MMA fans once again have plenty to talk about after the events of Saturday night. It was one of the best fight cards of the year. The headline events were a rematch from a controversial fight back in Abu Dhabi earlier in the year and a classic MMA vs. Boxing bout between two of the greatest of all time from each sport, as well as a number one contenders fight in the lightweight division.
UFC president Dana White, who hails from Boston, said that he didn’t regret putting on such a "side-show" fight between the two legends, Randy Couture and James Toney. But he admitted that he was nervous that "his guy (Randy Couture)" could be on the end of one of Toney’s powerful fists.
44 of Toney’s 72 pro wins have come via knockout, so you could understand White and Couture’s concerns. But when the time came, Captain America proved to MMA and Boxing fans across the world that he is still one of the best at his sport, even at the mature age of 47 years old. His opponent, James Toney, wasn’t getting any younger either, at 42.
"Yeah, it went exactly how I saw it in my head," he said. "I had no illusions of trading blows with James."
Couture, the former five time UFC champ at two weight divisions took all but 20 seconds to put the Boxing champ on his back. He then did what he does best, smash you in the face and make you feel insignificant.
The contest was over quicker than you can order a Big Mac and Fries, which, incidentally, looked like what James Toney had been eating in the months building up to the fight. Couture, on the other hand, looked like the cover guy for next month’s issue of Men’s Health magazine.
"I didn't feel like he demonstrated any real solid skills once he hit his butt on the mat, he didn't protect himself, and I got to mount pretty easily."
James Toney came into this fight talking a lot of spiel, asking for current UFC Heavyweight champ Brock Lesnar. Thankfully, he didn’t bother to waste his time, as he is preparing for his own title defense in November.
But when Couture took the fight, many people asked why. Well, Toney now has his answer, and Couture will look to return back to the 205 pound division and continue what he does best, be awesome.
Despite my biases, Toney couldn’t be realistic that he would have the defense to stuff the takedown of a legend like Couture. With nine months of training, going up against a guy with the pedigree of ‘The Natural’ was asking a lot of the IBA Heavyweight boxing champ. Even with years of experience, professional MMA fighters who specialise in takedown defense would struggle.
Couture, despite his dominance against Toney, will most likely move back down to light-heavyweight to concentrate on real MMA fighters and climb the ladder and secure yet another belt around his waist.
As for Toney, UFC president Dana White confirmed that the boxer will be released from the UFC, leaving his once–never promising MMA career in tatters. You know, not that it was before he fought a legend of the sport and got demolished.
Speaking of demolished, former UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn took a beating from the current champ Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar, proving to the world that the first fight in Abu Dhabi was no fluke. Edgar was quick to start taking down Penn on multiple occasions, reversing position and dominating in the stand up game. The performance lead to the UFC president stating that it was one of the best performances he had ever seen.
"This kid just beat the shit out of BJ Penn for five rounds," White said after the fight. "Dominated him in every facet of the fight: on the ground, on top, on bottom, standup, everything."
"Frankie fought a great fight," Penn said. "He's the man. I have nothing bad to say. He's the man. What else can you say?"
People had their doubts about the first fight in Abu Dhabi, with some saying that Penn earned the win in the first three rounds, and others stating that Edgar won the final three rounds on his way to the title.
But Saturday night in Boston, there was no doubt, as all three judges scored the fight 50-45 (5 rounds to 0) in favour of Frankie Edgar. Trust me, as an MMA fan of over four years, seeing that decision rendered by the judges was rare, not because the judges were wrong, but because they were right.
"I definitely wanted to make it decisive so there were no questions," Edgar stated. "You guys ask me questions, that maybe the first fight didn't go my way. No one can say anything now."
Taking out the greatest lightweight of all time not once, but twice, Edgar no longer has any questions to answer. He only needs to avenge his only professional defeat to Gray Maynard, who is next on the hit-list after his victory over a somewhat stale Kenny Florian.
But on a night of great fights that answered more questions than any, one answer remains, and he is sitting atop of the Lightweight Division with a rather nice belt around his waist.