Who were the winners and losers Saturday night? Well there were some definite losers, Chris Lytle and George Sotiropoulos was another. Lytle obviously took his opponent, Brian Ebersole lightly. I get it considering Ebersole took this fight on about two weeks notice, but then again it's a fight. The second I see a guy doing a cartwheel at me while we are locked in a cage, I'm going to be really serious! Sotiropoulos on the other hand was a highly touted LW and to some the future of the division. I didn't see it, he's a Jake Shields, but not as good. He has a strong jiu jitsu game, and rudimentary stand up. Dennis Siver worked hard at takedown defense, and it payed of for the German kick boxing champion.
The Biggest loser of the night, Michael Bisping. I'll admit, I like him, and have no problem with trash talking or talking trash even after the fight. Spitting on the corner of Rivera, very classless. The blatant ilegal knee, unforgivable! In a sport that is obviously violent, there is no place for purposely breaking the rules, especially if it's a cheap shot. I understand grabbing the fenc happens, it's a reflex. Kneeing an opponent that is 100% grounded, square in the nose/fore head is unconscionable! His win bonus should be taken away as a fine and an immediate suspension of no less than a year should be handed down. Not only for these actions, but admitting it was done on purpose? Is he that dumb?
BJ Penn vs. Jon Fitch was a good fight. I don't think too many people expected Penn to go in for a takedown, never mind successfully complete a few. When Penn got Fitch's back, I expected it to be the beginning of the end, but Fitch proved his BJJ is adequate enough to not only survive, but reverse position.
In between the second and third rounds, I could tell it was going to be a long third. BJ was gassed and was going to offer nothing in a way of defense. But in my head, he had at LEAST won one round, probably the first two, and at worst won the first and drew a 10-10 second. So in my mind, the worst possible outcome for Penn was a draw.
The third round went as expected (by me) and the fight went to the judge's. When the first score was read 29-28 Fitch, I figured split decision. When the next two cards were read and the fight ultimately called a draw, I felt it was the right call. I also thought it may be time for BJ to call it a career.
Post fight, Penn, holding back tears reluctantly said he'd rematch Fitch. What is he supposed to say? He wanted to retire, win or lose. He wants to go to Hilo, be a father and mange a gym. He wants to be a family man. Just like superstars before him, he wants to go out on top, but also loves the competition. Michael Jordan made how many comebacks? Brett Favre? BJ Penn may retire in the very near future, but the right fight or right fighter will come along and Penn will want to challenge him. You can look at all the "superstars" of the sport, who has faced as many top 10 or top P4P fighters as Penn has? Love him or hate him, he's a true pioneer and legend of the sport!