Octagonside by Robert Kravantka
Photos by Ed Mulholland
Many said that his first victory in April was a fluke and UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar willingly accepted a rematch. In the main event of UFC 118 Edgar defeated former champion BJ Penn for a second time via unanimous decision. Edgar controlled the pace of the fight with lightening fast footwork, slick takedowns, and quick in-and-out punching. Edgar was a step ahead of his opponent for all five rounds, and Penn appeared winded and off balance for most of the fight. In the fourth round Penn was able to take Edgar to the mat but failed to capitalize. Edgar stayed aggressive in round five and finished the bout still-pursuing the challenger. Scores all read the same, 50-45.
47 year old Randy “The Natural” Couture needed just 3:19 to hand five-time world boxing champion James “Lights Out” Toney his first professional defeat in the sport of mixed martial arts. Toney began the contest by assuming his traditional boxing stance but was taken to the canvas with ease by the Hall-of-Famer Couture. Once on the ground, Toney proved to be truly out of his element as he was unable to defend the punches raining down to his head from his well-positioned opponent. Toney was unable to produce any kind of effective defense against “The Natural” and soon found himself in a tight arm triangle choke. It was only a matter of time before Toney was forced to submit.
Middleweight Demian Maia utilized his MMA-best jiu jitsu abilities to shut out opponent Mario Miranda over three lopsided rounds. Scores all read the same, 30-27. To Miranda’s credit he was able to defend many submission attempts from the former title challenger.
Lightweight Gray Maynard set himself apart as the number one contender for the 155 pound title by winning a hard fought decision over former title challenger Kenny Florian. Scorecards ready 30-27 twice and 29-28 in favor of Maynard.
Lightweight Joe Lauzon made quick work of a returning Gabe Ruediger with a tight armbar just 2:01 into the first round. TUF 6 winner Nate Diaz passed the toughest test of his career by choking out Marcus Davis with a tight guillotine choke. Davis refused to tap and went unconscious at 4:02 of the third and final round. Lightweight Nik Lentz defeated TUF 9 veteran Andre Winner by unanimous decision. Scorecards read 30-27 twice and 29-28 in favor of Lentz. Welterweight Greg Soto was awarded a unanimous decision victory over TUF veteran Nick Osipczak. All three judges scored the bout the same, 29-28. Mike Pierce submitted Amilcar Alves at 3:11 with a tight armbar in the third and final round.