Fitch rallied from a first-round deficit at the hands of the former champ Penn, but was unable to earn the win after just one judge gave him the fight at 29-28 while two others called the bout even at 28-28.
In the UFC 127 co-main event, Michael Bisping scored a second-round TKO of fellow middleweight Jorge Rivera, while lightweight Dennis Siver upset Australian contender George Sotiropoulos in a featured matchup on the pay-per-view card.
The main card also saw late-replacement Brian Eberson upset rising welterweight Chris Lytle by unanimous decision in his Octagon debut, while Australia’s Kyle Noke quickly submitted Chris Camozzi in the opening round.
Notable preliminary results included The Ultimate Fighter 9 winner Ross Pearson’s unanimous decision over Spencer Fisher and Nick Ring’s robbery of fellow newcomer Riki Fukuda, while Alexander Gustafsson, Anthony Perosh, Tiequan Zhang, Mark Hunt, and Curt Warburton also earned wins.
The official UFC 127 results were:
- BJ Penn vs. Jon Fitch – majority draw (29-28 Fitch, 28-28, 28-28)
- Michael Bisping def. Jorge Rivera via TKO (strikes) – Round 2, 1:54
- Dennis Siver def. George Sotiropoulos via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-28, 30-27)
- Brian Ebersole def. Chris Lytle via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Kyle Noke def. Chris Camozzi via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 1, 1:35
- Ross Pearson def. Spencer Fisher via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Alexander Gustafsson def. James Te-Huna via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 1, 4:27
- Nick Ring def. Riki Fukuda via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Anthony Perosh def. Tom Blackledge via submission (rear naked choke) – Round 1, 2:45
- Tiequan Zhang def. Jason Reinhardt via submission (guillotine) – Round 1, 0:48
- Mark Hunt def. Chris Tuchscherer via KO (punches) – Round 2, 1:41
- Curt Warburton def. Maciej Jewtuszko via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)