Matt Hughes, once a rival of BJ Penn’s, but more recently a friend and training partner, has weighed in with his opinion on his fight with Jon Fitch at UFC 127.
The three judges Octagon-side scored the fight as a majority draw, while a number of respected media pundits gave Fitch the nod.
However, Hughes joins UFC president Dana White in believing that Penn won and his latest blog he explains exactly how he came to that conclusion with a detailed analysis of the fight which you can read below.
“BJ’s fight is drawing a lot of controversy on my Forums. I only watched the fight once, during the PPV on Saturday night, so I haven’t rewatched any clips at all. This is my opinion based on what I remember. BJ started to execute the gameplan well as he went out and took Fitch down. He did a little work on top and then got Fitch’s back. Fitch then reversed and BJ stood up. I think everybody scored the first round 10-9 for Penn.
The second round started well for BJ, as BJ threw some punches and ended up taking Fitch down again. BJ then gets Fitch’s back again and goes for a rear naked choke. Fitch is able to reverse and lays on BJ for about a minute and a half, as I remember. At the end of the round, BJ then gets on his feet. In my opinion, BJ did most of the damage in that round, as blood was coming out of Fitch’s nose and BJ was doing some good striking while Fitch was pushing him up against the fence. So, the second round I would have scored to BJ because he was in dominant position longer, went for a submission, had dominant striking in that round, and my number one criteria for judging a round is damage. With Fitch bleeding out of the nose, I believe BJ did the most damage in round 2. Even though, Fitch’s minute and a half of being on top was at the end of the round, I don’t give him the round. But I think a lot of people will because the last thing they see tends to be what they’ll score.
Between the second and third round, I was listening to Fitch’s corner and they were desperate for Fitch to end the fight in the third round. When I heard that, I really thought BJ had won the first two rounds and, of course, the third round is nothing but Fitch. He gets a takedown early and lays on BJ the rest of the fight. I do think BJ did a good job avoiding strikes and it was a little disappointing seeing Fitch not do anything to try to end the fight. That round to me was a 10-9 round for Fitch.
A lot of people don’t understand the judging criteria, in boxing you can give a 10-8 round pretty easily because there are a lot more rounds. In fighting you just can’t do that. With 3 rounds to judge, a 10-8 has to be a pretty dominant round. With Fitch doing nothing to end the fight, that was not a 10-8 round, in my opinion. I even had one person comment on my forum that it could have been a 10-7 round… ??? So, at the end of the fight, I had BJ winning 29-28; but I can see how the judges called it a draw.
BJ and I have thrown a couple of texts back and forth since the fight and he seems to be in good spirits, even though he was down on himself after the fight.”
Incidentally, Jon Fitch has also given his opinion on how the fight should have been scored after now having had a chance to watch the tape from the comfort of his own home.
His assessment is that he should have won the fight, and in fact shouldn’t have lost a single round.
“Finally watched the fight back myself. first rnd draw and I won rnd 2 and 3. I will prove myself if I must. But I know I won that fight. 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,” Fitch stated.