Top UFC welterweight fighter Jon Fitch will be fighting in one of the most high profile fights of his life this February when he takes on former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion BJ “The Prodigy” Penn in the main event of UFC 127.
Penn is often listed among the best fighters to have tackled the sport of MMA, and though he and Fitch are both 32-years old and have had a similar number of fights, it is “The Prodigy” who casts a larger shadow. In a recent conversation with Sports Illustrated, Fitch talked about what it means to take on a fighter with a legacy such as Penn’s and also briefly detailed how he plans to beat the Hawaiian scrapper.
“B.J. is such a dangerous opponent,” Fitch told Sports Illustrated. “He’s a legend. He’s such a huge name in this sport. For me to give him anything less than one hundred per cent of my full focus and attention would be greatly detrimental to me winning this fight. So I have to just focus on him, and not worry about anything that’s been said in the past, or anything that’s been promised in the past.”
Fitch explained to SI that he has no plans to attempt to go tit-for-tat with Penn in the areas that have made him become one of the best in the world, but that he plans to follow a similar path that fighters like Frankie Edgar and Georges St. Pierre did in defeating “The Prodigy”: drag him into deep water and avoid letting him set the pace of the fight.
“I’m extremely hard to finish and I have a huge gas tank and historically that’s a big problem for B.J Penn,” Fitch said. “If he doesn’t have the cardio to keep up with my pace, there’s no way he’s going to last. If I went out there and tried to match BJ’s timing, or match BJ’s speed, it would never happen. And a lot of guys fall into that trap. It’s more about setting your pace and dictating the action, dictating what’s going on in the fight. That way you’re not reacting to things, you’re making the faster guy react to you. If you’re good enough you can set traps, make them react the wrong way.”
UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch is scheduled to go down this February 27th at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia.