UFC 127 saw a controversial draw in the main event between Jon Fitch and B.J. Penn. The fight was ruled a majority draw when two judges scored it a 28-28 draw while the other scored it a 29-28 win for Fitch.
While most would agree that Fitch should have won the fight, we need to get over that and look toward the future for Fitch, who still has to be considered one of the very elite fighters in the world at 170 pounds.
Of course, this puts the UFC welterweight division in serious limbo. St-Pierre has been such a dominant champion for years now that it’s hard to imagine anyone else holding the belt.
If he does make the move, though, the UFC won’t simply disband the division—they’re going to have to find a new champion—and that man could very well be Jon Fitch.
The draw Fitch fought to tonight is only the second blemish on his UFC record as he has put together a ridiculous 13-1-1 record inside the Octagon. His only loss came at UFC 87 when he lost a decision to St-Pierre.
If not even perhaps the greatest welterweight fighter of all-time, Georges St-Pierre, could finish Fitch; it’s hard to imagine that anyone else in the division could, either.
Penn looked like he was close a few times tonight as he had Fitch’s back twice, but Fitch very calmly flipped over and got inside Penn’s guard, where he wanted to be in the first place.
It was almost as if Fitch planned for Penn to take his back and had a perfect game plan to attack the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
In that case, the fighters who would almost be guaranteed a spot would be Jon Fitch, B.J. Penn, Josh Koscheck, Jake Shields and Thiago Alves.
The other three spots would likely be taken up by fighters like Martin Kampmann (particularly if he defeats Diego Sanchez on March 3 at UFC Live 3), Carlos Condit, John Hathaway or Dan Hardy.
No matter who is in the tournament, though, Jon Fitch would have to be considered by far the favorite to win the tournament. He would be favored in the betting lines against every opponent, and rightfully so.
His style can pretty much be described simply as “the winning style” at this point. He’s not flashy, he doesn’t have many highlight-reel knockouts or submissions, but he gets in there and works as hard as anyone in the business to secure a win.
Though he got ripped off by the judges Saturday night, Fitch proved that he can defeat even the best Brazilian jiu-jitsu fighters, he has destroyed fellow wrestlers and strikers in the past, and he has earned his spot as the No. 2 welterweight in the world.
Courtesy of Nick Caron at Bleacherreport.com