UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn Takes Boston by storm
At 7:20pm on Sunday, the TD Garden was in complete excitement for UFC 118. This was the first time that the UFC had been in Boston. Tickets went for anything from $75 to $4500, and some fans had even lined up outside of the box office at midnight when the tickets were released to guarantee the best seating possible for the event. According to Fightline, 15,575 fans attended the event. Official numbers will be released next week.
The night began with six preliminary bouts leading up to the featured fights. The fight between Joe Lauzon and Gabe Ruediger brought the most cheers since Lauzon is a local, coming from Bridgewater, MA. Lauzon didn’t disappoint and won with an armbar that produced a tapout in the first round.
In the next three main card bouts, the crowd cheered the most for Kenny Florian, a native of Brookline, MA. However he, unlike his fellow Massachusetts native, Lauzon, was unable to defeat his opponent Gray Maynard. Maynard took the win in a three round unanimous decision.
One of the fights that had the biggest buzz was the match between Randy Couture and James “Lights Out” Toney, the current International Boxing Association heavyweight champion. For years, boxers had claimed to be better than MMA (mixed martial arts), and finally Toney took on the challenge to fight against an MMA fighter.
Dana White, the president of the UFC, had been rooting for a win for Couture to solidify MMA’s place in the sporting world. During the question and answer session at the fan expo on Saturday, White said, “I’m nervous about the fight. When it begins, my heart’s going to be pounding.” White had nothing to worry about. Couture said during the official weigh-in on Friday, “I look forward to welcoming James Toney to MMA,” and he certainly did. Couture won against Toney by submission during the first round, tapping him out using a triangle choke.
The night’s featured fight was the rematch between BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar for the UFC lightweight championship title and belt. BJ Penn was the title holder for the division until their match in April at UFC 112 where Edgar stole away the title. Edgar’s win left many questioning whether the fight and outcome was fair or a fluke. However, Saturday’s result was clear and solidified Edgar’s standing at the very top of his division. Edgar won all five rounds with his great striking speed and movement.