UFC 127 Betting Odds for Penn vs Fitch

By Paul Monday, February 14, 2011
BJ Penn (+170) vs Jon Fitch (-200)

It's a fight we've all been talking about but the betting public is liking BJ less and less. BJ opened as a very slight dog and is now edging toward a 2 to 1 underdog. Pretty amazing for a title holder in two weight classes and someone just coming off a huge KO win.

MMA Betting

People seem more focused on BJ's past losses to both Edgar and St Pierre. Pierre won with wrestling and speed and Edgar won with speed and a touch of wrestling as well. Fitch doesn't pose a speed problem, but certainly a wrestling problem. Fitch is possibly the most consistent and controlling fighter in the division. St. Pierre is the only fighter to beat him and he did it with a combination of better wrestling and crisp standup.

So is Fitch's consistent style good or bad at this level? BJ recently brought in his last opponent Matt Hughes to improve his ability to deal with a wrestler. It's an amazing move to bring in someone seen as a bitter rival and someone you just beat to work on your game.  This also shows a lot of respect on both sides and that BJ is thinking very seriously about this fight. The reality is if he beats Fitch he'll likely be up for a shot at the title.

Even lacking in reach, BJ will hold the advantage on the feet. Fitch will likely be able to take it to the ground whenever he wants to. What happens when it goes to the ground is the big question. BJ's Jiu Jitsu has finished many fights and after working with someone like Hughes, he'll have more chokes and setups specific to wrestlers ready in his arsenal. Fitch has never been submitted, but in a couple of past bouts he put himself in serious danger from front chokes, guillotines, and Darce chokes. Fitch was always able to power his way out of these, but it's the biggest hole in his ground game and he'll be up against one of the best BJJ finishers in the UFC.

At +170 BJ Penn has good value. He has several ways to win and is much more than 37% likely to win this fight. It's Fitch's fight to lose and Penn's to win.

You wanna make a bet....
Desert Dog

I have followed the UFC for over 10 years, written as a handicapper, and spent my spare time as an online poker grinder. Unfortunately, I ran out of legal wagering options...Thank god for Daily Fantasy Sports and the much needed addition of MMA drafts. I offer my insight into MMA fight handicapping and fight analysis for the purpose of making some dough at DFS!

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