7 Conclusions from UFC 118: Penn vs Edgar 2Posted on August 29, 2010, 09:33 AM by Anton Gurevich
Ultimate Fighting Championship traveled for the first time in promotion's history to Boston, Massachusetts with a stacked UFC 118: Penn vs Edgar 2 fight card. Frankie Edgar has successfully retained his title with a dominant Unanimous Decision victory over BJ Penn, as James Toney got a wake-up call (or not) after being choked out by Randy Couture in the first round. Here's my quick thoughts about what happened at the TD Garden last night.
Dan Miller: It was great to see someone like Dan Miller getting a vital victory in the UFC. Miller lost three in a row, and was close to getting cut from the promotion. Victory over John Salter just ensures that we'll continue to see a fighter with great heart and a true Mixed Martial Artist inside the Octagon.
Joe Lauzon: Just checked some of the statistics, and it looks like Joe Lauzon received probably more bonuses than any fighter out there; Three Submission of the Night, Two Fight of the Night and one KO of the Night. Six bonuses in eight UFC fights. Joe Lauzon is definitely one of the most exciting fighters out there, but his problem is consistency. If J-Lau manages to get a streak of decent wins over top opponents in the UFC, he will be definitely in the mix for the UFC Lightweight title shot. Nate Diaz could be a great opponent in the Lightweight division.
Kenny Florian and his "unfulfilled potential": There was no secret about what will be Gray Maynard's gameplan leading up to this fight. Yet, Kenny Florian lacked the desired aggression and probably determination to go at his opponent and finish the fight. Kenny Florian is one of the most talented fighters to ever compete in MMA, and definitely deserves to wear a UFC belt around his waist. But then again, Florian struggles to rise up for the occasion in critical moments, and constantly pays the price of getting back into the end of the line. Maybe Kenny Florian should do some "Yes! Cartwheels" to rise up his confidence. Seriously: Concentrating on the mental aspects of the game might be the missing component in the recipe for creating an Unstoppable Kenny Florian.
Maynard vs Edgar fight: Many people may not agree with me, but I think that Maynard vs Edgar is currently the best option for a UFC Lighweight title fight. This is a great opportunity to see two fresh fighters, who are definitely worth their spot in the top of the UFC Lightweight division. No disrespect to BJ Penn and Kenny Florian, but it's time for other fighters to step up and get their shot at glory. Gray Maynard may be infamous for his "boring" fighting style, but he's a great challenge for a much smaller Frankie Edgar. It will be very interesting to see how Edgar (who's also a great Wrestler) will deal with Maynard's takedown attempts, and does him the same thing he did to BJ Penn. Maynard is the only fighter to defeat Edgar, so there's also a good "background intrigue" to this match-up. I don't know about you guys, but I'm looking forward for this fight.
BJ Penn: Could it be the end of BJ Penn era? I think yes. It is the end of BJ Penn as a Lightweight, that's for sure. BJ Penn promised us an exciting fight, a knockout victory, a great surprise (…) and then again, he failed to deliver for another time. The biggest surprise in the fight was the fact that it went exactly like the first one. Which means that the true reason behind BJ Penn's defeat at UFC 112 is BJ Penn himself. Not the judges, ring rust, high altitude, vaseline, Arianny Celeste, camera guy or even you – the fan. BJ Penn looked too big for a Lightweight. Too slow for a Lightweight. And too unmotivated for a title fight. To tell you the truth, I even doubt the fact that BJ Penn wants to continue fighting. But if he does, Welterweight division seems like the only option for Penn. "The Prodigy" should refresh his camp, come back in March-April and fight Matt Serra at 170.
Kimbo vs James Toney HAS to happen (not): I just wonder how much time it will take before we hear an announcement of James Toney vs Kimbo Slice Boxing Fight. In light of latest reports about Kimbo's crossover to Boxing and his connection to the "creative" Gary Shaw, the announcement of this fight is only a question of time. This, ladies and gentlemen, will be a father and mother (yeah, two in one… that's a freak show, right?) of all freak shows. And I don't blame them. This fight has a huge money potential, and a worthy sequel to the already-ridiculous MMA vs Boxing storyline.
James "Lights Out" Toney: I was telling everyone Couture vs Toney is not a freak show, but sorry guys, I have to admit it really was. As I believe in Mixed Martial Arts as a sport, in my opinion it was James Toney's right to step up and test his skills inside the Octagon. The most important questions in my opinion, are if Toney approached this fight as a Mixed Martial Artist? And if matching him up against Randy Couture was a right decision? Oh well, Dana White sincerely stated that he is willing to make an example out of James Toney, and he truly did. James Toney got what he was asking for: a quick beating by a well-rounded MMA fighter. Toney was unaware of his abilities, and what he has to do in order to survive against a fighter of Randy Couture's caliber. It's okay to call everyone out and to tell you're the best, but somehow you have to be self-critical and realistic about your chances. Toney's fight against a pure striker, Cheick Kongo maybe, would serve MMA and the UFC much better than this fight.