Two welterweights in desperate need of a win fought for their UFC lives last night (Oct. 5, 2012) as Justin Edwards battled grizzled veteran Josh Neer in the opening bout of the UFC on FX 5 main card in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Edwards had gone to a decision in all three of his previous UFC appearances and hadn't shown much to convince the upper brass to keep him around.
But last night was different.
The Jorge Gurgel-trained fighter lived up to his "Fast Eddy" moniker by blitzing Neer and putting him away just 45 seconds into the fracas with his go-to move, the guillotine choke.
So how did Edwards handle a seasoned veteran like Neer? And what happens next to both men?
Early on, Edwards bullrushed Neer with a flurry of punches, backing him into the fence and initiating a clinch while looking for a takedown. He could not put Neer on his back, but when "The Dentist" fired back by grabbing full underhooks and thinking about a takedown of his own, Edwards sprang into action.
With Neer's neck undefended, Edwards jumped until him, wrapping him up in a guillotine choke and hanging on for dear life.
As Edwards got his legs connected in the standing guard, he put his hips into it and Neer gave up the standing position to go to the ground after being unable to pry his head free.
Neer looked to be out cold within seconds of going to the ground, but his positioning forced the hold to be held a couple seconds long.
Regardless, Edwards more than made up for his prior poor performances with this solid showing.
For Josh Neer, he definitely did not see this coming. He did not expect Edwards to be so aggressive with the strikes early and he certainly wasn't prepared for Edwards' guillotine choke. This was definitely a case of taking an opponent too lightly. He had no excuse for leaving his neck so exposed while working for the double underhooks, especially considering Edwards has finished three fights prior in the first minute...all with a guillotine choke.
With the loss, I expect Neer to be cut from the UFC for the fourth time in his MMA career. Edwards was about as bottom of the barrel in the division so there's no one left for him to face unless they feed him to a prospect.
For Justin Edwards, this was exactly the type of performance he needed to show what he's capable of. He was aggressive, confident and very dangerous. He showed Neer zero respect and that's exactly the type of attitude you have to take if you want to beat a solid veteran. He saw an opportunity and he pounced on it with zero hesitation. Major props to him for scoring the biggest win of his young career.
Potential next opponents for Edwards include Che Mills, Gunnar Nelson or perhaps Sean Pierson.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Were you surprised by "Fast Eddy's" quick finish of Neer? What's your opinion on his ceiling in the division now? Should Neer get his walking papers for a record fourth time?
For complete UFC on FX 5 results, including blow-by-blow, fight-by-fight coverage of the entire event as well as immediate post-fight reaction click here, here and here.