UFC 118 was a unique event for a number of reasons. Beyond its base of Boston, the show was also one where the results were set to impact the public’s perception of not only the sport but many of its top athletes. How would two former champions, one a boxer and one a Mixed Martial Artist, match-up in the Octagon? Was Gray Maynard the real deal or simply another talented opponent for Ken Florian to dismantle? And, had Frank Edgar lucked out against BJ Penn in Abu Dhabi or was it time to fully recognize him for how skilled he actually is?
By evening’s end all three questions had been answered in as clear, concise a fashion as fans could have hoped for.
Maynard officially moved his undefeated streak into double-digits against Massachusetts’ own Florian with the takedowns and ground-control he’s become known for since debuting on the Ultimate Fighter Season 5. Though the end result was not necessarily pretty, it was certainly effective and earned “The Bully” a unanimous decision victory, as well as an eventual shot at the UFC Lightweight Championship.
Later in the evening, former double-division champ Randy Couture locked horns with boxing legend James Toney and wasted little time introducing the “mixed” aspect of MMA into things. Toney’s dangerous stand-up was neutralized less than thirty seconds into the fight after Couture landed a single-leg takedown and eased his way into mount. From there, “The Natural” made textbook work of Toney, softening him up with a few strikes before procuring an arm-triangle choke for the the nineteenth victory of his Hall of Fame career.
In main event action, former 155-pound champ Penn promised to offer a larger threat to current title-holder Edgar than he had when the two first fought at UFC 112. However, he was ultimately unable to do so and looked far poorer in the process than he did this past April when they first competed for the belt. Penn, who had been considered by many as the best lightweight of all time and a top pound-for-pound contender entering the bout, was outworked in all phases of the fight from start to finish and again landed on the losing end of a unanimous decision loss to the Jersey product as a result.
Next up for Edgar is Maynard, the only man to beat him thus far in a fourteen-fight career. The two originally faced off in April 2008 at Fight Night 13. The bout saw Maynard use his strength, size, and comparable wrestling skills to control Edgar throughout the bulk of the action and walk away with the judges’ favor for his performance.
The full list of UFC 118 results is as follows:
Mike Pierce def. Amilcar Alves via Submission Round 3 (Armbar)
Greg Soto def. Nick Osipczak via Unanimous Decision
Dan Miller def. John Salter via Submission Round 2 (Anaconda Choke)
Nik Lentz def. Andre Winner via Unanimous Decision
Joe Lauzon def. Gabe Ruediger via Submission Round 1 (Armbar)
Nate Diaz def. Marcus Davis via Submission Round 3 (Guillotine Choke)
Gray Maynard def. Ken Florian via Unanimous Decision
Demian Maia def. Mario Miranda via Unanimous Decision
Randy Couture def. James Toney via Submission Round 1 (Arm-Triangle Choke)
Frank Edgar def. BJ Penn via Unanimous Decision