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UFC 94 Interview: Jon Fitch Talks Training And Preparation For Akihiro Gono (Jan. 31)

Jon Fitch (17-3-0) will be returning to the octagon after being defeated by current UFC welterweight champion Georges "Rush" St. Pierre (GSP) at UFC 87: Seek and Destroy.  Although Fitch lost his 8-fight winning streak back in August of 2008, he expects to come back stronger than ever when he faces Akihiro "The Magic Man" Gono at the UFC 94: 'St. Pierre vs. Penn 2' event.

Fitch seems to be refocused coming into this fight and plans to climb right back up the welterweight division to acquire a second title shot.  In order to do so, he'll have to get passed Gono who is 1-1 in the UFC and has an overall MMA record of 29-13-7.  The preliminary bout is scheduled to take place at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on January 31st.

Here's a snip from Fitch as he was recently interviewed by mmanews.com

Regarding his training:

"I’ve been doing some things different this training camp while trying to become a better athlete like bringing in a strength and conditioning coach and 

my body feels good. I have
a whole new bag of tricks from working out in Thailand and my grappling
and wrestling are on a whole new level right now…
It
was a great experience man (training in Thailand). It’s really nice to just isolate yourself
and only focus on that one thing. Pretty much all you could do all day
and everyday was focus on that one aspect of training…
The
humidity and heat made me extremely flexible. It was almost to the
point where I could do the splits because the heat kept you so loose.
The Thai’s are harder too, man. They are just hard people. They won’t
use mouth pieces or shin guards so that’s a whole lot different
perspective than what you see here…
It’s definitely tougher. It’s just a not a big deal for them to plan around kick sparring without shin guards and going full force. They don’t think anything of it…I
think one of the best things you can do for your training in a
discipline is immerse yourself one-hundred percent into that one
discipline as much as you can. Whether it is boxing, kickboxing, wrestling, or jiu-jitsu, if you can completely focus on that one element for a while, it will really help…
I
find now [that] people are starting to get away from the blending of
the disciplines, and are just trying to stand or wrestle. It’s kind of
backwards because it should be evolving…
I
just want to become a better athlete. I’m doing things differently in
my life as a personal athlete. There have always been things like
lifting and technical strength, but I haven’t been doing stuff like I
am now… like agility training and such."


Regarding his opponent Akihiro Gono at UFC 94:

"He’s
a very seasoned veteran man. He’s a slick fighter and he knows his way
around a fight. He’s been fighting for like 15 years I think. So that
is ridiculous. He has had a ton of fights and has only lost a handful
of them and has only been finished four times in his career. To be
finished four times in 15 years is super impressive. He’s got good leg
kicks and kick defense and good wrestling even. His ground game is kind
of under rated because he is a good grappler as well. So, he is going
to be a tough opponent…
I
don’t really try to predict the fight going any way but I’ll take it
where it needs to go. I like to feel things out, you know? Sometimes
fights need to go to the ground and sometimes they need to stay on the
feet. So, where ever it needs to be, I will take it."


Regarding his loss to GSP:

"A
lot of it was the mentality and focus in the fight. I was looking at
the wrong things. Like, I was just looking for a knock out against GSP
instead of slowly and progressively slowing him down and causing damage
the way I normally do. I don’t think I was in my normal mindset in that
fight. I definitely think I learned to relax a little more after being
forced to relax with the added pressure that comes along with training
for a title fight. I feel much more relaxed now…
The
holes in my game needed to be exposed for me to see them clearly. I
knew some things were there but I didn’t realize how big they were
until they were exposed like the athleticism. I realized that just
having good technique and being a technician just isn’t enough. You
need agility and speed so I had to go back and retrain my body to
regain those things and to be more flexible and fit."
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