Many expected a new No. 1 welterweight contender to emerge from Saturday's UFC 127 main event between B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch.
Instead, for the second time in two months, a UFC main event ended without a resolution as Penn and Fitch fought to a majority draw. The judges saw it 29-28 Fitch, 28-28 and 28-28. Penn, the former welterweight and lightweight champion, sees his record move to 16-7-2 while Fitch goes to 23-3-1 (one no contest).
What was the high point of the fight?
This is going to sound weird because this wasn't a bad fight by any means, but the highlight of this was Penn's honestly refreshing post-fight interview. With a battered face following a real tough third round, Penn told Joe Rogan he thought he lost the fight and he wasn't sure if he was going to continue fighting had he lost. It was a real different Penn we saw in the cage following this fight.
In the fight, Fitch's reversal of Penn's rear-naked choke attempt in the first round was fun. It was a battle of wills and very technical. Penn kept looking to pin Fitch's arm down but was unable to get it. Then he looked for a body triangle but Fitch was just too big for Penn to hold it and Fitch was able to turn around into Penn's guard.
Where do these guys go from here?
Will Penn continue to fight? We'll see. The obvious logic here, as set out by our own Brent Brookhouse earlier, is to have these two fight for the welterweight title should Georges St. Pierre beat Jake Shields and subsequently vacate the title to move to middleweight. If Shields wins, it wouldn't be surprising if St. Pierre got an immediate rematch, leaving both of these men out of the title picture for the foreseeable future.
It wouldn't hurt my feelings if Fitch received a title shot coming off this fight despite it being a draw. After watching that third round, I wouldn't have been shocked to see Fitch stop Penn had that been a five-round fight. Fitch clearly came out of this fight greener than he came in.
Watch it now, later or never?
This fight certainly is worth watching now. It wasn't an up-and-down brawl, but if you appreciate the finer points of MMA (i.e. a technical fight), this was an enjoyable fight to watch. Seeing Fitch dominate Penn like few have done in the third round was very intriguing to see.