UFC 118 Boston

The UFC brings the fights to Boston tonight and Dana White and Co. have put together a pretty good card imo. Dana is on a roll. I thought 116 (Lesnar vs Carwin) and 117 (Silva vs Sonnen) were both very good and not just for main event fights. Both of those events had at least 4 or 5 entertaining, competitive fights. 118 looks like it may continue that trend. I’m going to make predictions for the three big fights on the card:

First the two Lightweight weights:

Kenny Florian vs. Gray Maynard: This should be a very competitive. Both fighters are near the top of the light weight division. Florian is 14-4, but he has lost only one fight out of his last 9 and that was to B.J. Penn. Maynard has a record of 9 win, no losses and 1 no contest. Maynard is a former All American wrestler (Michigan St.) and has developed a good standup game.
Could go either way, but I think Florian wins via submission.

Light Weight Championship fight pits current Champ Frankie against that man he dethroned, Edgar B.J. Penn. This fight should also be very competitive. Edgar’s last victory was a major upset. I don’t he will beat Penn twice, although Edgar I’m sure will be well prepared and not go down easily. However, I still think that when Penn is at the top of his game he is the best is at 155 pounds. I expect a highly focused and determined B.J. Penn to win his belt back.

MMA legend Randy Couture takes on Pro Boxer James Toney in a heavyweight contest that will be watched with great interest in the MMA world. Both men are past their primes, but this is still a very interesting fight because it is the first time a high level elite boxer will test his skills in the UFC. Although Couture is 47 years old he is still in great physical condition and should win, but there is an element of danger here for Couture because Toney can definitely throw a hard punch. Toney comes in at 237 pounds and did not exactly look cut ( the man is 5’10”) at the weigh in, but I’m sure he still has KO power. Couture has to use his superior wrestling skills to bring this fight to the ground and in doing so negate Toney’s boxing skills advantage. Couture should be able to pound Toney into submission. I predict Couture wins within two rounds.

POST Fight thoughts.

Tough night for my picks. I went 1 & 2, which brings my overall record to 26 and 13. In retrospect I let my bias toward the more established fighters, in Penn and Florian, influence my judgement too much. Maynard and Edgar represent the future of the lightweight division, while Florian and B.J. Penn represent the past. It is not coincidental that both Maynard and Edgar both have backgrounds as elite wrestlers at the college level. Fighters with a strong wrestling base have peformed quite well in the UFC lately, witness the success of Brock Lesnar, Chael Sonnen, Jon Fitch, Rashad Evans, Jon Jones and others. Maynard and Edgar are continuing that trend. Oh, and speaking of wrestlers, I was happy to see Randy Couture use his wrestling skills to quickly put James “Lights Out” Toney down and then choke out the big mouth boxer within the first round.

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