(What has four arms and four legs and is convinced he kicked ass at UFC 127? This guy! Pic: MMA Weekly)
So, maybe it’s time we all just concede that we have no fucking clue who won BJ Penn’s and Jon Fitch’s main event bout at UFC 127 and, ultimately, making it a draw was probably the right call, huh? I mean, Dana White thought Penn won; the only judge able to make up his mind on Saturday night thought Fitch won and Fitch agreed; Penn originally thought Fitch won, too, but given some time to think about it, he’s has changed his mind. No more acting sad-sack and giving praise to the MMA gods for “The Prodigy.” No sir, he thinks he won after all.
“The more I’m sitting here thinking about it, I definitely got the better positions and the more dominant positions,” Penn told UFC.com. “I guess the first thing I was thinking was just the last round, but now, the more I’m sitting here thinking about the first two rounds – I did. I had much better positions than he had.”
For the record, at the time we were live blogging the event, we were pretty sure the judges were going to give it to Fitch, though we weren’t totally convinced that was the right call. According to his Twitter (or Facebook or something) Fitch isn’t quite as wishy-washy on the subject as Penn. He’s still convinced he deserved to get the nod and isn’t above handing out some backhanded compliments about how awesome Penn looked in the fight, either.
“Finally watched the fight back myself. First (round was a) draw and I won (rounds) 2 and 3. I will prove myself if I must. But I know I won that fight,” Fitch posted on Monday. “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.”
First round was a draw, huh? That’s rich. Anyway, for the numerous flaws in everybody’s reasoning, you should really read Old Dad’s typically thought-provoking commentary over on MMA Fighting. More than anything, we think our man Fowlkes pretty artfully points out why attempting to judge a sport as nuanced and diverse as MMA with the rigid, out-of-date 10-point must system is a fool’s errand. He writes:
“(Fitch’s round three) was obviously a more dominant round than either of the first two, but the current scoring system doesn’t allow for too many varying shades of dominance. You can argue that Fitch wasn’t close enough to ending the bout to justify a 10-8, but you can’t argue (at least, not convincingly) that he didn’t put a more serious whooping on Penn in that final frame than anything Penn had done to him in the prior two.
“The people who think Penn deserved a 29-28 decision victory have to reconcile that claim with the image of a battered, deflated Penn finishing the fight on his back and doing little to stop the punishment that was raining down on him. On the flip side, the people who think Fitch won have to do some fuzzy math with the first two frames to make it seem at all plausible even with a 10-8 in the final round.”
So there, see? Everybody is wrong. Nobody is right … except maybe those two judges who scored it even. But a world where MMA judges are right and the rest of us are wrong? Can we even stomach the thought of living in that world?