Steelers’ Picks – UFC 118 EDGAR v. PENN 2


UFC 118 is coming up. I feel it is only fair that I go ahead and make my predictions first. Should be a great card with some potentially outstanding fights. The rematch of Edgar v. Penn will prove whether or not Edgar is a legit champion. Couture v. Toney will determine which over-the-hill fighter is more bat shit crazy in thinking he should still be doing this at advanced age. Florian v. Maynard will determine who will be the next challenger for the Lightweight title. A win over Maia would put Mario Miranda in the discussion for a title shot.

Lots of potential in this one and hopefully lots of excitement.



ANDRE WINNER v. NIK LENTZ

Not a whole lot to write about this one. I am (sadly) not very familiar with either fighter. My prediction comes down to this: anyone who has to go on TUF to get into the UFC (recently, I’m not trying to bad mouth Griffin, Bonnar, Sanchez, Evans, etc) is NOT as good as their record shows. Until proven wrong, I will assume that Winner is not as good as advertised. LENTZ

JOE LAUZON v. GABE RUEDIGER

Both men have some impressive submission skills, with 26 of their 35 combined wins coming by way of tap out. Ruediger hasn’t lost in two years and carries an impressive 6-fight win streak into this match up. J-Lau is just 2-2 in his last four matches – with losses to Kenny Florian and Sam Stout. Stylistically, this is a hard match to call, but I will take the man who has faced tougher competition. LAUZON

NATE DIAZ v. MARCUS DAVIS

Diaz needs a win after dropping 3 of 5, and Marcus Davis hasn’t faired much better. The bottom line for this is that Davis brings pure boxing and heavy hands against the more rounded skills of Diaz. If the fight stays standing, Davis may land enough big punches to win it. However, there seems little chance that Diaz will keep this fight on the feet if he feels at all threatened. He may even be a better striker than Davis, and he definitely has the skills to finish it on the mat. DIAZ

DEMIAN MAIA v. MARIO MIRANDA

Another match-up of BJJ v. striking. In this case, Maia is a world-class BJJ practitioner and Miranda has a good stand-up game with a really strong clinch game. If Maia can take this fight to the ground without getting knocked out, he will win easily. For as long as the fight stays standing, Miranda has a distinct upper-hand. I don’t think Maia will let this fight take place on the feet after what happened against Silva. MAIA

KENNY FLORIAN v. GRAY MAYNARD

KenFlo is one of the best tacticians in the octagon. He has demonstrated over and over that he is always prepared and that he is deadly if he can work his game plan. He has the best elbows this side of Jon “Bones” Jones and loves to use them. He is also dangerous on the ground and can end a fight from anywhere. Maynard needs to take the fight to the ground and remain on top to have a prayer. If he can get there and hold on, he has a chance. However, Florian is much more well-rounded fighter and will have ample opportunity to make this HIS fight. FLORIAN

RANDY COUTURE v. JAMES TONEY

This fight is a spectacle more than a real test of MMA v. Boxing. I love Randy Couture, but he is well past his prime and should have retired a while back. James Toney has been slowly ballooning in weight since the turn of the century and is nowhere near the fighter that he once was (He was 36-0 and featured on the SNES game “Greatest Middleweights” alongside of Jake LaMotta and the Sugar Rays). Yes, Toney has a puncher’s chance, but that isn’t going to be enough against a seasoned vet like Randy. It’ll be lights-out for “Lights-Out” and this dog-and-pony show can be put to rest. COUTURE

FRANKIE EDGAR (LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION) v. B.J. PENN

Edgar deserves plenty of respect for beating Penn in their first go-round, so I will refrain from calling him “The Situation” for the remained of this write-up. I still believe that Penn is the best lightweight in the world when he has prepared properly. He may be slower than Edgar, but he is much more powerful and has almost no flaws in his game. Do not expect a repeat. PENN

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