with Guerrilla Jiu Jitsu trainer Dave Camarillo and talk about many things, including Jon's reputation and finishing ability.
From the interview:
Riddum.com: Jon Fitch is one of the most well-known fighter in your team, and he seems like a constant source of debate in the MMA circles. He's been heavily criticized for not finishing fights, and he has admitted that he does not like to take risks as one does in looking for submissions. Is your training and building up of strategies taking these kind of criticism into account? Or is the overall team content to just get wins?
Dave Camarillo: Winning is the most important thing on our minds. How you win is a far second. Jon is a great fighter. He represents how hard work beats talent. He is not fast or flashy, he doesn't take steroids, he doesn't cheat, he just works hard. Those who criticize [Jon Fitch] for the most part are fans who do not understand MMA. So I ignore it.
Riddum.com: There's a couple of videos on Youtube where we can see Jon Fitch rolling in Jiu Jitsu and he seems very crafty with or without the gi. How come we haven't seen him looking for submissions in the octagon lately?
Dave Camarillo: Jon is training more intensely to finish. We are working on techniques that we see in other fights and trying to drill systems that fit with his style. We will see a much improved Jon Fitch in his next fight.
Hendricks isn't an easy guy to finish and is very much the exact kind of opponent who Fitch would be cautious against in his career. If we see him going all-out for the finish I think it may signal a new turn in his career.