Jon Fitch outworked B.J. Penn in the late rounds but couldn't persuade the judges who ruled it a majority draw (29-28, 28-28, 28-28) at UFC 127 in Sydney, Australia.
After the fight Penn said he felt he lost the fight. Fitch was understated and accepted the decision but still called for a title shot after the fight.
B.J. surprised Jon Fitch by shooting in for a take down immediately then proceeding to pin him against the cage for much of the first round. Fitch reversed and forced Penn against the fence then dropped for a double. He switched to a single and raised Penn's left leg. Then Fitch separated, landing a couple of punches, and shot back in. Penn resisted. Then another exchange and Penn got the take down. Penn immediately took Fitch's back. Penn applied a body triangle briefly. Penn attacked Fitch's neck and Fitch had to fight hard for hand control. Penn reapplied the body lock. Then Fitch rolled into Penn's guard and began to land punches. Penn kicked him off and Fitch pressed back in forcing B.J. into the fence.
Fitch opened the second with a high kick that led Penn to leap in for a flying knee that missed. Fitch capitalized for the take down. Penn stood back up with about 4 minutes left. Penn began to land hard elbows to Fitch's head as they clinched. Fitch began to bleed. Penn went for a take down and Fitch threatened a guillotine. They exchanged strikes before separating. Penn again with a take down. Fitch gave up his back. Penn worked for a rear naked choke and gave up control. Fitch rolled into Penn's guard and landed elbows. Fitch opened up and landed hard punches. Penn stood up before the bell rang.
Fitch's corner told him they had no idea where the fight stood before the final round. Fitch opened with a hard right hand and followed up with an immediate take down. Penn stood up but Fitch forced him right back down and rained down punishment. Elbows mixed with hooks. Forearm shivs and punches. Hammer fists. Hooks. Penn absorbed huge punishment. Penn went for a triangle, Fitch slipped right out. More battery followed. Penn desperately tried to turn his hips for an arm bar but it was too little, too late as the buzzer rang.