"Jon Fitch is back at the top of the 170-pound division. We've got some fights to make for GSP, and Fitch is in there," Dana White, UFC president said.
Fitch has been defeated only once since 2002, losing to George St. Pierre in their title fight at UFC 87. Fitch has since compiled a 5-0-1 record over his last six fights that include wins over UFC notables in Thiago Alves, Ben Saunders, Mike Pierce and Paulo Thiago. Yet despite his success, Fitch was given only a single title shot during his UFC career.
Fitch has said himself that he is clueless on why he lacks title shots. Elsewhere, fans and MMA pundits have pointed to Fitch's reliance on wrestling/ground and pound which make for a "boring" fight as the source for Fitch's lack of title bouts.
Also some questioned whether or not White's relationship with Fitch has affected Fitch's progress; the two have butted heads in the past when Fitch refused to sign over his likeness for the UFC video game.
"I have no problem with Jon Fitch; he's a nice guy. He's a good guy, he's a great fighter, I've got no problem with him whatsoever," White said, reaffirming that he is not singling out Fitch due to animosity or otherwise.
This is great news for Fitch who has no doubt earned his place among the top welterweights many times over. Now he is just one fight away from being closer towards chasing the UFC gold.
Standing in his way is Hendricks who sports an 11-1 MMA record, only defeated by Rick Story, and currently rides a two fight win streak. Hendricks last defeated Mike Pierce at UFC 133, winning via split decision.
Fitch vs. Hendricks is set for the main card at UFC 141 December 30, 2011, at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada.