At a media conference call for UFC 127 today Dana White revealed that the winner of the main event between BJ Penn and Jon Fitch would earn a title shot in the welterweight division.
That’s not surprising from the point of view of Fitch who has more than earned the opportunity, having now only lost once in 14 fights in the UFC.
It’s slightly more surprising that Penn would lead to the head of the 170lb queue though given that he’s not far removed from back-to-back losses to Frankie Edgar at lightweight.
Having said that, Penn is a former welterweight champion, and after defeating another former champion Matt Hughes in his return to the division late last year, if he could become only the second man to defeat Fitch in the UFC, there is a case for him to be given the shot.
What’s really interesting though is who either Penn or Fitch would be fighting when the time comes.
The obvious answer is current champion Georges St.Pierre, but if he wins his upcoming fight with Jake Shields then it’s been suggested recently that he will vacate his title and move up to 185lbs to challenge Anderson Silva for the middleweight strap.
That means either Penn or Fitch would then have to take on another top contender for the vacant belt. At this stage it’s not immediately obvious who that would be, though Carlos Condit with 4 wins in a row would likely be in the running for the spot.
On the other hand, if Shields were to win against GSP in April then a fight with either of UFC 127’s main eventers would certainly make sense.