The UFC 118 Preview by Macho Rhino Magazine
UFC 118 is tonight and the championship fight on the card is being overshadowed by the other main event. Randy Couture takes on former boxing champ James Toney in Boston and that’s taking more of the attention than Frankie Edgar defending his belt against former lightweight champ B.J. Penn. Edgar beat Penn earlier this year in a big upset and is out to show he is the better fighter by defending his belt. This is a great card tonight so tune in on PPV at 10 PM ET.
NATE DIAZ VS. MARCUS DAVIS – Diaz will have to use his reach advantage to keep Davis at bay because Davis could turn the lights out early in this one. If it goes to the ground, Davis doesn’t have much of a chance. Diaz will control the ground action and more than likely submit Davis if it ends up there. Nate’s been improving his stand-up but he’s not going to want to stand and trade with Davis.
THE PICK: DIAZ VIA SUBMISSION (ROUND 2)
DEMIAN MAIA VS. MARIO MIRANDA – Miranda is coming in to this fight having not had a full month to prepare and he’s stepping up big time in competition. While he has ground skills, I can’t see them being comparable to Maia’s. Demian has been tested in the Octagon and should win this fight convincingly.
THE PICK: MAIA VIA SUBMISSION (ROUND 2)
KENNY FLORIAN VS. GRAY MAYNARD – The winner of this fight should step up for a title shot against the winner of the night’s main event. This is the biggest fight of Maynard’s career. He’s been impressive so far in the Octagon but hasn’t fought anyone the caliber of Florian. Maynard needs to find a way to get this fight to the ground and try to batter Florian there ala Sean Sherk. Standing, Maynard will get picked apart by Florian’s superior striking. Kenny Florian is improved on the ground but will he be able to keep Maynard from taking him down? I think it’s a back and forth fight but Kenny Florian’s experience and skill will get him another title shot.
THE PICK: FLORIAN VIA DECISION
RANDY COUTURE VS. JAMES TONEY – James Toney makes his MMA debut against a former UFC Champion. Not ideal but he wants to make a statement. I’m impressed Toney was willing to take this fight, knowing he’s going against a ground and pound fighter like Couture in his first test in the Octagon. Toney is the former boxing champ looking to show boxers can be successful in MMA. Couture just likes to compete. I can’t see this fight lasting long. Randy should have no trouble coming out and getting Toney to the ground and pounding him out from there. I’ll be surprised if it makes it to round 2.
THE PICK: COUTURE VIA TKO (ROUND 1)
FRANKIE EDGAR (CHAMPION) VS. B.J. PENN – Frankie Edgar makes his first title defense against the man he beat for the belt. I was stunned Edgar was able to convincingly defeat Penn. He was the better man that night. You’ve got to think Penn will be motivated and have put in the work to be ready to take his title back. Is Edgar ready for a focused Penn? There’s not going to be any catching B.J. by surprise in this fight. I think Edgar will be ready for it. He’s always been a scrapper who hangs in the fight and does what it takes to win. I think B.J. is motivated and reclaims his spot as the best lightweight fighter in the world.
THE PICK: B.J. PENN VIA TKO (ROUND 4)