BJ Penn vs. Jon Fitch II nixed?
Photo Credit: Alex Garant/AlexGarant.com
According to Wrestling Observer''s Dave Meltzer, there is a strong possibility that the UFC could nix the UFC 127 rematch of BJ Penn vs. Jon Fitch II, in favor of Penn vs. apparent no. one welterweight contender Carlos Condit.
Both Fitch and Penn are recovering from shoulder injuries, following their controversial fight in Australia, that ended in a draw in Feb. Many feel that Fitch won rounds two and three of the fight (definitely round three), but UFC President Dana White has contended that it was Penn that came out on top the first two rounds.
Stylistically, Penn vs. Condit would be a much more exciting fight for fans than Penn vs. Fitch II. Fitch is arguably the second-best welterweight in the world, but his conservative fight style has drawn the ire of many fans. Condit is coming off the most important win of his career. Just a couple of weeks ago at UFC 132, Condit knocked out the previously undefeated Dong Hyun Kim in the first round, putting him first in line for a title shot. But Condit says he doesn't want to wait for the winner of Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz at UFC 136 on Oct. 29.
Ironically, the proposed Penn vs. Condit fight could take place on that card. It should be noted that Condit and GSP are teammates, as part of Greg Jackson's MMA, but it seems like Condit doesn't have a problem fighting the champ--no matter who it is. If Condit beats Penn, it would be his biggest win and put him further on the map. Plus, a win over a legitimate draw only makes Condit a more viable commodity for the UFC.
On the other hand, if Penn beats Condit, he would be the no. one contender, but outside of name value, there's less marketabilty for a third GSP-Penn fight. Penn lost a close decision to GSP in 2006 and was dominated in their rematch in 2009, before going back down to lightweight.
The odd man out in this equation is Fitch, who was already unhappy with former Strikeforce welterweight champion Diaz getting the UFC title shot over him. Fitch fought GSP for the welterweight title in 2008, getting dominated in a unanimous decision loss--albeit in the "Fight of The Night."
More on this as it develops.