BJ Penn Winner or Retired; UFC 127 Main Event
Tonight BJ Penn will face Jon Fitch and if he loses, I expect him to retire.
The main event of UFC 127 has all the makings of a barn burner. It matches BJ Penn against Jon Fitch in a welterweight fight. Both fighters are coming off of recent wins. Fitch beat Thiago Alves in a three round decision at UFC 117 last August and Penn destroyed Matt Hughes with a vicious first round knockout a few months ago at UFC 123. Will BJ Penn retire if he does not win tonight?
More important than their recent wins, both men are looking for respect and another shot at the welterweight title currently held by Georges St-Pierre. Both men have unfinished business with St-Pierre. BJ Penn has lost twice to him. In their last fight Penn accused St-Pierre and his corner of “greasing.” This is where the fighter’s corner puts Vaseline on his back so that he will be harder to hold, throw and control. Something like this could greatly affect a fighter like Penn who is very comfortable on the ground and who uses his legs and arms to control and move his opponents. If there were Vaseline that caused his grip to slip he could have trouble using those parts of his fight plan. His grievance was heard and BJ Penn filed a formal request for an investigation into the event. The Nevada State Athletic Commission held a formal hearing on the event and eventually ruled that they would not change St-Pierre’s win to a “no contest” nor would there be any other sanctions. St-Pierre’s people apologized for the incident, but said they didn’t knowingly cheat. Penn, unhappy with the ruling, said he was unsure if he would pursue further justice. To date he has not. However, a win over Fitch could put him back in line for another title shot where he could exact his revenge first hand.
Jon Fitch has a score to settle of his own with St-Pierre. Fitch was rolling along in his MMA career. After starting out 2-2 he then rattled off 16 straight win and found himself challenging for the Welterweight championship against St-Pierre. He lost a five round decision. Fitch has since won five straight, all by decision. He goes into this main event knowing that if he can beat Penn he could get another shot at St-Pierre and the title.
Both men have a lot on the line. BJ Penn was rumored to be considering retirement recently so a loss could help him make that decision quicker. For either man a win puts them in the conversation for another shot at St-Pierre and settling a score. This fight has all the ingredients you need for dynamite. It could be explosive and a hell of a lot of fun to watch.
UFC 127 will broadcast live from Australia. You can check out UFC.com for all the viewing options.
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