Following his big win over Thiago Alves this past weekend at UFC 130, Rick Story is looking to take a big step up the welterweight ladder and he thinks perennial welterweight contender Jon Fitch is the opponent to get him there. That’s what Story told reporters following the event.
“Me and my coach Pat White were discussing this, and we think that the next opponent that would best suit us would be Jon Fitch because he’s the next guy in line,” Story said following the event, which took place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.
Problem for him, Fitch doesn’t feel the same way. When MMA Weekly asked him about a potential match-up with Story, Fitch said he only wants to fight current or former champions like Georges St. Pierre and BJ Penn and he’s willing to wait a year to do it.
“I’m at a point in my career where I need to be fighting main events and main event fighters,” Fitch told MMAWeekly.com. “And if you don’t have a belt, currently, or you haven’t owned a belt in the UFC, I’m not really interested.”
“I’ve gone out of my way throughout my career to just fight everybody they put in front of me and it’s cost me dearly. When you fight somebody who no one knows and don’t recognize their name, it doesn’t matter how bad you beat them. I kind of had a talk with Rashad Evans during the expo up in Canada. (It) kind of opened up my eyes to it a little bit. He was telling me I (have to) stop screwing around, I have to think about my career, and I’m a main event fighter. I should only be fighting main event people.”
“I want BJ or GSP,” Fitch exclaimed. “Those are the only two guys I care (to fight) or have any interest in right now. If I (have to) sit out a year and wait for them, I’ll do it. That’s what I’m waiting to fight for.”
Can’t really blame Story or Fitch for their respective wishes. Story’s an up and coming fighter looking to make a name for himself and Fitch needs opponents that will get him another title shot. In Fitch’s case though, I think the best thing he can do is go out and finish someone in highlight reel fashion. That might get people excited about seeing him another title fight because right now, is there really any reason to think a GSP-Fitch rematch would go any different than it did in 2007?
Image via CombatLifestyle.com
Update: Upon hearing Jon Fitch doesn’t want to fight him, Rick Story tells MMA Junkie he is cool with fighting whoever will get him closer to a title shot.
“I was talking with my coach, Pat White, before the fight happened with Alves,” Story said. “We were thinking the best fight would be Jon Fitch, but he just had shoulder surgery, and I like fighting frequently. I just want the best matchup to get me that title shot. The fight with Fitch, that would probably take quite a while for him to get back in fight shape and whatnot.”
“There’s a new wave of talent in the 170-pound division that just hasn’t been recognized yet,” Story said. “I’ve been going through and fighting those guys, the guys that people don’t know. There’s guys that I’ve beat that have done very well. … I don’t really care. I want to fight soon. Whoever they can put in front of me, as soon as possible, that would give me that title fight, I’m down for.
“I just want to get in there and fight again. People didn’t know who I was before I fought Alves. Now I’m still fresh in people’s minds, and if get back out there and put up another victory, then I get my title shot. I want to get this ball rolling pretty quick.”