It appears that I was in the minority of UFC fans excited to see a BJ Penn vs. Jon Fitch rematch. The rematch is officially off because the UFC felt fans weren’t interested and will now offer up Penn vs. Carlos Condit at UFC 137.
I must say that I am real disappointed in the news. I can’t understand how any fan wouldn’t be interested in seeing BJ Penn vs. Fitch matchup again after their draw. Penn did tire out in the third round but fought an exciting fight for the better part of two rounds. I was even more intrigued with the idea of making the fight a main-event with two additional rounds. How could anyone not be interested in that?
[adinserter block=”1″]According to Penn on Twitter, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva called the fight off. Penn and Jon Fitch had a fun series of tweets back and forth over the last week about the rematch. Unfortunately the Twitter fun ended with Penn breaking Fitch’s heart.
Ill be good in oct. lets settle it. RT @bjpenndotcom: @jonfitchdotnet Please stop flooding my twitter with this monkey business. @danawhite – @jonfitchdotnet
(In response to a fan’s five-round request) @bjpenndotcom @jonfitchdotnet @danawhite Yeah make it 5 rounds!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! – @jonfitchdotnet
@jonfitchdotnet @danawhite October is perfect. I’m in – @bjpenndotcom
Its on. RT @bjpenndotcom: @jonfitchdotnet still waiting for your reply about October… or was that just a publicity stunt? –@jonfitchdotnet
@jonfitchdotnet Nice!!! (: – @bjpenndotcom
Sadly this fun war of Twitter words came to an end on July 11 when BJ Penn gave Jon Fitch and 115,000 Twitter followers the bad news.
@jonfitchdotnet tried to make it happen but Joe Silva said “the fans don’t want it & I’m not interested”. Not much more I can do on my end – @bjpenndotcom
Fitch seemed pretty surprised. @bjpenndotcom sounds like the fans want it to me. Either way we will meet again. – @jonfitchdotnet
UFC welterweight Carlos Condit wasted no time crowbarring himself into the mix through the social realm of Twitter. Condit immediate issued a challenge to Penn upon hearing the news.
The people have spoken @bjpenndotcom, they want to see us scrap, let’s give em what they asked for – @CarlosCondit
What people? I can’t say that I talk to every UFC fan in the world nor follow every MMA forum online but I can’t recall anyone ever speaking up about a Carlos Condit vs. BJ Penn fight. Regardless, Penn was quick to accept.
@CarlosCondit Yup. Let’s do it! October 29th – @bjpenndotcom
Fitch seemed more disappointed than anyone after Penn accepted Condit’s challenge. @bjpenndotcom you broke my heart, I thought you were a man of principle. – @jonfitchdotnet
Dave Meltzer reported on his F4Wonline.com podcast that the fight has not been signed, although verbal agreements are apparently in place. Meltzer also reported that the plans are to book Condit vs. Penn on the UFC 137: St-Pierre vs. Diaz event with the winner getting the Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz winner in the next UFC welterweight championship fight.
A couple of things here right off the top of my head. One, the prospect of Penn cutting promos on GSP leading into another fight is enough to get me excited about this whole idea. Two, I think GSP would destroy Penn again in a third fight. Three, it would be interesting to see Diaz vs. Penn in a battle of two Gracie students. Four, what is weird is just a few days ago Dana White tweeted a smile to Penn and Fitch during their back and forth on Twitter in regards to a five round fight. Five, don’t hold your breath for that Anderson Silva vs. GSP fight.
Six, this smells like a big conspiracy to keep Jon Fitch out of the championship picture. It is obvious when you hear Dana White talk about Fitch that he doesn’t like him. Fitch isn’t known for having exciting fights. White and Silva have done everything they could to keep Fitch away from another title shot at GSP. Any other fighter that went undefeated in six straight fights against the division’s best would have had a rematch by now. I just don’t buy that all of the sudden more fans are excited about seeing Condit vs. Penn than a Penn vs. Fitch rematch. Not for a second.
[adinserter block=”1″]Let’s be honest here and call a spade a spade. The UFC is a business and recent reports indicate that the business is way down for 2011 to the tune of almost 25%. The UFC like any other sport is a star driven business and GSP or Nick Diaz vs. BJ Penn will sell a lot more pay per views than either vs. Fitch. I get it, but it doesn’t necessarily make it right.
The Penn vs. Condit fight will also add a little more intrigue to the Diaz vs. GSP fight. If Penn does win as he should, the fans will go nuts seeing him walk into the octagon and call out GSP or Diaz after the fight. Penn may be on the decline on the fighter but he is one of the biggest stars of the sport and his rivalry with GSP is well known. It is a very smart business move by the UFC.
Of course a Condit win ruins everything and as we all know anything can happen in MMA, and usually does in the UFC.
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