Wednesday, August 11, 2010

UFC 118 Preview - Penn v. Edgar

UFC 118 will feature of a well deserved immediate title rematch of Frank Edgar and BJ Penn which will no doubt be as entertaining as the first match. The co-main event harkens back to the roots of MMA, pitting a boxer, James Toney, against a grappler, Randy Couture, in the most interesting bouts of 2010.

PhotobucketIn the first fight between BJ Penn and Frank Edgar (12-1, 7-1 UFC) at UFC 112, both fighters were content to stand and trade for five rounds, with Penn stuffing a couple Edgar takedown attempts.

On my scorecard, BJ narrowly took the first two rounds, Edgar narrowly took the last two rounds, and the 3rd round was a toss-up. The judges didn't quite see it that way, giving Edgar the win 50-45, 48-47 and 49-46 to become the new champ.  Look for Edgar to box, get in the clinch and attempt the occasional takedown in the rematch.

Frank Edgar's martial arts career started as a wrestler in high school then Clarion University in Pennsylvania where he qualified for the national tournament every year. He went 5-0 outside the UFC, defeating solid fighters Deividas Taurosevičius and Jim Miller before being invited to the UFC. While in the UFC, Edgar has defeated Tyson Griffin, Sean Sherk, Spencer Fisher and Hermes Franca.

BJ Penn (15-6, 11-5 UFC) is a dynamic BJJ blackbelt prodigy and solid striker. Penn famously began training BJJ at the age of 17, learning extremely fast, winning tournament after tournament before getting his black belt in 2000 and winning the world BJJ championship in Brazil.
(BJ Penn Pictured)

BJ went directly to the UFC in 2001, crushing Joey Gilbert, Din Thomas and Caol Uno before losing a very close decision to Jens Pulver. After winning additional fights against Matt Serra and Takanori Gomi, Penn came back to the UFC defeating Matt Hughes for the 170 pound title. After some time in K-1 Hero's, Penn came back to win the 155 pound title and defend 3 times. His other career wins have came against Kenny Florian, Diego Sanchez, Joe Stevenson and Renzo Gracie.

In the bout between James Toney and Randy Couture, expect things to end quickly with either James Toney tapping to a choke or Randy Couture seeing stars. Couture (18-10) surprisingly has only 3 submissions on his record, but his grappling ability is still second to none. The UFC Hall of Famer and former HW and LHW champion has beat an insane line-up of challengers including Tito Ortiz, Tim Sylvia, Vitor Belfort, Gabriel Gonzaga and Mark Coleman.
(Randy Couture Pictured)

What can you say about James "Lights Out" Toney? The current IBA and NABO heavyweight champ still has power in his punches and a decent skill set. However, Toney (72-6 in boxing) began his pro boxing career in 1990 and has put many miles on the tank, despite never being knocked out. Toney's signature win maybe when he TKO'd Evander Holyfield in 2003. From recent interviews it doesn't seem like Toney got in a real MMA camp or worked much on grappling in his preparation for the bout.
(James Toney Pictured)

Kenny Florian v. Gray Maynard- This fight will determine the number one contender in the lightweight division. Florian (13-4, 11-3 UFC) will look to use his excellent muay thai to work Maynards legs and keep distance. Florian has wins over Takanori Gomi, Clay Guida, Joe Stevenson and Joe Lauzon.
(Kenny Florian Pictured)

Maynard (9-0, 7-0 UFC) will likely look for the clinch and try to dirty box. If Maynard does try to use his wrestling offensively, he will run into a dangerous BJJ blackbelt off the ground. Florian also has solid elbows from the ground to damage Maynard. Maynard has career wins over Nate Diaz, Jim Miller, Roger Huerta and Frank Edgar.
(Gray Maynard punching Roger Huerta)

Demian Maia v. Mario Miranda- This battle of Brazilians will pit BJJ ace Demian Maia (12-2, 6-2 UFC) against solid wreslter Mario Miranda (10-1, 1-1 UFC). Maia will look to set up a takedown to get the fight to the ground where he has a distinct advantage. Look for Miranda to use his wrestling to defend takedowns and keep the fight standing.

Marcus Davis v. Nate Diaz- Hometown hero Marcus Davis (17-6, 9-4 UFC) will look to bring the fight to long and lanky TUF 5 winner Nate Diaz (12-5, 7-3 UFC). Davis, a former pro boxer himself, will look to close the distance and get inside on Diaz. Diaz meanwhile will look to stay on the outside peppering his jab from all angles. If Diaz gets the fight to the ground, expect him to transition to multiple submission attempts.


Joe Lauzon v. Gabe Ruediger
Nik Lentz v. Andre Winner

UNDERCARD - Quick bouts possibly air on delay

Dan Miller v. John Salter
Nick Osipczak v. Greg Soto
Amilcar Alves v. Mike Pierce

The below video features James Toney's boxing promoter Dan Goosen discussing James Toney v. Randy Couture.

No comments: