By MATT BOONE
MMANEWS.COM Staff Writer
Welcome to our live round-by-round coverage of the UFC 118 “Edgar vs. Penn II” event from the TD Garden in Boston, Mass.
Make sure to check out the action as it happens live here at MMANEWS.COM on this page throughout the evening.
NON-TELEVISED PRELIM FIGHTS:
-Mike Pierce def. Amilcar Alves via Submission (arm lock) at 3:11 of Round 3.
-Greg Soto def. Nick Osipczak via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) after 3 Rounds.
-Dan Miller def. John Salter via Submission (anaconda choke) at 1:53 of Round 2.
LIVE PRELIMS ON SPIKE TV:
Andre Winner vs. Nik Lentz
Round 1: Lentz bull-rushes into Winner earlier, getting a high body lock and pressing him against the cage. He jockeys for improved position for a solid minute, before tripping out Winner's legs to score the takedown. Winner is immediately back to his feet. Lentz still has an upper body lock on Winner and is controlling things standing now. Lentz continues to suffocate Winner against the cage, sticking to him like glue and keeping the offensive pace at his choosing. Winner finally creates some space, but Lentz wastes no time in shooting in for a takedown on Winner's legs. Winner ultimately defends the takedown, but is back on the wrong end of a body lock against the cage. Lentz is working hard to finish the takedown, but Winner displays superior takedown defense. From out of nowhere, Winner finds enough space to secure a Muay Thai-clinch around the head/neck of Lentz, and he lands a solid knee to the face, followed by an impactful elbow to the jaw. Lentz manages to get Winner on the ground momentarily, but Winner is back up quick and lands a huge hook that stuns Lentz and has him temporarily on wobbley legs. Round ends there. Likely a 10-9 round for Lentz.
Round 2: Lentz is all over Winner at the sound of the bell, staying as close and tight as he can on Winner's upper body, as to avoid the dangerous strikes Winner has that nearly cost him (and may still have on some judges cards) the first round. Round is going very similar to the first thus far, with Lentz on Winner enough to nullify his offensive output, but not enough to get him down and move on to step two of his own offensive attack. Winner finds enough space now to land another good shot, that again stuns Lentz briefly. Lentz recovers and is back on Winner like stink on shit. Lentz needs only a few seconds to finish the takedown on Winner this time, however Winner needs even fewer to return the fight to the feet. Lentz stays stuck to Winner against the cage for a while before scooping him fully off his feet and dumping him. Winner is back up instantly, and the round finishes against the cage. Should be 10-9 Lentz, meaning Winner needs a finish or something big in this next and final round to pull this fight out.
Round 3: Same story in the third thus far, with Lentz managing to get a full takedown on Winner. He seems able to keep Winner down a bit this time, maybe Winner is fading here in the last round. Lentz gets back control on Winner and is looking to secure a submission. Winner is able to avoid the submission attempts from Lentz, but he's not able to get the fight back standing. Lentz is dominating position on the floor, advancing to full mount momentarily, before giving up the position for a submission attempt. Lentz fails to finish the submission, but does still have superior position with back control and seconds remaining in the fight. Lentz has a decent rear-naked choke attempt that he's going all out on, as the final seconds tick away in the fight. No dice, round ends. Should be a straight sweep, 30-27, across the board for Lentz in the upcoming decision.
Nik Lentz def. Andre Winner via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27) after 3 Rounds.
Joe Lauzon vs. Gabe Ruediger
Round 1: The bell sounds and both guys circle. Lauzon lands a solid punch that briefly stuns Ruediger. Lauzon is able to get Ruediger down. Lauzon is all over Ruediger on the ground, moving from position to position looking for finishes. Crowd is going wild. Lauzon is mixing in some effective punches with his ground attack, to the crowd's delight. Ruediger tries standing up, but Lauzon lands a few shots and easily puts Ruediger back down. Seconds later, Lauzon slaps on a tight armbar out of nowhere. Lauzon finishes the armbar, tightening it up just a tad to force the tap from Ruediger. Lauzon just completely demolished Ruediger. Crowd is going nuts for the hometown kid.
Joe Lauzon def. Gabe Ruediger via Submission (armbar) at 2:01 of Round 1.
UFC 118 PAY-PER VIEW FIGHTS:
Nate Diaz vs. Marcus Davis
Round 1: Diaz has the mean dog look as usual, as the bell sounds to start off round one of our first fight of the evening. Both guys come out aggressively, no feel-out process here. Diaz lands a few shots and starts his mean-guy gestures with the hands, taunting Davis. Davis rocks Diaz BAD with a combo of punches. Diaz goes down. He turtles up and Davis pounds away. Diaz somehow survives, gets back to his feet and holds his hands out-stretched, as if to say “what?” Diaz is back now, and actually sort of taking over the offense a bit here on the feet, mid-way through the round. Davis lands a good shot that semi-stuns Diaz briefly. Diaz is fine, and is answering back with punches, finishing with a hard low kick. Diaz pushes Davis into the cage and is possibly looking to take the fight to the ground. Davis avoids, gains some seperation, and grazes Diaz with a punch. Diaz exchanges with Davis a bit more before shooting in for a takedown. Diaz presses Davis against the cage and is trying to get him down to the ground. No luck, and we're in another exchange now. Wow, this exchange gets crazy! Diaz lands a few really good shots during this one, stunning Davis a bit on a few occasions. Round ends and we see a close-up of Davis' face, which is badly cut and swollen around the right eye. Diaz is shown, and he's scratched up a bit himself. Great fn round.
Round 2: Both guys stand up and the round is about to begin. The doctor steps in and it looks like he might actually stop it. He ultimately doesn't, so cool cheap pop and the second round begins. Davis comes out and is fighting with a sense of more desperation, due to the condition and attention his eye is receiving. Diaz closes the distance on Davis and body-locks him against the cage. He roughs him up a little bit before the two seperate. Davis gets a good shot in, which generates an encouraging reaction from the fans in Boston. Diaz lands a sweet straight punch that jerks Davis' head back. Davis responds with a stiff low kick, which Joe Rogan approves of. Discussion on PPV commentary now about the condition of Davis' eye, which is indeed a complete mess right now. Back in the fight, Diaz shoots in low for a takedown on Davis. He can't get it at first, but as the final seconds tick away, they hit the ground. Diaz gets top position as the horn sounds to end the middle frame. This is a pretty good fight, as you'd expect.
Round 3: Davis' eye is just a ridiculous mess as he begins the third and final round. Diaz gets his on-camera turn between rounds, and raises his hands defiantly to the crowd, which they respond negatively to. The final round begins and Davis, the little engine that could – or will at least die trying, is still game. Diaz doesn't mind, as he begins going to work on him. Diaz lands a few good shots. Davis tries counter-punching, but continues to come up short due to the height and reach disadvantage. Diaz is standing just out of range of Davis' shots, and picking and choosing his punches with his long reach. Both guys look a bit fatigued, but continue fighting on heart and pride anyways. Diaz lands a few shots before taking Davis down to the ground. Diaz slowly improves his position, and effortlessly secures a modified guillotine choke. Davis won't tap, but the choke gets tighter and tighter, and Davis ultimately turns a light shade of blue before passing unconscious. The fight is over, Diaz wins by submission.
Nate Diaz def. Marcus Davis via Submission (modified guillotine choke) at 4:02 of Round 3.
Kenny Florian vs. Gray Maynard
Round 1: And the UFC lightweight title eliminator is officially in the cage. I'm actually pretty excited for this fight, as Florian comes out to his superstar hometown reaction as discussed, and had a slight smirk as if to acknowledge it during his octagon-walk. As soon as he enters the cage, the reaction grows by leaps and bounds, and we have a fight of importance, at least to the fans in the TD Garden in Boston, on our hands. Bruce Buffer is done doing his gig, “FIGHTING!” [sharp, full hip-turn point with index cards in hand], etc. Round one is now underway. Both guys circle, and seem slightly cautious in the early goings. Life quickly drained out of the crowd, as nearly a full minute has gone by without more than a slight body twitch in the direction of the opponent, from either guy. Maynard begins lowering his head, and throwing a bowling-ball like overhand right, on a few attempts, all of which miss the mark, to wake the crowd up a bit. Half-way point of the round now, and there ain't a whole lot going on inside the octagon. During an upper-body lock-up, Florian lands a good knee to Maynard that prompts a gutteral reaction from the crowd. Maynard attempts his first takedown of the round. No dice. Florian shows very impressive takedown defense to avoid the attempt from the respected wrestler. Maynard tries to get Florian down again, this time having more success. Florian fought it off impressively for a while, but Maynard ultimately scooped him up and sent him for a ride. Maynard finishes the remaining seconds of the round working his ground and pound. The horn sounds and Maynard lands a late shot. Crowd boo's at that.
Round 2: Let's see how Florian comes out in the second, as he certainly dropped the first round after the takedown by Maynard. The answer in the opening seconds, which have passed, is that neither guy is going to be taking a lot of big risks. Not yet, at least. Slow pace again, with both guys fighting pretty catiously. Florian tries a nice kick attempt, but doesn't connect. Maynard lands a shot that opens up a small cut on the corner of the left eye of Florian. Seconds later, Maynard finishes his takedown attempt and now has the fight on the ground. Maynard is in full side-control right now, with just over a minute left in this round. He pushes Florian against the cage, wedging his head as it's stuck and jacked up against the fence. Florian's cut opened up some during all of this, as his face pops out and is covered now, like a crimson mask. Round will end on that note, and Florian is going to need a finish in the last round coming up if he wants the next UFC lightweight title shot. It's been all Maynard so far.
Round 3: And the third and final round of this fight with championship significance is officially underway. Crowd gives their respect to Florian and Maynard as the third and final round begins. Not a whole lot to write about as we pass the minute and half mark of the final frame. Both guys are throwing more than in previous rounds, but neither are finding the mark. Maynard decides to return to what has been working for him, as he takes him down again. Maynard got that takedown with ease, signifying that Florian may be fatigued, or discouraged at this point. The undefeated Maynard is living up to his nickname now, as he bullies Florian with effective ground and pound as Florian's head is wedged against the cage. Maynard is apparently cut now, despite being on top. Not sure what caused the cut. Florian out of nowhere finds the strength to return to his feet. It doesn't last long though, as both guys hit the mat quickly. Florian slaps on an oma plata attempt this time. No dice, but he's looking to transition into a triangle attempt. Florian nearly had a triangle to work with, but his leg slipped off Maynard's shoulder due to sweat, as he passed the shoulder with his leg. Maynard makes him pay for it, landing a few big shots from the top. Florian again finds himself back on his feet, this time with only a few seconds left in this fight. He needs something big here. Florian chases Maynard down, with his hands tensed up like he's going to swing for it all, knowing that he needs something big to pull out the fight. Instead, Florian remained tense, never throwing a single shot as time expires. Maynard, per UFC president Dana White's word, is now officially next in line for the winner of tonight's UFC 118 main event, the Lightweight title match between BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar. Maynard-Penn or Maynard-Edgar is in the future at 155 pounds.
Gray Maynard def. Kenny Florian via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28) after 3 Rounds.
Demian Maia vs. Mario Miranda
Round 1: Both guys make their way to the octagon. Of course Abu Dhabi is a topic of conversation as Maia makes his walk. Bruce Buffer is about to warm his legs up some more for a potential Buffer 360 in one of tonight's remaining main events. Our middleweight featured bout is now officially underway. Joe Rogan is quick to note Anderson Silva's presence in Miranda's corner at octagon-side. Maia shoots in for a takedown early. He forces Miranda to the cage and quickly gets him on his back. Maia lands some knees to the body as Miranda makes his way back to his feet. Maia is quick to put him right back on his rump. Maia is moving to take Miranda's back now. He does, as he gets both hooks in. He's punching the side of Miranda's head, trying to open up an avenue for his arms to pass, so he can lock up a potential fight-finishing choke. Miranda is hand-fighting Maia now. He creates enough space, and dumps Maia in a scramble. Maia grabs on and locks up a rear-naked choke. He loses the grip, and transitions into an armbar during some movement on the ground. He nearly caught him, but Miranda ultimately escaped unharmed. We're back on the feet now, and Miranda is working some good leg kicks as Maia closes the distance. Miranda lands a high kick as the round ends, but Maia managed to block most of the blow with his guard.
Round 2: Maia quickly shoots in for a takedown here in the second round. He doesn't get it, but manages to put Miranda on his back after a scramble. Maia pushes Miranda against the cage, keeping his back imobile, as he advances position, passing to side mount. Maia quickly returns to the front and is looking for full mount. He gets it. He still has Miranda's upper torsoe wedged against the cage, while in full mount. This is a rough spot to be in for Miranda. Miranda locks his arms around Maia and appears to just be holding on for dear life. Maia is keeping his cool, trying to remain in his superior position on the ground. Maia briefly looks for an arm triangle, but lets it go in favor of some ground and pound. Maia continues to soften Miranda up, as he appears to be showing his life drain right out of him as his situation gets worse inside the cage. Maia is looking to get hold of an arm of Miranda. He eventually lets it go and pounds away on Miranda. Meanwhile he moves to mount. Maia returns and goes back for the arm again. He drops back to attempt to close the show, but didn't have enough control to finish the job. Miranda escapes and returns to his feet. Maia is in the Antonio Inoki butt-scoot position as Miranda stands over him landing nothing-kicks to the legs. Round will end on that note.
Round 3: Maia gets Miranda down early again this round. Miranda's luck needs to improve if he stands any chance in a fight with this routine established. Maia is improving his position, eventually settling into full back control of Miranda. He's got both hooks in and he's pounding on the side of Miranda's head, I.E. – Matt Hughes vs. Royce Gracie. Maia seems to be interested in the arm of Miranda again. He's too slow and predictable with his set-up, which again allows Miranda to escape without much of a problem, much like he did in the previous round. Miranda is on his feet now, as Maia is rolling around on the mat in odd-fashion. Anderson Silva is heard yelling to Miranda from the corner. Maia looks completely exhausted. He kind of hit empty out of nowhere. Maia with zero life in him, still manages to take Miranda down with relative ease. Miranda does not seem to be trying, or is unable to mount any offense. Not a hell of a lot of defense either. Maia works his way to another armbar attempt. His sloppy ways again result in Miranda escaping and conjuring up a quick burst of energy and hope. Miranda finishes the remaining ten seconds or so trying to attack Maia on the ground while standing. Round ends. Pretty boring fight. Maia should have maybe switched to anything but an armbar after failing and putting himself and his “in the bank” win in jeopardy multiple times already. Maia completely gassed in that round, to Renzo Gracie vs. Matt Hughes (second organic Gracie-Hughes reference) proportions. Not exactly a really impressive performance in what will surely be an easy decision win for Maia.
Demian Maia def. Mario Miranda via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) after 3 Rounds.
Randy Couture vs. James “Lights Out” Toney
Round 1: Getting underway now. I know I have a burst of adrenaline as this fight nears right now. James Toney is making his ring walk now. Even with his giant K-Mart ad on the middle-front of his and his camp's t-shirts, which is complimented by the pudgey complextion of the boxer-turned solo MMA freak show participant, he walks to the cage looking to be all business. I'm admittedly looking closer than maybe ever before at facials right now, trying to sense confidence or signs of fear. If I'm being honest, I'd describe Toney's face to appear as one that is feeling the fear, but putting on a well-tested poker face. Toney bobs his head to his song a bit, giving off the appearance of relaxation. Couture's music hits as the lights go out in the TD Garden. His always cool entrance music blares as he makes his way to the cage, looking as he does for any of his other historic trips to the octagon. Crowd is definitely big into Couture, and seems to be very into this fight. Obviously no surprises there. PPV announcers inform us that Dana White is on his feet at cage-side for this one. Bruce Buffer is gearing up to do his thing. He damn near strains a nut on “fighting” for both Toney and Couture. Pretty basic staredown. Couture facially, at this point, appears leaps and bounds more confident than Toney. The round begins. Couture spends maybe five-eight seconds before diving super-low at the legs of Toney. Any real MMA fighter would've walked away from that takedown attempt laughing. Couture still managed to finish it with ease. Within maybe half-a-second Couture passes to full mount. Couture slowly seems to be looking at a potential arm triangle, unless he's just grinding Toney for good measure right now. An unusual “UFC” chant breaks out throughout a large percentage of the fans in the TD Garden. Couture postures up and lands some real nice punches, which land clean and flush to the face of a seemingly helpless Toney. Couture moves Toney against the cage and locks in a half-ass arm triangle, with Toney's body propped up against the cage. He's had it for a while and Couture squeezes for all he's worth now. Still, no dice. Couture re-adjusts his position a bit and goes back in for it again. This time Couture isn't stuck with the cage, and is able to move his own body to the side, tightening up the submission. Toney is choked completely unconscious, with his arms stuck in the air, I.E. Rich Franklin's KO of Nate Quarry. Couture wins by submission. MMA beats boxing, if that's what you want to call it. Couture didn't suffer so much as a single scratch, bump or bruise. Not sure if Toney did anything offensive of any kind in the entire fight, which lasted just a tad over three minutes. Couture completely dominates, as anyone with a brain had already expected. During his post-fight interview, the corner of the winning side announced Couture had recently received his black belt in jiu jitsu. Nice little added “MMA touch” to cap off that portion of the show. Now, it's time to remind ourselves that we have one fight left to go, and it's for the title and it's the main event. That certainly felt like the main event and end of the show just now after Couture-Toney.
Randy Couture def. James “Lights Out” Toney via Submission (arm triangle choke) at 3:19 of Round 1.
UFC Lightweight Title:
-Frankie Edgar (c) vs. B.J. Penn
Round 1: Our Lightweight title rematch, an immediate title rematch rarity in UFC history, is making its' way to the cage now. We're moments away from our final live bout of the evening, as Edgar-Penn II is up next! Both guys make their way to the cage. Bruce Buffer is doing his thing. Penn got a bigger “fighting!” than the champion. The disrespect continues. Now is your time for justice, Mr. Edgar. The bell sounds. Penn is coming out, with body movements like he's serious as fuck right now. Even with the intimidating exterior, Edgar manages to keep his cool, as he slams Penn down hard for an early takedown in the first. It was almost a big-brother situation from Edgar to Penn with that slam. Pretty damn impressive. Penn is looking for an armbar from the bottom early. Crowd reacts big, but nothing doing. Edgar keeps his position on top, but Penn is staying busy looking for submissions underneath. One more submission set-up and Edgar fish-out-of-waters it, as Penn takes advantage and escapes. Back on the feet now, Penn's frantic body movement resumes, as he continues to be one-direction: forward. Edgar remains unimpressed, donkey-konging Penn down twice. Some serious rag-doll action there, as Edgar puts Penn's physical being wherever he pleases, without much resistance. “Let's go B.J.” chant echo'ing throughout the TD Garden now, as the fans in Boston encourage their clear-cut favorite. Edgar is really doing well, landing decent shots in bunches and staying on his bike afterwards. Replays of Edgar's takedowns on Penn are scary. How can a body that small contain rage that big? 10-9 Edgar, easily.
Round 2: Round two begins as Penn looks determined to get into this fight and take it over. Penn and Edgar meet in the middle and both guys duke it out pretty quick. Edgar looking good still here, no signs of one-round aftershock fluke ability. The last round was as real as the first fight if his performance thus far in the second is a sign of things to come in the potential 20 minutes of fight-time remaining. Edgar bullies Penn again, slamming him with conviction to the mat. Joe Rogan responds to that with an obligatory “I'm sorry for you, but this is the reality” tone in his voice, as he simply says “wow.” It is a pretty disbelieving sight, as Edgar is in complete control as the second round nears the end. Penn doesn't seem able to figure a way to utilize all of his talent into one or more attacks that result in the momentum-shift in this fight. As the round ends, Edgar clearly has two of five rounds safely in the bank, needing to win only one of the remaining three rounds, theoretically, to guarantee himself the decision.
Round 3: The bunny-rabbit movements of Edgar pick back up to begin the third of five potential championship rounds of action in this, our main event of the evening. Edgar's movements continue to freeze the legendary challenger dead in his tracks. Penn really doesn't seem to know what to do with what he's going up against right now. Edgar is half way through the round now, which also marks the half-way point of the fight as a whole, and during this important portion of the fight he lands his best two punches of the night. A short uppercut on the inside jerks the head of Penn up and back, which only served as an apetizer to the follow-up bomb that visibly shook Penn for a moment. Edgar continues on, business as usual, having his way with the best lightweight in the history of the sport like it ain't no thang. Edgar bullies Penn into the cage and gets in some effective work on the inside that will add up on Penn. Penn is looking like that old version we've seen before that is in the middle of gassing out and on the verge of losing shortly after.
Round 4: “I don't see what Penn can do different to win,” a friend watching the show with me asks between rounds. “He can try some takedowns of his own,” I reply. Round four opens with a quick Penn takedown. Penn flirting with mount position now, but Edgar's small limbs and frame are making it difficult. His rabbid, frantic movement – even off his back – continues to be a shield to Penn's offensive attempts. Edgar eventually escapes and returns to his feet, and goes right back to work. Both guys standing now, Edgar sweeps Penn, I.E. Mr. Miyagi “taunting” Daniel San in Karate Kid 3 (I believe it was Part 3), resulting in Penn's body making a loud “thud” on the mat upon arrival. Crowd “ooh'd” and “ahh'd” at that. Edgar lands two HUGE bombs from the top that remind me of the unexpected violent ground-and-pound style strikes Penn landed in his victory in his first fight with Matt Hughes. Edgar has had a near-flawless performance thus far, to the disbelief and silence of a large percentage of the fans in the TD Garden. Penn needs a KO or submission, or a freak-luck situation, in the next and final round to have any chance in hell of winning back his title.
Round 5: Round five opens much as the fourth did, with Penn darting in and taking Edgar down. Again though, Penn is having trouble handling Edgar once they are officially on the ground, as Edgar refuses to co-operate. Edgar reverses position in the blink of an eye, in visually-impressive fashion. It's official – Edgar has out-shined Penn in every way possible now in this fight, standing and on the ground. Edgar remains on top, landing the occasional solid shot from inside Penn's full guard, to run out the clock and move closer to shocking the world again, as he said he would in the UFC 118 commercial that played over-and-over again the past several weeks. Two minutes left in the fight and Penn is starting to use more will-power from the bottom, to create any opening that contains options for him to try and win the fight. Penn manages to get away from Edgar finally, as both guys return standing with a minute left in the fight. I believe that's a “Frankie, Frankie” chant from, oh, I'd say maybe 50-percent of the building. Edgar keeps busy, being as awkward and stubborn to deal with as you could imagine for the final seconds of the fifth round of a fight against the all-time great in your division. Edgar blasts Penn with a huge knee, keeping Penn turtled up on all-fours on the ground. Edgar comes in to land some more shots for good measure, but the horn sounds to end the round. Penn is shakey on his feet as the fight concludes, and doesn't appear all-there facially right now. Looks like a beaten man. No “close, controversial” fight this time, Edgar just totally dominated B.J. Penn in a one-sided fight. Edgar is the undisputed 155 lb. champion of the UFC, as well as the numero uno ranked lightweight in MMA altogether, after an embarassingly lopsided beatdown of Penn.
Frankie Edgar def. B.J. Penn via Unanimous Decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) after 5 Rounds to retain the UFC lightweight title.