The good news for Jon Fitch, his critics can’t harp on him for allowing his last fight to end via decision. The bad news for the former welterweight top contender, he found himself on the wrong end of a highlight-reel knockout at UFC 141 when he attempted to block Johny Hendricks’ (Pictured) left hand with his face.
Prior to entering the Octagon on Friday night, Fitch’s previous nine fights were decided by the three judges sitting cageside. He posted a 7-1-1 mark during that run, with his lone blemishes coming in a loss to champ Georges St-Pierre and a draw to BJ Penn.
Although Hendricks made it look relatively easy, he knows his greatest professional accomplishment was no simple task. “Big Rig” is now hoping to parlay his ‘Knockout of the Night’ performance into a championship affair.
“I think I belong where I’m at now,” Hendricks stated at the post-fight press conference. “GSP couldn’t do it in five rounds. BJ Penn couldn’t do it, love the guy to death, he couldn’t do it. I just knocked the #2 ranked guy out in 12 seconds.
“Where does that put me? Hopefully for a title [shot], but if it doesn’t, I’ll just have to go out there and prove it again. Step up whenever the opportunity is given to you, take it with everything you got, lay it out on the line and good Lord willing it will happen.”
Fitch entered the shootout as a 2.5-to-1 favorite. Nearly everyone viewed Hendricks as nothing more than a stepping stone for Fitch to get back into title contention. Hendricks, on the other hand, always believed the perfect punch could quickly alter things.
“The media said I had no chance,” Hendricks said of his underdog status. “Ever since the beginning, I said I have at least a puncher’s chance. The good Lord blessed me with a left hand and I was gonna put it on him.
“I just wanted to hit him as hard as I could and see where he falls. After that, I was going to change my game plan to something else, but first I wanted to just hit him as hard as I could – see what happens.”
Unfortunately for Fitch, he didn’t see the left coming until it was too late. He’ll now have to opportunity to view it countless times on numerous UFC highlight shows.