Dana White Raises Stakes for BJ Penn and Jon Fitch at UFC 127

Written by Tom Ngo
February 15th, 2011

Former UFC Welterweight Lightweight Champ BJ Penn

Dana White was full of information during Tuesday’s conference call. The UFC president not only announced the Philippines would likely be awarded the first international season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” but he also confirmed the UFC 127 scrap between BJ Penn and Jon Fitch will serve as a welterweight top contender bout.

“Let’s face it, the reality is BJ Penn has held titles in both weight classes, Fitch has fought for the title and has literally dominated that division for a long time, [he] just couldn’t win the title,” White said. “They’re definitely in the title picture.

“Either one of these guys that wins this fight is in the mix. They’re the No. 1 guy.”

While most athletes would be doing YES! Cartwheels after receiving such news, earning next dibs has become old hat for the wily veterans. Although another shot at the brass ring has been on each of their minds since getting throttled by reigning king Georges St-Pierre, both remain focused on February 26th.

“I don’t want to waste any time thinking about anything other than fighting BJ right now,” a determined Fitch stated.

The former multi-divisional champ echoed the exact same sentiment.

“As of now, I’m not even thinking about that,” Penn said of what might lie ahead. “I’m not thinking about titles, I’m just happy to fight an opponent of Jon Fitch’s level and Jon Fitch’s stature.”

Despite refusing to talk about a potential championship battle, both must be motivated by the fact GSP could be long gone by the time they sniff a five-round affair again. St-Pierre is set to vacate his belt and move up to the middleweight class should he beat Jake Shield at UFC 129.

UFC 127 takes place inside the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia. The welterweight top contender bout will headline the pay-per-view broadcast.

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