B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch react to the majority draw decision and ponder possible title implications.
The stakes were high for Fitch and Penn in the UFC 127 main event. With the possibility of Georges St. Pierre moving up to the middleweight division if he gets past Jake Shields at UFC 129, the welterweight title picture could be wide open.
Heading into the fight, UFC president Dana White said the winner would be the top contender in the 170-pound division. The fight ended in a majority draw, leaving the question, what now?
Fitch likes the idea of a rematch with Penn for the potential vacant welterweight crown.
“I think that would be a great idea. I’d be down for that. I think it would be an epic fight,” said Fitch.
Former lightweight and welterweight titleholder B.J. Penn did not agree.
“I can understand where Jon is coming from, but I think I need one more win over Jon before I get a shot at a title,” said Penn.
The majority draw left both fighters feeling a bit disappointed.
“I’m disappointed in myself. I feel like I could have performed much better. I could have prepared a lot better. Regardless of how the judges it, I expected more of myself,” said Fitch.
“I just feel up in the air and still just kind of disappointed that I gave away that third round like that,” said Penn.
Penn employed a strategy we haven’t seen from him in a very long time. He shocked those watching and in attendance by immediately trying to take Fitch to the ground.
“I just kind of got over trying to box people and run away and stuff. I’m a grappler myself, and if I fight with somebody I’m going to continue to try to take them down and punch them. I’m going to try to do both,” commented Penn.
The game plan was effective early. He was able to get Fitch to the canvas in the first and second rounds and take his back both times, but as the fight wore on, Fitch began to impose his will.
“It was an excellent strategy,” said Fitch. “It threw me off and it took me at least, I thought, until midway in the second round to really get my focus back and start to counter-wrestle and really get that wrestling mainframe involved.”
“I kind of had it too much in my head, I think, that he was planning on counter-boxing. I think that slowed down the progress of what I wanted to really do,” added Fitch.
Asked if he believed he would ever get another crack at the title, Fitch answered, “I don’t know right now. I’m disappointed with my performance. I don’t know, I expect more and I should have put on a better show and performed better tonight to make that the question no one had to ask.”
“I leave it up to the bosses and see what they want to do with me.”