|Written by Michael Patrick|
Bet on the UFCIt takes a confident, versatile fighter to jump weight classes and have success, and while most fighters drop a few pounds to pursue an opponent, BJ Penn is bulking up.
Penn, who has spent the majority of his career in the lightweight division has bumped up to the 170 lb. Welterweight division.
This is not the first time Penn has come up in class; in fact, he has held the welterweight belt. In 2004, Penn defeated Matt Hughes and briefly occupied the championship before losing it. However, his record in this weight class is a weak 2-3, compared to 10-3-1 at 155lbs.
The question now needs to be asked: Can Penn defeat a strong grappler who is a natural at 170lbs? Fitch will definitely have the advantage in terms of size. He walks around at anywhere from 25-30lbs. Heavier than Penn, and if he is able to control Penn's stand-up and get him to the ground, Penn may have some difficulty. But Penn is no rookie on his back. He has proven time and again that he is a deadly submission artist.
Penn believes that he is at a distinct advantage over Fitch because the weight issue is of no concern to him. He will not spending the last couple of days worrying about excess pounds. Instead, his focus will be on Fitch and countering what he has to offer. He also believes that the fact that the event takes place in Sydney will play a role in the fight. Because Dana White wants the fight card to remain at it's normal time in the U.S. For the sake of the fans, the fighters will have less than 24 hours from the official weigh in to the actual fight. This means that Finch will not have as much time to rehydrate and refuel.
It is yet to be seen if any of this will play a role, but it definitely makes things more interesting. One thing we know for sure, both of these guys will bring it on Saturday night.