Fitch out; Who should Penn fight?

March 30th, 2011
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According to multiple reports online, Jon Fitch has been forced to pull out of his July 2 fight against B.J. Penn at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. Fitch apparently injured himself in training severely enough to withdraw from a fight that is still over 3 months away.

No replacement has been named as of yet to take Fitch’s place. Any ideas? Who would you like to see fight Penn in July? If Josh Koscheck was healthy, I think that’d be an intriguing fight at 170, but I’m not sure he’s fully recovered from that devastating eye injury suffered against Georges St-Pierre. If Nick Diaz beats Paul Daley on April 9 in StrikeForce and with the UFC’s recent purchase of the company, could we see Diaz vs. Penn?

11 Responses to “Fitch out; Who should Penn fight?”

  1. kev-1:

    I thought fighters switching over to the UFC from Strikeforce wasn’t going to happen? I wouldn’t want to see Koscheck v. Penn. I think Josh knows how to use his wrestling better than Fitch, and that wouldn’t bode well for Penn. This is a tricky position. Everyone has Penn slated pretty high (in the top 10) as a WW, but I’m unsure why. He is unproven in this weight class. He held the belt, sure, but has more losses than wins at WW. How about an up and comer or someone with a lot on the line? After watching UFC Fight Night the other night, I thought Amir Sadollah looked real promising and exciting. That would be a good fight standing or on the ground. What about Dan Hardy? I know, these guys just fought and probably wouldn’t take a fight so soon, but I think they would be good ones.

    Since you like Penn v. Nick Diaz, what about his little brother, Nate? I know they trained with BJ the last time in Cali.


  2. billy hull:

    Sounds like it might be Carlos Condit.

    I still think you’ll see StrikeForce fighters in the UFC regardless of what has been said. We’ll see though…


  3. AmishRakeFight:

    Anderson Silva or Cung Le


  4. Mr. B:

    @ kev-1

    BJ is unproven at welterweight??

    With the exception of Duane Ludwig, EVERYONE that BJ has fought at WW were ELITE, cream of the crop fighters. Matt Hughes and GSP are two of the best WW that ever stepped into the Octagon, and Fitch, while not a champion, is a very, very good fighter, and much larger than BJ. Hughes and GSP are hall of famers. It’s not like Penn is fighting scrubs at welterweight. He was fighting the best of the best – champions or #1 contenders.

    I just don’t get it when people say that BJ is unproven at welterweight. Just because he lost to the best fighter in the world (GSP), doesn’t mean that he isn’t a good welterweight.


  5. kev-1:

    Mr. B . . . I accept that unproven may have been a poor word choice and hopefully I can explain my perspective. Granted, Penn’s record at WW is due to the high level fighters that he goes against, but my question is why he is always thrust into the top fights? I think the answer leans more towards $ than anything else. How can he have one fight since returning to WW and already be the #1 contender in the weight class if he had beaten Fitch. You honestly don’t think that was a bit premature?

    Dana White and the UFC realize how much $ they could make in a Penn v. GSP rematch, that is why he was thrust to the top. Now, with that said, do I think that Penn can roll with any WW out there? Hell yeah? Do I think he can beat most of them? Yes. But I also think he is vulnerable at that weight because of his size and think he needs to win a few at the division before a title shot. A few fights at that weight will only help him get more comfortable in that division, and stronger. Just because he held the WW belt and was such a dominant LW champ, doesn’t necessarily mean he is ready for a shot at the WW title.

    If you have ever read any of my posts before, you will see that I am a huge BJ supporter and think he is one of the best all around and pound for pound fighters in the world, despite his recent losses at LW.

    Please don’t take my post as disrespectful to BJ. Unproven is definitely the wrong word.


  6. jeff:

    BJ lucked out he probably would have lost to fitch!! really GSP somehow he has got to get the fire back he is a legend like chuck liddell wish him the best


  7. aaron:

    other than Nick Diaz, there aren’t many compelling fights out there right now. because Penn is more of an attraction than a contender right now (value-wise) it doesn’t make sense for him to fight someone like Martin Kampmann. Could Zuffa use it’s Strikeforce ties to bring in Shinya Aoki for a one-fight deal? Being that Penn is not a belt holder and because his future is uncertain, an exhibition fight would actually work here.


  8. jjay:

    Penn needs to go back and find a beatable lightweight, he got his behind kicked in the last fight. Penn is on a downward slide in his career , no longer a dominance in lightweight or welter weight. He has but a few fights left in him.


  9. Mr. B:

    @ kev-1 – of course it’s all about money. It always has been. BJ is a big draw. This is business. Dana White will put together whatever fights generates the most interest, attention, and, thus, money. Can you blame him? The UFC is a MONOPOLY; therefore, Dana White can do whatever he wants to – simple as that. Yes, it isn’t fair, but life ain’t fair.


  10. kev-1:

    i don’t blame him at all, and am not even criticizing that fact. just making a point about penn being more a $ draw that a title contender in WW . . . at the moment anyway.


  11. Mr. B:

    Carlos Condit is also a very, very good fighter; however, for whatever reason, he hasn’t reached rockstar status either. I think what makes fans interested in BJ is that he likes to attack – he’s always going for the KO or the submission. When BJ wins, he opponents are usually a bloody mess, or they get choked out in dramatic fashion.

    Fitch is a boring fighter – too many wins by decision. Frankie Edgar – despite beating BJ twice – still fears Penn, and he is content to win by decision. Frankie has the speed and conditioning to stay away from Penn. He knows he’d get messed up if he tried to throw hands with BJ. No matter who Penn fights, he always tries to finish them. That’s what makes him exciting to watch.


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