Top welterweight contender Jon Fitch (15-2) has signed the bout agreement to fight Akihiro Gono (27-12-7) at UFC 82: "Pride of a Champion" on March 1 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, MMAmania.com just learned.
11.20.2007 - 11:45:00 PM -
UFC 82: Jon Fitch vs Akihiro Gono
MMA Mania got word that Jon Fitch has been contacted about fighting Akihiro Gono at UFC 82. Here's what they had to say:
MMAmania.com learned earlier this morning that welterweight contender Jon Fitch (15-2) has been approached about fighting Akihiro Gono (27-12-7) at UFC 82 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio, on March 1.
Fitch will fight on the card; however, Gono is not a lock to be his opponent at this time. Our sources indicate that the Fitch camp is working hard to line up a showdown with Karo Parisyan instead. That fight makes the most sense in terms of clearing up the 170-pound log jam.
MMA Junkie is reporting that UFC handed out $55,000 dollar bonuses for Fight of the Night, Submission of the Night, and Knockout of the Night. Fight of the Night went to both Thiago Alves and Chris Lytle for their back and forth undercard fight. Submission of the Night went to Akihiro Gono for his arm bar submission of Tamden McCrory in the nights first fight. The Knockout of the Night bonus went to Ed Herman for KOing Joe Doerksen in one of the undercard fights. At UFC 77, $40,000 bonuses were handed out after the fight. The bonuses have recently started increasing. They started at $10,000 dollars a year ago and have jumped to $55,000 at UFC 78.
The Junkie is also reporting that they sold out the event with 14,071 people in attendance. The crowd produced a live gate of $2.1 million.
I will post the post fight press conference when it becomes available...
The UFC 78 card has gone through a lot of changes. Originally, Sean Sherk was supposed to fight BJ Penn for the Lightweight title. After Sean Sherk failed his drug test after UFC 73's win over Hermes Franca he appealed the Suspension. He has stated that he has never knowingly taken Steroids and is going to do everything he can to get of the suspension. He even took and passed a lie detector test to prove he didn't knowingly take steroids. With Sherk's appeal not coming until Oct. 31st therees no way that fight could happen. Especially if Sherk's appeal doesn't go through.
Needless to say theres been tons of changes and rumors about the main event we'll see at UFC 78. It was originally thought that Rashad Evans vs. Tito Ortiz would be the main event but that fight failed to materialize. Tito only has one fight left on his UFC contract and is in negotiations with the UFC owners for a contract extension. It was also even rumored that Tito could fight Dan Henderson. Although an intriguing match up it looks like we won't see Tito until early 2008. So while the main event has been in limbo, a few weeks ago I got a newsletter from the UFC stating the Main Event of UFC 78 would be none other than Ultimate Fighter 3 winner Michael Bisping vs Ultimate Fighter 2 winner Rashad Evans. This came as quite a surprise considering most fans thought Bisping's fight would be a rematch with Matt Hammil because of a largely controversial win at UFC 75. Rashad Evans was set to fight Tito again after their draw at UFC 73. This main event came as a surprise to me to say the least.
This hasn't been the only problem with UFC 78. Hector Lombard was set to Face Karo Parisyan, two very experienced and very skilled Judokas, at UFC 78. Lombard was unable to secure a work visa to enter the US. Lombard is a citizen of Cuba, that is currently living in Australia. 5oz. got word today that Lombard was officially off the card. PRIDE veteran Ryo Chonan, who holds a slick heel hook victory over current UFC middleweight Champion Anderson Silva, is set to replace Lomard against Karo Parisyan. Chonan was originally set to take on Thiago Alves. Chris Lytle has stepped up to fill the void. As of now, the UFC 78 fight cards looks like this: