|Connelly’s Top Ten: Patriots Stink and Win||Connelly Top Ten: Lester, 2nd Basemen, Michelle’s Mom||Connelly’s Top Ten: Bengals in Town – Hide the Woman and Children and Lock the Doors||Fantasy Football Start ‘Em, Sit ‘Em: Week 6, 2016|
With the rising popularity of MMA, it is great to see states that once dismissed mixed martial arts as nothing more than barbaric bloodshed are now opening their doors to one of this country’s biggest draws in the world of sports.
The city of Boston had never held a UFC event due to a lack of regulation in Massachusetts. Earlier this year, Governor Deval Patrick signed a bill that called for the Massachusetts State Boxing Commission to expand and oversee MMA events, thus opening the door for Boston native and UFC owner Dana White to bring the UFC to Boston.
Boston was buzzing over the weekend, starting with a two day fan expo taking place at the Hynes Convention Center and culminating with UFC 118: Penn/Edgar 2. All of the hype and anticipation of Boston’s UFC debut turned out to be pretty dull and Beantown was left clamoring for more.
Diaz and Davis exchanged blows throughout most of the fight. Diaz ended up clipping Davis’ eye in the first round which continuously swelled up and leaked blood giving Davis the appearance of a second head. Most thought Davis had the advantage standing up, but Diaz used his 6″ reach to repeatedly land unanswered blows.
As soon as the fight went to the ground in the third round, it was all over as Diaz sunk in a choke to win the bout via submission.
The winner of this fight was guaranteed a shot at the lightweight title, so you think both guys would be going for broke.
Massachusetts native Kenny Florian had the crowd behind him, but the Jiu-Jitsu black belt was no match for the Division I All-American wrestler, Maynard.
The fight analysis was simple: takedown, rinse, repeat. Despite Florian’s corner repeatedly telling him to “stay away from the cage”, Florian was constantly with his back to the wall and Maynard took him down at will and ended up winning via unanimous decision.
Maynard is now the #1 contender for the lightweight title and put himself in line to fight the winner of the B.J. Penn/Frankie Edgar match that would happen later that evening.
Maia is coming off his loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 112 and he displayed his great ground game against Miranda. While he did dominate Miranda for the whole fight, he attempted and failed several submissions. The whole match was Maia nearly locking in a submission, and then Miranda slipping away.
Maia won via unanimous decision with all three judges scoring the bout 30-27.
This fight arguably had more hype than the Penn/Edgar Rematch.
In what some were hyping as the definitive “Boxing vs MMA Fight”, 47-year-old Randy Couture and 42-year-old James Toney proved nothing in their matchup.
Couture is a legend in MMA, being a UFC Hall of Fame inductee and only one of two fighters to hold titles in two separate divisions. Toney likewise has impressive credentials. The current IBO and NABO Heavyweight title holder has a 72-6-3 record and has held titles in multiple weight classes.
All that didn’t mean jack in his MMA debut as Toney was easily taken to the ground by Couture. The UFC veteran’s elite Greco-Roman skills made this a one-sided affair as Toney was easily mounted, pounded on, and forced into submission via arm-triangle in only 3:19 into the first round.
Nobody was shocked at what transpired as we all could predict how the fight would go down, but in his post fight interview with UFC commentator Joe Rogan, Toney still felt he fought a good fight. Yeah, what fight was he watching?
In a rematch from their fight from UFC 112, where Edgar shocked the MMA world by defeating Penn for the title, Edgar/Penn 2 was more of the same.
Penn is regarded as one of the best pound for pound fighters on the planet and the best lightweight fighter today, but he looked completely lost in this fight. Penn had never been taken down as a lightweight fighter in the UFC, but Frankie Edgar, just like in their last fight, took him down at will.
Penn was simply no match for Edgar’s speed and wrestling. Penn had his best shot in the fifth round when he secured a takedown of his own and nearly had Edgar’s back, but Edgar, who’s only fatigue was from beating Penn mercilessly, easily slipped out of any danger and immediately gained dominant position.
The fight went the full five rounds with Edgar scoring the unanimous decision victory to retain his title and rightful place as the best lightweight fighter in the UFC.
As a result of this fight, Frankie Edgar (13-1) will now defend his title against the undefeated Gray Maynard (10-0). The most appealing part of this match is that Edgar will try to avenge his only career loss. Maynard holds the distinction of being the only person to beat Edgar, which was over two years ago at UFC Fight Night 13.
Boston’s UFC debut was met with huge fanfare, but the show itself was pretty pedestrian. All of the fights were one-sided affairs and did little to keep your attention.
Just because a fight is one-sided, doesn’t mean it is boring. In fact, Joe Lauzon put on a clinic in his preliminary fight against Gabe Ruediger. That was a completely one-sided, dominating performance for Lauzon, but it was exciting to watch.
The main card was not exciting and you could lose your attention pretty easily. Hell, no “Knockout of the Night” bonus was given because there were no knockouts at all!
On the plus side, Boston now has a taste for the UFC and you know we will see them at the Garden in the future. I just hope it instills a bit more excitement next time.