All fighters make trade-offs between success and what it takes to achieve that success. Few are willing to talk about it so starkly. Jon Fitch, for example, is okay with the idea of trading brain cells for money.
"If we’re getting paid correctly, it shouldn’t matter," said Fitch on Monday’s edition of The MMA Hour. "We know the risk; we know what’s going to happen."
Fitch, 37, believes fighters should be allowed to fight and make money until they're slurred in speech or until they can't remember where they placed their car keys.
"It's my decision. If I want to do that, I should be allowed to do that," said Fitch. "I'll trade some brain cells for some money for my children so they don't have to work when they're older."
When asked about how long he plans on fighting for, Fitch expressed that there is "no end in sight" for his career. So for now, Fitch is scheduled to fight former UFC title challenger Yushin Okami at WSOF 24 on Oct. 17.
This unforeseen matchup will take place in an unforeseen weight class. Once considered one of the strongest and biggest UFC middleweights, Okami will be making the drop to 170 pounds.
"I actually had thought that it was a possible fight on the horizon when he got released from the UFC," said Fitch.
Both Fitch and Okami currently find themselves in similar situations. Released by the UFC as top-10 contenders in 2013, Fitch has fought four times, picking up two decision victories and two submission losses, while Okami has picked up a submission win over Svetlozar Savov and a TKO loss to David Branch.
Having only fought twice since his UFC release, some believe the Japanese fighter has lost his charge, but Fitch is expecting the best Okami there is.
"I still think he’s tough," said Fitch. "He has had some knockouts and has taken some shots to the head more than I have, in the most recent part of his career, but he’s a durable guy and I think he’s just as powerful and dangerous as he has been."
With a 35-fight career that dates back to 2002, Fitch believes he has taken little damage, and he’s still having fun training and fighting.
"Like Phil Baroni always says, 'ride it till the wheels fall off,'" said Fitch.