UFC 118 – RECAP

This will probably upset a lot of fight fans, but I have never been more disappointed with a fight card than I was last night. There was so much potential for great fights on that schedule. Instead, what I saw was nothing but one-sided victories.

Don’t get me wrong. There were a few great moments on the card and some fighters showcased their skills to the fullest, but as a whole it was depressing to watch Penn, Miranda, Florian, and Davis get dominated for the duration of their fights.

On the plus side, I went 5-2 on my picks for the night and opened up a COMMANDING 4-fight lead over my colleagues. I finished out the month of August at 16-7.

Here’s my breakdown of the fights:

LENTZ def. WINNER

This bout brought back visions of Jon Fitch as Nik Lentz spent the entire fight just trying not to get tagged. The result was a lot of take downs that resulted in absolutely no damage and more time spent pressed against the cage than you’d get at the zoo. Lentz controlled the fight from start to finish and the only excitement was trying to guess if he’d get tagged before he could close the distance.

Congratulations to Andre Winner for proving me right and wasting 15-mins of my life!

LAUZON def RUEDIGER

This was a 2-minute clinic on how to destroy a man. Lauzon took the fight to Ruediger early and … well, that’s pretty much the whole story. Great arm bar to finish the fight (and I use that term loosely).

DIAZ def DAVIS

This was far and away the best fight of the night. It started with Diaz taunting Davis and getting knocked down for his efforts. It looked like Davis might score the early KO, but Diaz has a chin of granite and pulled through. In fact, I think Diaz even won the round despite the early knockdown.

It was all Diaz from there as Davis had a big gash above his right eye and barely answered the bell for Rd 2 (due to doctor’s discretion). The fight continued and I couldn’t decide if Davis has a broken orbital or if he was trying to spawn a second head for Diaz to decimate. Seriously, it looked like Davis’ face was trying to reproduce asexually – or maybe it got pregnant when Diaz’ fist violated it.

Anyway, Diaz beat him up for a while and then got a take down and worked an impressive guillotine-like choke on Davis who decided he would rather pass out than tap out. The ref called it and Diaz was declared the winner.

MAYNARD def FLORIAN

Maynard is the real deal. I have never seen someone handle KenFlo like this unless the man was elite. The Bully worked his game plan perfectly, scoring a few combos and taking the fight to the mat where his wrestling pedigree was more than Florian could handle.

Maynard won by a unanimous decision and I was honestly shocked that one official saw fit to give a round (must’ve been the 1st) to Florian. He looked like an amateur compared to Maynard. Yes, Kenny almost scored two omoplatas late in the third, but he couldn’t really contend with Maynard’s strength and I’m not convinced either attempt was as close as it appeared.

MAIA def MIRANDA

This was a 15-minute Jiu Jitsu clinic by Maia. Miranda is a BJJ black-belt, and Maia made him look like it was his first time in the octagon. How many times can one man almost score a mounted triangle on an opponent before attempting an arm bar and ultimately giving up position because it doesn’t matter in one fight? The answer is two.

I have never seen so many failed submission attempts in one fight. Maia positioned himself at will and made it look like he was just practicing submission attempts from various positions rather than trying to finish an opponent. This was especially sad because Maia will never get another shot at the title so long as Silva still has it.

COUTURE def TONEY

For all the hype surrounding this fight, it was fairly obvious what going to happen. Couture took Toney down early, worked him a bit, then choked him out. It was never really a fight.

The best thing to come from this was this was that everyone got to see how classy Randy is even after all the trash talk that Toney threw his way in the preceding months. Couture’s post-fight interview was very humble and even complimentary to Toney (who needed to have subtitles for his interview, so I can’t recap it). It was a gracious act by one of the sport’s great men.

EDGAR def PENN (the sequel)

No doubt about this one, fight fans. Edgar displayed a full arsenal of skills and Penn displayed a granite chin and slow reflexes. Even the vaunted takedown defense of BJ Penn was non-existent in this one. The rubber guard that makes Penn dangerous even on his back? That was gone, too.

The announcers kept saying that Penn was one of the all-time greats, but he now stands at 15-7-1 and looks like he may never get another title shot at 155lbs. The fight made me question his commitment to his re-commitment to conditioning and training. He looked slow and complacent even as the final minutes were approaching and he was clearly trailing 40-36 on all score cards.

Edgar proved that he is an elite guy who has the talent to reign over the 155-pounders for years to come (that is, unless Gray Maynard has something to say about it). If there was any doubt that he won the first fight with Penn, he put it to rest and let everyone know why he is the champ.

AWARDS

Fight of the Night: Diaz v. Davis – This award is given by default to the only bout where both fighters got hit. Yes, it was very one-sided. But at least there was blood and mayhem and a good finish. Diaz showcased his skills and Davis displayed more heart and guts than I have seen in a while. Kudos to both men for almost redeeming this card.

Submission of the Night: Joe Lauzon – Lauzon finished his fight in two minutes and this textbook arm bar was just the icing on the cake. It wasn’t flashy or fancy, but he took what was available and used it. Sometimes simplicity is beautiful.

I almost gave Submission of the Night to Demian Maia. He didn’t actually submit Mario Miranda, but I’m almost certain that is only because he thought it was just a sparring match with a training partner. There were so many sick positions Maia was in that it looked like he was practicing the Kama Sutra against Miranda’s will.

Knockout of the Night: My Wife– She came into the bar during the first round of Edgar v. Penn and immediately asked if Couture had knocked out “that fat boxing guy.” This comment and her innate cuteness/hotness mixed with an overall lack of other appealing scenery made her the Knockout of the Night.

I would have given the award to a real fight except for this: There was only one fight that featured any heavy hands or ground and pound. 1-in-7 (8, but the Dan Miller fight wasn’t supposed to be aired). I respect BJJ and wrestling skills as much or more than the next guy, but I was bored out of my mind watching some of these fights. The only thing that kept me going was knowing that in the final round of each fight, one many would have to make a desperate attempt to KO his opponent – BUT IT NEVER HAPPENED!

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