MMA Fighting has a cool feature running where UFC welterweight contender Jon Fitch is authoring a notebook or journal on their site discussing his preparation, challenges and whatever else is on his mind in the run up to the fight this weekend. He's got a tough test in former UFC welterweight and lightweight champion B.J. Penn. Last night on MMA Nation, Kenny Florian told me Fitch is now walking around at 176lbs after his diet change. That's not a shift is preparation I think is ultimately in his interest.
But Fitch remains unconcerned. In fact, in today's entry, Fitch responds to criticism of how he fights and uses Tiger Woods' struggles (on the green, not off) to give context to his efforts:
The criticism I sometimes get for the way I fight never affects me too much. I know I'm going through a transitional phase right now and a few growing pains are to be expected. These last five fights since the title shot haven't been perfect, but the growing pains are necessary to get where I eventually want to be. I need those experiences to be the fighter I want to be.
Sometimes you have to take a step back in order to take a leap forward. I believe that is what I have done in recent fights and I believe that in the next couple of fights you will definitely see that leap forward. It might not have been pretty before, but everything is coming together now and I'm starting to realize just how vital these last few fights have been in my overall development.
When Tiger Woods was at the top of his game, they one day decided to change his golf swing and he started losing. After a while that new golf swing began to click and Tiger started smashing everybody again and was even better than before. It just took him a little while to adapt to the changes and trust the direction he was going in.
I'm in exactly the same position right now. I trust where I'm going and never expected it to be easy or pretty. So long as I get there in the end, that's all that matters and that's all people will remember...
All true except Woods didn't change his golf swing until long after he'd won numerous championships. He was winning despite an errant swing. Fitch is by no means doing poorly, but Woods was making alterations to stay at the top of golf, not to find it.