Fifteen minutes was not enough time for Jon Fitch and BJ Penn to determine a welterweight top contender at UFC 127. The welterweights fought to a (29-28 Fitch, 28-28, 28-28) majority draw after three grueling rounds of MMA action.
Fitch battered the former multi-divisional champ to convincingly take the final round. Based off the 10-point must scoring system, two of the three judges sitting Octagon-side awarded Penn the first and second rounds, with him losing the last 10-8.
“I think I did enough to at least win a split decision,” Fitch said. “My cardio was through the roof. It just threw me off because I did zero preparations for B.J. shooting. … It was a great game plan, and it threw me off.”
Penn was battered and bruised when he took the mic. The Hawaiian even admitted the MMA gods “smiled upon me” after getting busted up in the last stanza.
“I think I got some dominant position in the first and second rounds, but he kicked my butt in the third round,” Penn stated.
UFC president Dana White promised the victor would advance to a 170-pound championship affair. Although Saturday night’s rendering wasn’t ideal, an instant rematch could mean significantly more should champion George St-Pierre defeat Jake Shields at UFC 129.
GSP is expected to relinquish his belt and make a permanent move to the middleweight division should he post his sixth consecutive title defense.
UFC 127 took place inside the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia.