Jon Fitch on Paul Daley's in-cage rant, unfamiliarity with Rory MacDonald fights

SAN JOSE, Calif. – It wasn’t just the crowd that was confused and frustrated by the fight between Paul Daley and Jon Fitch at Bellator 199.

Almost from the start, Fitch (31-7-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) was thrown off by Daley’s (40-16-2 MMA, 6-3 BMMA) approach to the Paramount-televised bout at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif.

“I was like, come at me,” Fitch told reporters backstage after his unanimous decision win. “I was like, ‘I thought you were Paul Daley. Where’s the flying knee? Where’s the spinning (expletive)?’”

Of course, the lack of spinning stuff made Fitch’s life easier as he repeatedly shot in and completed takedowns. With Daley offering little defense, Fitch almost had free reign to grind out the British slugger.

The audience certainly didn’t like the ensuing action, but Fitch said that’s on Daley.

“To me, they’re booing him, because he’s not doing anything,” he said. “I’m slugging away. I’m trying to do work, and this guy’s just holding on to my wrist and asking the ref to stand him up. Do something. Sweep me. Stand up. Do something. Don’t scream to the referee to stand you up. Do it yourself – it’s a fight.

“If guys don’t open up, they don’t open themselves up to getting hit, or submitted, or anything. If they don’t commit to getting away, openings don’t come. If we were standing up and I just ran away from him the whole time, you’re not going to get any openings to finish. Is the crowd booing him because I ran away from him the whole time? I see that as the same thing. Do work. Try to do something.”

Instead, Daley seemed to deteriorate as the fight went on. Stuffed against the cage in the final frame, he went on a rant directed at Bellator, chiding the promotion for putting him in a fight that largely played out on the canvas.

Daley talked so much, Fitch eventually was compelled to respond.

“I told him to do something,” he said. “Fight. Quit holding on to my wrist. He’s going to yell at the crowd and yell to the refs. He’s got enough energy to yell and ask for help, but he doesn’t have enough energy to fight and do something?”

It was a frustrating turn for the veteran MMA fighter, who signed with Bellator after leaving WSOF, where he held the welterweight title prior to the promotion’s rebranding as the PFL. But in the end, the fight ended the way he wanted: with a win.

Now, he’ll move on to the next task at hand, which is fighting for a title sooner rather than later. Before he does that, he may need to study up on his opponent, champ Rory MacDonald.

“I know Rory’s really tough,” Fitch said. “But I have to be honest: I’ve never watched him fight. I don’t watch fights anymore, really. I just am in them.”

For complete coverage of Bellator 199, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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