Penn, Fitch Both Dissatisfied with Draw, Open to Return Bout

By Mike Whitman

Though B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch both fought their hearts out at UFC 127, neither fighter was happy with the result.

After three seesaw rounds during which both men showed flashes of dominance, the bout went to the scorecards. Nothing was resolved, however, as judges Barry Foley (29-28 Fitch), Sal D’Amato (28-28) and Chris Lee (28-28) rendered a majority draw. According to Fitch, his performance in the evening’s main event simply was not up to snuff.

“I’m awfully disappointed in myself,” said Fitch at the event’s postfight press conference inside Sydney, Australia’s, Acer Arena. “I could have performed and prepared a lot better, regardless of the judges’ decision. I expect more of myself.”

Fitch, the betting favorite heading into the bout, found himself unable to control the smaller Penn in the way that many fans and pundits believed he would. Many of Fitch’s perceived difficulties might have been due to the Hawaiian’s surprising choice of strategy. While the prevailing opinion was that the former two-division champion would look to outbox Fitch, he instead chose to close the distance and try for takedowns, securing the bigger man’s back in both of the first two frames.

“I just kind of got over trying to box people and run away and stuff. I’m a grappler, myself,” said Penn. “I’m going to continue to try to take them down, and I’m going to try to punch them. I’m going to try to do both.”


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