It didn’t take much for former UFC fighter Jon Fitch to notch a win on Saturday, but it was a victory he badly needed.
Airing on NBC for the first time in the promotion’s short history, World Series of Fighting 11 featured Fitch in a dominant co-main event performance as he defeated fellow MMA veteran Dennis Hallman via unanimous decision scores of 30-27 from all three judges.
For Fitch, it was probably one of his most dominant performances ever.
Despite an impressive 52-14-2 record going into the match, Hallman had no answer for Fitch’s wrestling and pressure. For all three rounds of action, he simply tried to weather the storm as Fitch methodically landed punches and elbows from the top, avoiding the occasional submission attempt from the bottom. Even the striking statistics looked ridiculous after the fact:
- Jon Fitch, Total Strikes Landed — 406
- Dennis Hallman, Total Strikes Landed — 13
While the fight is impressive to hardcore MMA fans with detailed grappling knowledge, the 15-minute bout didn’t seem like one that’ll impress casual fans.
Even color commentator (and former UFC heavyweight champion) Bas Rutten couldn’t hide his disapproval of Fitch’s lack of finishing ability, noting on air that Fitch’s attacks were more “annoying” than actually damaging. Moreover, the winner was never in doubt after the final bell, as Rutten also quipped that the fight took a “quarter of an hour”—longer than the two previous bouts on the the main card.
It’s an unfortunate attitude towards Fitch, but you can’t argue with results.
After two losses to start out 2013, this is Fitch’s first set of back-to-back wins since UFC 117 on August 2010. If he ever has a hope of getting back to the UFC ranks, he’ll need an long, solid winning streak. Hallman’s just another step; it’s up to Fitch to keep going.