Penn-Fitch ends in draw at UFC 127

JOSE RODRIGUEZ, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:19 AM ET

It was the blunder Down Under.

With suspect judging ruling the night at Australia’s UFC 127, the main event of the night saw Jon Fitch vs. B.J. (The Prodigy) Penn fight to a majority draw — the second controversial call of the night.

In the marquee fight, Penn charged across the cage at the opening bell and pinned Fitch against the cage before picking him up and taking him to the mat for a pair of failed submission attempts.

It was a clinch-and-grind affair between the welterweight contenders for the first two rounds before Fitch unleashed a round-long ground and pound in the third.

“I think I did enough to at least win a split decision,” said Fitch after the fight.

When asked if he thought he’d lost the fight, a sullen Penn said ‘Yes.’

In the other controversial call, Canadian Nick (The Promise) Ring received a gift from the judges.

The Calgary fighter won a controversial unanimous decision over Riki Fukuda that drew boos from the crowd.

The former The Ultimate Fighter contestant was repeatedly taken down by the Japanese scrapper who landed a higher percentage of his punches and was six-for-nine on his takedown attempts. Ring failed to take Fukuda down once and seemed tentative on his feet but for a few knees in the clinch.

The judges’ decision even drew the ire of UFC president Dana White and owner Lorenzo Fertitta, who said Fukuda was robbed.

Ring’s perfect MMA record now moves to 11-0.

In the most hyped fight of the night, Jorge (El Conquistador) Rivera took an illegal knee from Michael (The Count) Bisping but chose to continue the fight despite being wobbled. The trash-talking that lead up to the fight continued in the cage with both fighters cussing at each other between kicks and punches. Bisping earned the stoppage by punches win in the second round and walked over to Rivera and said “go home, loser.”

UFC 127 took place at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia.

Australia’s George Sotiropoulos received a thunderous ovation from the crowd but was tagged twice by Russian Dennis Siver in the first that dropped the fan favourite. The ground specialist was unable to take Siver to the mat despite repeated attempts and lost the fight by unanimous decision.

Fellow Australian Kyle Noke made short work of Chris Camozzi with crisp ground work before getting the American’s back, cinching the hooks and earning the rear-naked choke victory at 1:35 of the first round.

The unorthodox Brian Ebersole — who started the fight with a cartwheel kick — landed a knee that dropped Chris Lytle in the second, but the Indiana firefighter was able to last the round. The unconventional Ebersole, who at 46-14-1 was making his UFC debut, got the judges unanimous nod in the end.

Veteran Spencer Fisher took on Brit Ross Pearson in a back and forth, tag-for-tag match that saw Pearson win by unanimous decision.

As it has done in previous fights, the UFC broadcast two of Saturday night’s bouts over Facebook, three on Rogers Sportsnet and the main card over pay-per-view.

In earlier action, Alexander Gustafsson scored a rear-naked choke victory over James Te Huna at 4:27 of the first round; Curt Warburton defeated Maciej Jewtuszko by unanimous decision; Tiequan Zhang beat Jason Reinhardt via guillotine choke at the 48 second mark of the first round; Mark Hunt knocked out Chris Tuchscherer at 1:41 of the second round and Anthony Perosh slapped a fight ending rear-naked choke on Tom Blackledge at 2:45 of Round 1.

jose.rodriguez@sumedia.ca


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