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Frank Edgar erases all doubt with UFC 118 performance

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

  • Dufresne says:

    For a card I wasn’t overly excited for, it turned out to be a lot better than I expected.

    I expected Lauzon to win, but I did not expect him to do it in the dominating fashion he did. That was absolutely amazing to watch.

    Diaz first irritated me (don’t put your hands down and mock a boxer at the beginning of the fight!!!), then surprised me, and then amazed me in that fight. Big props to Davis for continuing on with his eye in that kinda shape.
    I think it may be time for Davis to get some of that scar tissue removed and maybe get the bone around your eyebrows shaved down like Wandy did to prevent getting cut in every single fight.

    I wasn’t really sure how Maynard was gonna do against Florian simply because everyone that’s looked like a solid contender going into a Florian fight has come away with a loss lately. The last time I saw Florian get dominated like that on the ground was against a little hulk named Sherk.

    Maia bored me to death. I don’t know what’s happened lately, but he doesn’t look anything like that guy that came in and tapped Jensen, Herman, MacDonald, Quarry, and Sonnen in a combined time of 25:42. Since his KO loss to Marquardt he’s gone to 3 straight decisions (he only had 1 before Marquardt) and looked unimpressive in each.

    Couture couldn’t have done it any better. Getting the takedown and completely controlling him on the ground with some GnP before finishing it up with a sub was exactly what I was praying for at the start of the fight. Randy showed Toney, and the boxing world in general, that MMA isn’t simply boxing + wrestling.
    But big props to Toney for being the first world champion caliber boxer to actually back up all the crap boxers have been talking for the last decade by showing up to fight one of the best.
    I’m betting Roy Jones Junior is a bit more worried than he was this time last week…

    Mr. Frankie Edgar, I apologize. I didn’t give you a chance in either of your fights with Penn, and you’ve soundly proven me wrong.
    Edgar owned the fight everywhere it went.
    -He out-struck Penn rounds 2-5 (Round 1 went to Penn 20-9), 142-56 total strikes (94-36 in significant strikes) and was more accurate in every striking category.
    -Edgar out-grappled Penn 3-2 in takedowns (including the most impressive slam against Penn I’ve ever seen) which doesn’t seem that big of a deal until you consider that before Edgar, BJ hadn’t been taken down at LW since 2003.

  • Creature says:

    i like frankie edgar, i think hes a good champ, he prolly feel unstoppable right now, its gonna suck 2 see the look on his face when maynard takes the belt from him haha :)

  • Angry Mike says:

    Edgar will beat Maynard, imo. Edgar’s too quick and elusive even though Maynard’s a better wrestler than Penn.

  • BigDave says:

    Penn Losing was the highlight of my night, with a close second being watching Randy beat up that wind bag toney.

    There is one thing im still wondering though, Does Toney talk with marbles in his mouth? I didn’t even Know he was calling out the UFC i just thought he was on a where are they now campainge . Really the guy needs a translator or subtitles whenever he speaks in public.

  • Rich S. says:

    What a crazy night.

    I’ve always been a huge fan of J-Lau. I’ll admit, I was worried when Joe came out so damn aggressive. He’s a solid fighter on the feet and the ground, but anyone can get caught with something, especially when they’re angry and not thinking. With that said, it totally worked for him. He immediately took Gabe out of his comfort zone, and kept him out of it for the next 2 or 3 minutes. And then he took that arm as soon as he saw it for the victory. Beautiful performance as always from Lauzon.

    Nate Diaz lived up to his last name, adding another “grappler outstrikes striker” to the collective Diaz record. Seriously, he made Davis look like a chump. My memories of Davis, before this last year, were of dominance in all areas of the fight, and brutal knockouts. Now, I’m just not sure what to expect from him. To his credit, that certainly wasn’t his best striking. Diaz IMMEDIATELY threw him off guard with early jabs and taunts, and for the rest of the night, Marcus looked more like a streetfighter than a professional boxer. Nate is getting more and more like his brother, and that’s a good thing. The problem is, he has beef with some guys at 155, which may draw him back down in weight. He’s much better here at 170, as evident from his recent dominations of two solid contenders.

    I don’t understand why people find Gray Maynard boring. He doesn’t finish fights, but to me, it’s exciting enough watching how easily he takes out other top contenders. One contender that I thought would give him plenty of problems was Florian. Florian just doesn’t lose, bottom line. The guy has lost twice at Lightweight in the UFC, and they were both title fights against, at the time, the #1 Lightweights in the world. I knew Maynard would still cause problems, but I didn’t think he was going to be able to nullify all of Florian’s skills. Brilliant performance from Gray. Like Rogan said, I’m sure Florian will dissect that fight, and become twice the fighter is now from that loss.

    For starters, I commend Miranda for his submission defense. That was just awesome. With that said, that was the most timid I’ve seen Maia in the octagon yet, at least, as far as submissions go. Typically, Maia’s victories consist of slick submissions that already had the guy tapping or sleeping before I even knew what had happened. But last night, he was so predictable. At one point, he tried like 2 or 3 armbars, and held them for 30 seconds a piece before giving up on them or failing. Preparing a submission, or telegraphing rather, is the last thing you can do when facing ANOTHER BJJ Black Belt. Of course Miranda escaped those submissions, even if he didn’t have the defense, Demian gave his corner enough time to break down the entire escape. Still a solid win for Maia, but he needs to change something.

    Tony/Couture went about how I thought it would, only a little worse. I didn’t think it would be that pathetic. I, for one, thought Toney had a SERIOUS chance at winning. No, not because of his 6 month MMA training, but because of Randy’s aging chin, and Toney’s punching power. As we all know, he never even punched once before Randy got a hold of his ankle and tripped him like an elementary-schooler fighting out on the playground. From there it was just a bad, bad mauling. Mixed Martial Artists will win 99 out of 100 times against a boxer in MMA rules. A boxer will win 99 out of 100 times against a Martial Artist in boxing rules. Let’s leave it at that, please.

    In short, BJ still seemed off, and not like himself last night, but, I now firmly believe that’s because he’s never faced anybody with Frankie Edgar’s pace and ferocity. Edgar was all over him, once again, and seemed to break him mentally. Picking a winner in Maynard/Edgar is still a tough one. Maynard is just bigger and stronger, but like Edgar said, training for BJ for about a year now has made him a far better fighter, and I agree.

  • twyg says:

    Am I the only person who thinks that if Nate Diaz dropped down to LW that he could beat either Grey or Frankie? His striking looks great and we all know how good he is off of his back. While he isn’t going to KO either of those guys; his punching output combined with his reach advantage would be a problem I don’t think the champ or number one contender could over come. It would aslo make sense now that Shields is fighting at WW in the UFC. We all know how training don’t want to fight each other and a move back down would neagate any future problems from arising.

  • hindsightufuk says:

    rich, i’m one of those people who find Gray Maynard dull as fuck to watch, its not just that he doesnt finish fights (neither do Frankie, Guida or Griffin regularly), he never even seems to attempt to finish fights. i find him beyond boring, and i’m pretty sure i’ll be watching gray vs frankie on FF.

    chuffed with Joe and Nate getting awesome wins

  • Rich S. says:

    Well it seems to me that Gray is at least getting closer to finishing fights. Maybe I’m seeing things, but he was dropping some serious bombs on Florian last night, not just holding him on the ground.

  • stone says:

    I really dont think Frankie n Gray did all that well… They damn sure didn’t lose the fights but they really didnt win either (IMO). Both fights lookd like sparring matches. They were both pretty borring fights and I dont think I would even want to watch them again. BJ n Ken-Flo have got to start lookin like BJJ black belt fighters. I would love to see Nate Diaz drop back down and beat either Edgar or Maynard for the belt. The Problem is those 2 guys will strategize a decision win like they always do. Glad I didn’t pay for the card on PPV and just caught it at the bar… My two favorite UFC LW fighters are still BJ n Ken-Flo. J.Stephens, E.Dunham & Stout aren’t too far behind them…

  • MCM says:

    Nate didn’t beat Gray last time I don’t know why you think he could now? Diaz has always struggled against top wrestlers, that’s why so many people (including myself) thought it was strange that he made the move to WW where almost all the top guys are world class wrestlers. Diaz couldn’t beat Maynard, Guida or Stevenson and was even getting beat down by Pelegrino until he got sloppy. Love him or hate him (hate him), Nate Diaz is a pretty entertaining fighter but will stay top 15 possibly cracking top 10 in whichever division he chooses but will never make top 5 and get a shot at a belt.

    Edgar dominated Penn like everyone else has already stated, and it was impressive. Penn, on the other hand, just didn’t look like himself. Infact, BJ hasn’t looked like himself since 2nd loss to GSP. Sure he stopped Florian and Diego but he appeared tentative in both those fights, I think since GSP he has gotten (for lack of a better word) scarred of the take down. Once Edgar showed that he could take him down, and do it decisively, Penn mentally broke.

    Randy, well like I said before, who didn’t see that one coming.

  • gy614x says:

    As a proud BJ Penn fan, Edgar did earn my respect. He simply outclassed BJ… whats next for Penn? He should find a good camp outside of Hawaii….i know he loves Hilo and all his boys are there, but he needs to be the student for a little while, maybe at Extream Couture or even if he somehow buried the hatchet with Jackson’s……..BJ is still as dominant as he was before, he, like Anderson, simply got exposed by a great athlete and fighter….

  • Creature says:

    Well 1. i think maynard can stand with edgar, he may not be AS fast as frankie but hes pretty quick and has much more power. 2. i think he will do exactly what he did in the 1st fight, take him down and beat on him, maynard is a better wrestler than bj. if frankie manages 2 beat maynard i will not doubt him again.. IF he beats him

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Congrads to Edgar and Maynard. They will both be very dangerous when they have learned to fight :)
    Maia has come a long way with his game and it is pleasing to see. I was worried he would not be able to evolve his game but he is and has. A match up between him and Jacare is would be fantastic.
    It is a shame we couldn’t see Nate Diaz vs Noons.
    and last but not least Toney must have known he couldn’t be an MMA competitor of any substance from his training and the UFC should have also. What the hell was he doing on an MMA card as the co-main event?. This was not serious MMA comp it was just an exhibition match. Hopefully there will be no need to hold another MMA vs Boxing type of fight. I mean anyone who thought boxing was better or that a pro boxer would just kick ass was a fool anyway. I have tried to explain it to people before but the old trait of hearing what you want to nearly always comes through. They refuse or can’t handle information that changes their perception and either way they’re foolish.

  • danw84 says:

    I thought the whole “boxing is better than MMA” argument, or the other way around, was just stupid. It’s like saying “tackling is better than football,” or “pitching is better than baseball,” or any other comparison you could make. Is singing better than music? Blah blah, I wonder if Toney is going to shut up now or come up with a reason why Randy is a bitch for taking him to the ground and not boxing him.

  • manny says:

    Well if Fankie & Maynard both can’t finish fights ,how is this suppose to be exciting? Either way, I have Maynard bullying Frankie like he did on the first fight. Maynard doesn’t talk much but bc he proves it in the ring.


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