One man has gone 13-1 in the UFC at 170 pounds with his lone loss coming in the only title-fight he’s received thus far while the other is 2-3 in the division with a trio of opportunities to procure gold and a championship victory in the mix. However, when Jon Fitch and B.J. Penn meet at UFC 127 the two talented fighters will be equals in the sense the individual walking away with a win will also get a crack at sitting atop the UFC’s welterweight throne.
Head-honcho Dana White discussed the situation on Tuesday during a UFC 127 conference call with media where he explained the company’s position on their headlining bout serving to determine the company’s top welterweight contender.
“Let’s face it…the reality is Penn has held titles in both weight classes. Fitch has fought for the title and has literally dominated that division for a long time, just didn’t win the title. Any one of these guys that wins this fight is in the mix – the #1 guy,” said the UFC President.
Fitch is currently riding a five-fight win streak starting in January 2009 and featuring the likes of Paulo Thiago and Thiago Alves. As touched on earlier, the American Kickboxing Academy staple’s only stumble inside the Octagon came as the result of a one-sided decision defeat to welterweight champ Georges St. Pierre when the two fought at UFC 87.
His foe on February 27 in Sydney has also fallen to St. Pierre, twice in fact, including a TKO at UFC 94 ultimately sending Penn back down to 155 pounds where he fought four more times before returning to 170 pounds in victorious fashion with a 21-second knockout of rival Matt Hughes last November. The performance marked Penn’s second career win over Hughes who remains the only welterweight the Hawaiian has beaten in the UFC.
In addition to the match-up between Penn and Hughes, UFC 127 will feature a fight between TUF 3 winner Michael Bisping and veteran striker Jorge Rivera as well as submission-specialist George Sotiropoulos in action against German kickboxer Dennis Siver.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC