Now that a crazy and wild weekend from Boston is in the books, it's time for a little reflection and analysis on the event that was UFC 118.
What began as an event meant for redemption for a proud Hawaiian, and a statement to the world of Mixed Martial Arts for a "Dark Emperor," ended with profound respect for a New Jersey stud and the addition of a black belt for one of the sport's most decorated wrestlers.
In addition to the mayhem that was Frankie Edgar/BJ Penn and Randy Couture/James Toney, fans were treated to an assortment of surprises, like stars Shaquille O'Neal, Glen "Big Baby" Davis, Wes Welker, and Tom Brady all in attendance at Saturday's extravaganza in downtown Boston.
Maybe it was too much too soon for Beantown. Fans were so riled up that they began to fight among themselves in the crowd—three times, to be specific.
Yahoo! Sports writer Kevin Iole summed it up best on his Twitter account early in the evening: "Fight in the upper deck and the first (UFC) fight hasn't even begun. Ugh."
It was that kind of a night from a crowd of 15,575 that packed the TD Garden, as fans booed, cheered, and jeered throughout the five-plus-hour show. After the event concluded, UFC President Dana White showed his gratitude in the post-fight press conference.
"I'm blown away by how the media's treated us," White said.
White also paid tribute to the not-so-enthusiastic journalists who aren't big on coverage of the sport.
"I have so much respect for the people like Bob Ryan and many other journalists who were here tonight," White said in an interview with AOL Fanhouse's Ariel Helwani. "Dude, it’s Saturday night, you know what I mean? It’s Saturday night, there’s a lot of other things they could be doing. They came here and gave it a shot."
As for White's gratification of the event's coverage?
"[Boston's] media exceeded my expectations."
A nice side note to all of the commotion during the fight night was the major announcement of the UFC's expansion into Asia. White mentioned that the move will allow the UFC to be broadcast in an expected one billion homes.
Be sure to check out fellow B/R mate Josh Nason's great coverage of UFC 118 here.
Nick Colon is a Featured Columnist on Bleacher Report. Check out his many works on B/R at http://bleacherreport.com/users/27601-nick-colon.