Jon Fitch did what most expected he would against BJ Penn, if he didn’t exactly get his gameplan implemented early. He and Penn fought for three rounds and, except for the third frame, the fight was quite close, making the ruling of a majority draw a slightly easier pill to swallow. The scores of the first two rounds are debatable, but the third round clearly went to Fitch, who recently posted on The Underground his belief that he deserved to win the fight rather than take home a draw.
“Finally watched the fight back myself,” wrote Fitch. “First [round] draw and I won [round] 2 and 3. I will prove myself if I must. But I know I won that fight,” he wrote on The Underground. “Much respect to BJ. He is the legend I thought he was. I think that was the best BJ ANY of us have ever seen.”
UFC president Dana White, who has never been Fitch’s biggest fan, told ESPN.com that he saw a different outcome in the fight and he didn’t mince words when assessing Fitch’s current position in the welterweight division.
“Fitch is one of these guys that goes, ‘Oh, I want my respect,’” White said. “He just fought a 155-pound guy and went to a draw with him and in my opinion, he lost the first two rounds – and he’s crying for a title shot?
“I didn’t think it was a draw,” he continued. “I looked at the scorecards and the two judges who had it a draw scored the first two rounds for Penn and the third round a 10-8 [for Fitch]. Personally, I scored the first two rounds for Penn and had him winning the fight. There’s no doubt B.J. got pounded in the third round, but that wasn’t a 10-8 round. You’ve got to get in there and decisively beat people. You have to have fans clamoring for you to fight for the title.”
With an overall record of 23-3-1, a UFC record of 13-1-1 and currently riding a five-fight winning streak–topped off by the draw to Penn–it is hard to argue that there are many more deserving contenders than Fitch at 170lbs., but White has the last word and it doesn’t sound like he’s too keen on throwing Fitch a bone anytime soon.