Jon Fitch has been there before. He knows what it's like to be one win away from a world championship. He's well aware that most fighters never get to compete for that prize and that fewer still get a second opportunity. That's one of the reasons why he needs no additional motivation for his upcoming fight against undefeated Brazilian Paulo Filho. Fitch heads into this bout with a professional record of 18-3. He has 4 wins by way of knockout and 5 wins by way of submission. He is no stranger to having fights go to the scorecards but he keeps coming at you aggressively, really pushes the pace and has tremendous heart (see his loss last year to Georges St. Pierre for evidence). This former Purdue wrestler has a sick resume which has seen him face opponents with a combined 72.1% career win percentage (source Sherdog.com)! Fitch is a throwback fighter that will fight anyone at anytime.
Brazil's Paulo Thiago earned somewhat of a reputation as a submission artist before he ever set foot in the Octagon earlier this year. Paulo sports a professional record of 11-0 with 2 wins by knockout and 7 wins by submission. The combined career win percentage of the opponents that he has faced to date is 63%. Although Paulo was getting bested early on in his fight with Koscheck, he never seemed rattled and showed some determination to keep fighting through it and close the show.
Jon Fitch vs. Paulo Thiago will be more than a fight between two world-class welterweights. It will be a chance for Fitch to obtain a measure of redemption for his team, AKA, and his teammate Josh Koscheck. Koscheck was winning handily earlier this year when he was caught by a devastating knockout punch by the debuting Thiago. The undefeated Brazilian flashed some heavy hands to go with his obvious submission skills. Ultimately I foresee Fitch winning a workmanlike decision here but, as we already know, anything can happen in the Octagon and Thiago is definitely a dangerous opponent. Who do you like in this one and why?