MMAWeekly is reporting that UFC welterweight Jon Fitch has signed a bout agreement to take on Akihiro Gono at UFC 82, which will be taking place on March 1st in Columbus, Ohio. Although Gono has not officially signed his fight contract, it is reported that he has verbally accepted the match after originally turning it down. Jon Fitch (15-2 MMA, 7-0 UFC) ) is becoming quite the standout within the welterweight landscape, with his most recent win over Diego Sanchez at UFC 76. Previously Fitch has amassed victories over the likes of Thiago Alves, Josh Burkman and Shonie Carter, and is on an almost unheard of 15 fight winning streak since 2002. Fitch is also currently ranked the number 4 welterweight in the world by MMAweekly. Akihiro Gono (28-7 MMA, 1-0 UFC) is a veteran of Pride FC, Pancrase and Shooto, and has notable wins over Yuki Kondo, Ivan Salaverry and most recently Tamden McCrory at UFC 78. Gono has also fought and lost to such fighters as Matt Hughes, Dan Henderson and Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
With Fitch-Gono being almost a done deal, it would appear that Karo Pariysan has gotten his wish so to speak, since he reportedly preferred an “easier” fight against someone not as strong as Jon Fitch, so that he could have a smoother road to a title shot. Things could come back to bite Karo in the rear however when both Fitch and Karo win their bouts (which I’m assuming they will) and then get pit against each other to see who is the number one welterweight contender.