Jon Fitch is unbothered heading into his fight with Neiman Gracie at Bellator 246.
Fitch caught up with Fightful ahead of his co-main event clash on Saturday, September 12. When examining both their fights against Rory MacDonald, Fitch came to a comforting realization.
"He's a really great positional jiu-jitsu player but if you're competent in cutting off those positions and staying in a dominant position, like Rory did, you can avoid a lot of the trouble," Fitch explained. "I'm not even worried about getting in bad positions. I think that I'm skilled enough to where if something happened and I was put into a bad position, I'm skilled enough and crafty enough and treacherous enough to escape. Youth and beauty vs. age and treachery. Always bet on age and treachery."
Fitch was at one-point mulling over life after fighting but has since found a renewed enthusiasm for his line of work.
"It's a good match-up. He's really tough but it's a very winnable fight. He's got a great name. Somebody who is a casual fan or doesn't even watch the sport, I don't have to explain who I am fighting. That's always a plus. At my age, in this stage of my career, unless you're going to throw a bunch of extra money at me, if I have to explain who I am fighting, it's not really worth it," he explained. "There is no incentive."
That lack of incentive is exactly why Fitch has no interest in fighting Yaroslav Amosov.
"No plans," he said in response to Amosov's claims of a potential fight between the two. "They offered me Neiman first, a while ago, but the Neiman got sick. They had to wait and asked me to fight this other guy on three weeks' notice. There was no way I was going to make weight."
"Are they going to pay me more?" Fitch asked. "This happens in boxing. If you're in boxing and you have a higher rank and a bigger name, the guy that people don't know has to pay for the opportunity to fight for your rank. That doesn't happen in MMA. What's the pay-off for me? Even beating him doesn't guarantee me a title shot."
Fitch used to be bothered by the lack of meritocracy in MMA; however, these days he is embracing the realities of the industry.
"I've embraced the idea of sales. I used to be really anti-sales. That's what Sean O'Malley's hair is about. It's part of sales. They're just doing extra stuff to raise their notoriety because higher notoriety means more eyeballs and you get paid more and more opportunities. I've just embraced the idea. My social media has ticked up a lot. On Instagram alone, in January I was at 12,000 followers and now I'm at almost 25,000," Fitch said. "It is what it is. You can cry and bitch and moan about it, or you can roll with it, lean into it and try to profit off of it."
Bellator 246 takes place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut on Saturday, September 12. The card is headlined by Juan Archuleta vs. Patchy MIx for the vacant Bellator bantamweight championship. Keep up with Fightful for all your live event coverage.