Penn tipped the scales at 167 pounds for his UFC 127 headliner against Fitch (170) on Sunday at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia. The eight other men slated for main card duty -- including co-headliners Michael Bisping (185.25) and Jorge Rivera (185) -- also met their contracted weight requirements at Saturday’s official weigh-in.
One of only two men -- Randy Couture being the other -- to hold UFC titles in two weight classes, Penn last appeared at UFC 123 in November, when he blitzed hall of famer Matt Hughes in a 21-second technical knockout at The Palace of Auburn Hills in Auburn Hills, Mich. The jaw-dropping victory marked the 32-year-old Hawaiian’s return to the welterweight division and put the brakes on a two-fight losing streak. Penn owns notable wins over two-time lightweight title contender Kenny Florian, “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 1 winner Diego Sanchez, former UFC lightweight champion Sean Sherk, ex-UFC welterweight kingpin Matt Serra and one-time Pride Fighting Championships lightweight titleholder Takanori Gomi. He owns a 12-6-1 mark in the UFC. Only two men have ever finished him.
Fitch will carry a five-fight winning streak into the match. What’s more, he has rattled off 21 wins in his last 22 appearances, losing only to current welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre in that span. Often criticized for his plodding but effective style, Fitch has not competed since UFC 117 in August, when he outpointed American Top Team’s Thiago Alves en route to a unanimous decision at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif. The 33-year-old Fort Wayne, Ind., native wrestled collegiately at Purdue University, where he was a four-year letterman. Spawned by the American Kickboxing Academy, he holds a stellar 13-1 record inside the Octagon.
UFC 127 -- which also features a lightweight tilt pitting George Sotiropoulos (155.75) against Dennis Siver (156), a welterweight duel pairing the resurgent Chris Lytle (169.75) with Brian Ebersole (169.75) and a middleweight matchup between Kyle Noke (184) and Chris Camozzi (184.25) -- will air live on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET/7 p.m. PT. An hour prior, Ion Television will carry a trio of fights from the undercard: Ross Pearson (155.25) vs. Spencer Fisher (154.5), James Te Huna (204.5) vs. Alexander Gustafsson (205) and Nick Ring (185) vs. Riki Fukuda (185). In addition, the UFC will stream two bouts -- Anthony Perosh (204.5) vs. Tom Blackledge (205) and Jason Reinhardt (145.25) vs. Tie Quan Zhang (145) -- on its Facebook page at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.
UFC 127 “Penn vs. Fitch”
Sunday, Feb. 27
B.J. Penn (167) vs. Jon Fitch (170)
Michael Bisping (185.25) vs. Jorge Rivera (185)
George Sotiropoulos (155.75) vs. Dennis Siver (156)
Chris Lytle (169.75) vs. Brian Ebersole (169.75)
Kyle Noke (184) vs. Chris Camozzi (184.25)
Ross Pearson (155.25) vs. Spencer Fisher (154.5)
Alexander Gustafsson (205) vs. James Te Huna (204.5)
Nick Ring (185) vs. Riki Fukuda (185)
Mark Hunt (262.25) vs. Chris Tuchscherer (260)
Curt Warburton (154.5) vs. Maciej Jewtuszko (155.75)
Anthony Perosh (204.5) vs. Tom Blackledge (205)
Tie Quan Zhang (145) vs. Jason Reinhardt (145.25)
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