Fight fans may have seen the last of Jon Fitch in mixed martial arts (MMA) competition.
The World Series of Fighting (WSOF) welterweight champion made his first title defense a successful one. He defeated former Strikeforce middleweight title holder Jake Shields by unanimous decision. After the fight, an emotional Fitch revealed the bout may have been his last.
A little less than a month after the contest, Fitch spoke to Ariel Helwani on MMAFighting.com‘s “The MMA Hour.” He explained what was found in his first brain MRI scan and why he decided to undergo a second scan:
“They found a couple of very tiny, they call it (T2) flair foci, but it could be nothing. It could be something from childhood, something they never picked up because the equipment (is) so much better today at picking things up that they noticed it this time. So I had to do a second MRI just to be sure that it’s safe to fight, and you know, of course I’m alright because they wouldn’t let me fight if I wasn’t.”
As “tiny” as the T2 flair foci may have been, Fitch isn’t taking any chances. The WSOF champion doesn’t want to keep fighting only to have permanent damage done to his brain.
“I just want to make sure that I’m not going to start losing time and slurring my speech or whatever if I continue moving forward with my training camps. Because I can fight for the fights, but 8- to 12-week training camps really puts damage on your body and your head.”
Ideally, Fitch would be 100 percent healthy and free of any future damage. The American Kickboxing Academy member knows that not everything can go his way. He isn’t ruling out walking away from the sport.
“Yeah, it’s a possibility. It all depends on what comes back when I talk to the doctors.”