The king is dead. Long live the king. When Frankie Edgar won the lightweight title from BJ Penn at UFC 112, there was a question mark attached. The decision over the legendary BJ Penn was iffy and fans didn't seem to buy him as the real champion.
After five more rounds at UFC 118, there are no more questions. BJ Penn came into his rematch with Frankie Edgar as the clear favorite, and in many ways this fight was a repeat performance of the first, with more of an edge to Edgar. Frankie had the answer to BJ's stand up early on in the first, using his speed and movement to avoid BJ's hands. Edgar was almost able to take BJ down at will, going as far as slamming Baby J later on in the first.
Edgar dominated Penn for 25 minutes on his way to a unanimous decision. Penn had no answer for Edgar's quickness and wrestling acumen. The champion was able to crack him standing and took him down several times, much to Joe Rogan's amazement.
There was a brief glimmer of hope for Penn fans when late in the fight Penn took Edgar down and quickly transitioned to a mount, but Edgar was able to squeeze a leg in and secure half guard before standing back up. Penn looked lost against the much quicker Frankie Edgar throughout the fight
In the end, Penn looked befuddled. Rogan discussed a move to 170 pounds, but he's already lost twice to the champion in that division, the amazing Georges St. Pierre. At just 31, Penn seems a fighter past his prime, a relic from another generation.
Nothing has changed since UFC 1 back in 1993. We learned then that a boxer can't defend against the takedown or the submission. Seventeen years later, that lesson still applies. As the crowd chanted "UFC, UFC, UFC" Randy Couture took down and submitted boxer James Toney in the first round.
James Toney against Randy Couture was destined to be a freakshow from the second it was announced. All of the talk about training partners getting subbed by Toney went up in smoke within seconds of the bell ringing when Randy immediately took James Toney to the mat and mounted him.
Couture rained down blows and was able to get Toney into the cage and lock in a loose head and arm choke. Toney survived, but Couture was finally able to lock it in tight and get a submission.
Toney talked trash for a month before the fight, but once the bell rang he seemed confused, seemingly unprepared to defend against basic MMA holds. Couture celebrated like he had won the Super Bowl and an unintelligible Toney interview with Joe Rogan put an exclamation point on the night.
Mario Miranda did his best to hang with Maia, but as soon as Maia took Miranda down in the beginning of the first and had Miranda's back it was clear there was a difference in skill.
It wasn't always fun to watch, but Maia was constantly looking to finish the fight. It was a clinic, but Miranda never lost faith. When Maia looked for an armbar or triangle, Miranda would explode and weasel his way out of the hold. It wasn't enough to make it competitive, but at least he was able to survive the to hear the decisions read.
Kenny Florian fought in front of his hometown crowd like he didn't want to lose while Gray Maynard fought his kind of fight. "Don't force anything," Florian's brother Keith shouted from the corner.
That wasn't going to be a problem in the first round for Florian or his opponent Gray Maynard. Both men were very cautious in an evenly fought first round.
With less then a minute left Maynard finally got a takedown, but was unable to improve his position or land any telling blows. Still, after four minutes of feeling each other out, Maynard stole the round with a single takedown.
The rest of the fight was rinse and repeat. The second round saw more of the same with Maynard controlling the pace of the bout. Florian simply couldn't stop the takedown and Maynard controlled him on his way to an easy decision.
The third round was looking to go the same way as Keith Florian was losing his voice from bellowing his shrill cries for nearly fifteen minutes before Kenny decided to start working his jiu-jitsu. It was too little too late as Maynard was able to defend two omoplata attempts and secure his decision victory in a snoozefest.
The crowd wasn't split at all. They were solidly behind Marcus Davis, chanting "Diaz sucks." But with a series of looping punches, Nate Diaz split the Irish Hand Grenade's eye open in the first round.
Davis was covered in blood, but with referee Yves Lavigne's timely plea to the doctor to let them fight, the show went on. Lavigne saved Davis' chances but it didn't help him much in the long run. The next round and a half saw Diaz just work on the cut until it was a giant gaping hole.
The huge cut on the right eye gave Diaz a target, one he wasn't afraid to hit again and again. By the opening of round three, the cut was enormous and even the referee was begging Davis to protect his eye.
After taking it to Davis for most of the fight standing, Diaz finally decided to take it to the ground. He quickly passed guard and finished the fight with a super tight guillotine. If I ever want someone to suffer serious damage, I'll recommend Yves Lavigne oversee the affair.
Gabe Ruediger's best move this weekend was bringing a cake with him to the weigh ins. It said "Sorry for your loss."
He gave it to Joe Lauzon, but probably should have kept it for himself.
The first round went fast and furious, as Lauzon quickly got the fight to the ground and was all over Ruediger who did his best to defend. They changed positions more times in the first minute and a half than vintage Ron Jeremy before Lauzon finally began raining down strikes.
For two minutes, Lauzon demolished Ruediger. He tossed him to the mat, took his back, mounted him, and pounded away.
Eventually, Ruediger gave up an arm which Lauzon was able to twist into an armbar to finish the fight in front of his hometown crowd. Boston finally seems satiated in their quest to see wanton destruction.
Before Lauzon wowed them, the crowd in Boston wasn't shy about letting the fighters in the night's opener on SPIKE TV know how they felt. Boos and chants of boring rained down on Andre Winner, but he might not have heard them with Nik Lentz smothering him for three rounds.
Winner, the runner up on the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter (TUF), was never able to unleash his vicious standup on the Minnesota based wrestler.
"An ugly, ugly win for Nik Lentz," Joe Rogan told the world. Truer words have rarely been spoken.
That’s enough from us — now it’s your turn to discuss "Edgar vs. Penn 2" in the comments section below. Sound off, Maniacs.
For complete UFC 118 results and detailed blow-by-blow commentary of the televised main card fights click here.