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Jon Fitch, B.J. Penn Fight to a Draw at UFC 127

BJ Penn fought Jon Fitch to a draw at UFC 127.In a battle of two of the best fighters in mixed martial arts, the judges couldn't pick a winner: Jon Fitch and B.J. Penn fought to a majority draw at UFC 127.

One judge scored it 29-28 for Fitch, but the other two judges scored it 28-28, and those two judges made it a majority draw -- a disappointing ending that left the fans in Sydney, Australia booing. It was the second time in three UFC pay-per-views this year that the main event has been scored a draw.

Fitch seemed to control most of the fight, and Penn acknowledged afterward that he thought he had lost. But Penn requested a rematch afterward, and that seems likely.

Penn charged across the Octagon and went for a takedown at the start of the fight, a surprising decision to try to beat Fitch at his own game. For the first minute of the fight, Penn was pinning Fitch against the fence, but Fitch managed to reverse positions and hold Penn against the fence for another minute. After they spent the better part of the first round jockeying for position, Penn eventually took Fitch down, an impressive achievement in and of itself.

Then once Penn got Fitch on the ground, he took Fitch's back, and he attempted a rear-naked choke. But Fitch did a nice job of escaping the back control and getting back to his feet, and the round ended back on the feet, with Fitch holding Penn against the fence again. It was a close round that I scored for Penn, 10-9.

Penn and Fitch charged toward each other at the start of the second round, and when Penn missed with a flying knee, Fitch took him down and got on top of him. Penn seemed completely comfortable on the ground, however, and he got back to his feet without ever getting in any trouble. As they clinched against the cage Fitch was in control of the positioning, but Penn was landing better strikes, including several short elbows to Fitch's head. By the midway point of the second round, Fitch was bleeding profusely out his nose.

After the two briefly separated and threw a couple of punches, Penn took Fitch down and took his back, but Fitch escaped back control again and got on top of Penn, doing some damage with ground and pound as the round came to an end. I thought Fitch did enough with the ground and pound at the end that he may have taken the round, making it all tied up heading into the third and final round.

Fitch's corner told him after the second round that he had to win the third, saying, "We need this third, big. Go for broke."

Fitch did, indeed, go for broke at the start of the third round, hitting Penn hard and taking him down, then taking his back a minute into the third round. From there Fitch got on top of Penn and unleashed more ground and pound, and there wasn't much Penn could do. It was amazing how effective Fitch could be with the ground and pound, unleashing punch after punch after punch to Penn's face, even though Penn had Fitch in full guard. I gave Fitch a 10-8 round, meaning I scored the fight for Fitch, 29-27. But the judges disagreed with me, and there was no winner.

A disappointed Fitch said afterward that he didn't know what he could have done differently.

"I think I did enough to win at least a split decision," Fitch said. "I want the title more than anything, but at the end of the day we don't make the decisions. ... I'm here to fight, I'm here to fight the best. If my 13 wins in the UFC already isn't enough to put me in for a title shot, I'm ready to prove myself more.

Penn sounded dejected afterward, but he said he expected to fight Fitch again.

"Since the gods were nice to me and gave me a draw, if he wants to do it again I'll do it again," Penn said.

The UFC should do it again: Penn and Fitch deserve the chance to erase any doubt about who's the better fighter.

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