UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn 2, Randy Couture vs. James Toney Predictions

UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn 2
TD Garden
Boston, Massachusetts
August 28th, 2010

Main card:
Edgar_penn_medium Frankie Edgar vs. B.J. Penn

Luke Thomas: As I said on The Fight Fix, I give Penn the edge here slightly. I scored the first fight for him, but barely, and I wonder where he's actually at in his career. I'm not entirely convinced he's as motivated as he's letting on. But I do think he's got more ways to win and has better overall ability. Penn by decision.

Kid Nate: B.J. Penn won the first fight and everyone except for the judges knows it. B.J. has every reason to come into this one motivated and should beat Edgar. Frankie has shown he's a trickly stylistic matchup for Penn with his slick boxing, incredible speed, and strong wrestling. But that won't be enough. Penn by submission.

Brent Brookhouse: On the live blog of the first fight I thought that Penn won the fight. Multiple times rewatching the fight haven't changed that. When you take out a lot of the factors that may have played into the first one (outdoor arena, travel, Penn seeming to be unmotivated..etc) I think you still have to favor him in the rematch. Edgar is tough and no one should take anything away from him but I still think Penn is going to run through him this time around. B.J. Penn by TKO, round 3.

Mike Fagan: I thought B.J. Penn, not looking like he did against Sanchez, Florian, and Sherk, won the last fight at least three rounds to two (round four was close). What's changed? Well, they're fighting indoors and Penn is especially dangerous when he has reason to be motivated. I'm not sure what Frankie can do to put in a more definitive performance either. B.J. Penn by decision.

Chris Nelson: I picked Penn in the first fight, thought he won the first fight, and will pick him here again. I would not want to be in a cage with an angry B.J. Penn. Penn via submission, round two.

Nick Thomas:  All Penn needs is motivation and he has it for this for this fight. Penn is going to light up Edgar on the feet and once this fight hits the ground, Penn will end it there. Penn by submission.

Leland Roling: Penn won the first time, and I don't see Edgar changing his tactics or presenting anything that's going to be surprising. Penn wins via crisp striking once again... Penn via decision.

Jonathan Snowden: Penn says he may not have trained harder for the rematch, but he rested harder. I don't know what that means, but I hope it doesn't mean another five rounds of Edgar's hyper bouncing around. Penn by submission, Round 3.

Couture_toney_medium
Randy Couture vs. James Toney


Luke Thomas: Toney is one of the most accomplished combat athletes of our era. The problem? He's accomplished in a different sport in which he's competing. I'll never take away the possibility Toney could win, but he's much more likely to catch one of the great beatings of the 21st century. Couture by prison rape.

Kid Nate: Toney has a very real chance to win. That chance is so miniscule as to be nearly invisible. In percentage terms it's less than a whole number. Randy Couture by submission.

Brent Brookhouse: There has not been a UFC fight where one fighter had such a small window to win in over 100 events. Toney needs to land clean, he needs to do so on a fighter attacking in ways and from angles he's not used to and he needs to land so clean that he puts Randy clean out and doesn't allow for a scramble to develop. If for some reason we go through the first round into the second there's no way Toney is the fitter fighter. Randy Couture by TKO (ground strikes), round 1.

Mike Fagan: There's no reason to take Toney here. Those who do should not relish in their prognostication in the event of an upset. They should be flogged for heresy. That said, I'm desperately rooting for a Toney win for 1) site traffic and 2) my own personal amusement in the drowning sorrows of MMA fans. Randy Couture by submission, round 1.

Chris Nelson: Let's go, princess. Couture via submission, round one.

Nick Thomas: Bernard Hopkins said Toney doesn't have a chance and I believe him. Couture with the insta-takedown and stoppage. Couture by submission.

Leland Roling: For some odd reason, I think this could be a huge surprise. Couture is flat out slow when it comes to moving to the clinch, but he always finds his way there. Toney will probably bomb him if he moves with any sluggishness, but I doubt he'll lay the downing blow in the first encounter. Randy Couture via submission.

Jonathan Snowden: Couture looks to be approaching 100, but even an ancient Couture should be enough to beat James Toney. The real question is whether Ariel Helwani escapes the night unscathed. Couture, TKO.

Maia_miranda_medium
Demian Maia vs. Mario Miranda


Luke Thomas: I called Maia already this week, but I'm not really confident with the pick. Miranda's got a ton of ways to make this a hellish night for Maia. Maia by submission.

Kid Nate: Miranda presents some stylistic difficulties for Maia -- good striking in the clinch, decent grappling. Maia won't be winning the striking battle, he won't be shooting for double leg take downs, and if he clinches up for one of his trip take downs he might get kneed in the face, and if he gets the fight to the ground he will dominate but won't get the kind of gimme sub he gets against wrestlers. I'm going with the upset. Miranda by decision.

Brent Brookhouse: Maia is the better fighter and that should mean he wins. And it will. Demian Maia by submission, round 1.

Mike Fagan: Nice little fight with the added dynamic of both of these guys kind of being on short notice. I have a hard time seeing it ending any other way than Demian Maia by submission, round 2.

Chris Nelson: At a later date, this could be a competitve matchup. Unfortunately for Miranda, it's happening now, and Maia will be likely come out looking to win big in his first post-Silva fight. Maia via submission, round one.

Nick Thomas: As dancingChicken said in one of his comments - "It's Miranda's coming out party". Miranda by TKO.

Leland Roling: Tough call, but I think Maia will be the better grappler. Demian Maia via decision.

Jonathan Snowden: This fight barely belongs on a UFC PPV broadcast. You can really see the consequences of their expanded schedule when something like this has a prominent place on the show. Maia, submission.

Florian__maynard_medium
Kenny Florian vs. Gray Maynard


Luke Thomas: If Florian pumps the jab, keeps his back off of the fence and keeps the fight in the center of the cage, it's honestly his to lose. That's a big "if", though. Florian by decision.

Kid Nate: Wrestling has historically been Florian's kryptonite but it didn't help Joe Stevenson or Clay Guida much. Florian's been improving his game constantly. Maynard is a huge lightweight though and a much better wrestler than anyone Florian's seen since Sean Sherk. Maynard by decision.

Brent Brookhouse: Sometimes guys developing from their core skills into complete mixed martial artists mean that they become great and sometimes it means that they lose the edge that a dominant skillset gave them. Florian has become a fantastic fighter. Maynard has drifted away from his base a little too much for my liking. Still, call it a gut feeling but I think Maynard will win a close decision where he finds himself in trouble at times. Gray Maynard by decision.

Mike Fagan: Awesome fight. I've been siding with Maynard's wrestling since Zuffa announced the fight, but I've changed course in the past few days. Maynard, for one reason or another, has been content to box in all of his last three fights. Maybe it's just me, but it seems like he's been on the shelf longer than eight months too. Anyway, I think Florian will expose him standing, and when Gray realizes he needs to wrestlewrestlewrestle, it'll be too late. Kenny Florian by decision.

Chris Nelson: The term "well-rounded" has become a cliche in MMA, but how else do you describe Kenny Florian? As Mike Goldberg might expound, Florian's well-roundedness is far rounder than Maynard's. I'll take the local with a late TKO or cut stoppage. Florian via TKO, round three.

Nick Thomas: Florian is on a whole other level, even on his back he's still dangerous. He can win this on the feet and on the ground, but I don't think Florian can finish Maynard. Florian by decision.

Leland Roling: Florian's better striking should pepper Maynard throughout this fight. Florian via decision.

Jonathan Snowden: Kenny Florian is too good, in too many facets of the game. Florian, submission, round two.

Diaz_davis_medium
Nate Diaz vs. Marcus Davis


Luke Thomas: This is a toss-up as both guys fight with reckless abandon when they get desperate. Each has the capacity to make the other guy desperate. Your guess is as good as mine here. Very close. Diaz by submission.

Kid Nate: Two years ago I'd have picked Marcus Davis, but he's peaked as an MMA fighter and Nate Diaz is only growing and getting bigger, better and smarter. Nate Diaz by TKO.

Brent Brookhouse: Nate makes too many mental mistakes and doesn't use his offensive striking in a way that also provides defense like his brother.  I just can't pick him. Marcus Davis by decision.

Mike Fagan: Check the height on the last three fighters to beat Marcus Davis. Now check out Nate Diaz's height. Nate Diaz by decision.

Chris Nelson: I could see Davis bullying Diaz around a little early on. I don't think it'll last, though. Diaz via submission, round one.

Nick Thomas: Diaz has the height and reach advantage, plus a solid jab and chin. Diaz by decision.

Leland Roling: Diaz has the advantage everywhere, and Davis turns into a plushie after getting decked a few times. Diaz wins this, then fights a fan in the parking lot. Nate Diaz via decision.

Jonathan Snowden: I think Davis has lost a step. Diaz gets back on track starting...now. Diaz by submission.

Ufc_118_button_medium

 

Preliminary card (Spike TV):

Lauzon_ruediger_medium
Joe Lauzon vs. Gabe Reudiger


Luke Thomas: I suspect Lauzon is going to put a beating on him. Lauzon by TKO.

Kid Nate: Poor Gabe. He really blew it on The Ultimate Fighter. He's a better fighter than his reputation, but he's not better than Joe Lauzon. Lauzon by decision.

Brent Brookhouse: Joe Lauzon by submission, round 2.

Mike Fagan: How the hell did Gabe Reudiger get a call from Joe Silva? Joe Lauzon by decision.

Chris Nelson: Gabe Ruediger got a call from Joe Silva because he's had six straight stoppage wins, including a sound thumping of the previously unbeaten Lenny Lovato in July. That said, Lauzon is a far superior fighter and should still pick up a win in front of his hometown. Lauzon via decision.

Nick Thomas: Have to go with Lauzon here. Ruediger has already complained about an injury and taking this fight on 2 weeks notice on Tapout Radio. Lauzon by TKO.

Leland Roling: Joe Lauzon wins after baiting Ruediger into a slugfest with an ice cream cake. Maybe Dairy Queen enters the sponsorship fold after this. Joe Lauzon via TKO

Jonathan Snowden: I hope Joe Lauzon takes this. Not just because he was kind enough to do a community interview, but to avoid the spectre of Gabe Ruediger on my television going forward. Lauzon by decision.

Winner_lentz_medium
Andre Winner vs. Nik Lentz


Luke Thomas: Lentz is a lot tougher than he looks, is more athletic than he looks and is ultra tough. Winner is he better athlete, but I'm not sure he can handle the comprehensive attack of Lentz. Lentz by decision.

Kid Nate: Winner is going to knock this kid out. Nik Lentz has better wrestling but he can't set up take downs or strike with Winner. Winner by KO.

Brent Brookhouse: All Winner seems to do is improve and all everyone else seems to do is overlook him. Andre Winner by decision.

Mike Fagan: Coinflip says never take British fighters. Nik Lentz by decision.

Chris Nelson: Kind of surprised with the lack of love for Winner, but Lentz has been hot. I just think Winner can take this wherever it goes. Winner via TKO, round two.

Nick Thomas: I'm a fan of the the Carnie. Lentz with the repeated takedowns. Lentz by decision.

Leland Roling: Nik Lentz's kickboxing will frustrate Winner to no end. Nik Lentz via decision

Jonathan Snowden: European fighters, as a rule, are straight horrible. Plus Nik Lentz is nicknamed "the Carny." That's pretty cool. Lentz takes this. Decision.

Under card:
John Salter vs. Dan Miller

Luke Thomas: I saw Salter struggle mightily against Gerald Harris in a fight where Harris failed to impress. Miller should be able to take this. Miller by submission.

Kid Nate: If Miller wasn't coming in as a late replacement I'd pick him, but I'm going with the underog here. Salter by decision.

Brent Brookhouse: It's hard to get a read on where Salter is right now. He lost to Gerald Harris as a last minute replacement and then beat Jason MacDonald by injury. Dan Miller by decision.

Mike Fagan: Just because I want this guy to get a win. Dan Miller by decision.

Chris Nelson: A must-win for Miller, and certainly a should-win. He's better than Salter at everything Salter does well. Miller via decision.

Nick Thomas: Not impressed with Salter celebrating after the Jason MacDonald leg break. Miller by submission.

Leland Roling: Dan Miller has to win this... and I think that added motivation brings him a victory here. Dan Miller via decision.

Jonathan Snowden: This looks like a good night to show up fashionably late. Miller by decision.

Nick Osipczak vs. Greg Soto

Luke Thomas: Osipczak is probably just a step up from Soto. Osipczak by TKO.

Kid Nate: Time for some MMAth. They both fought Matt Riddle. Oscipczak won. Soto got crushed. Oscipczak by TKO.

Brent Brookhouse: Nick Osipczak by decision.

Mike Fagan: Osipczak has a win over a shared opponent and a loss to a very tough guy. Nick Osipczak by decision.

Chris Nelson: No-brainer. Osipczak via decision.

Nick Thomas: A third wrestler for Osipczak here, Osipczak by decision.

Leland Roling: Osipczak will curbstomp Soto pretty easily. Not only has he fought similar styled fighters in the past, but his striking is improving as well. Nick Osipczak via TKO

Jonathan Snowden: Soto sought advice before this fight from Matt Riddle. Considering Osipczak lived up to his promise to "piddle on Riddle" that may not have been the wisest move. Nick by submission.

Mike Pierce vs. Amilcar Alves

Luke Thomas: I need to see how Alves handles a strong American wrestler before I sign off on him. Pierce by decision.

Kid Nate: Alves has a good chance but I think he'll get smothered in his UFC debut. Pierce by decision.

Brent Brookhouse: Nova União for the win. Amicar Alves by submission, round 1

Mike Fagan: Pierce is probably the safe pick, but I'll take the Brazilian who's been running over everyone. Amilcar Alves by submission, round 2.

Chris Nelson: Close fight to call, but whichever man wins will win decisively. We've seen Pierce's great positional wrestling and ground 'n' pound, but Alves - a lean kickboxer out of powerhouse team Nova União - is no slouch off his back. I'll take Pierce's experience here, though I look forward to seeing more of Alves in the UFC. Pierce via decision.

Nick Thomas: Pierce is the only one that ever came close to beating Jon Fitch. That's impressive. As long as Pierce doesn't get caught in something on the ground... it's Pierce by decision.

Leland Roling: Alves relies way too heavily on his kickboxing, and Pierce is probably going to pile drive him into the floor Zangief style at every moment in which Alves wildly misses a kick. Sure, Alves is great off his back, but Pierce is way too strong to get caught, and his positional wrestling is solid. I see this more as a beatdown of an overly hyped prospect than anything. Saying that though, I'll probably be wrong. Ahh well. Mike Pierce via decision.

Jonathan Snowden: This is Pierce's fourth time on the big show. Big game experience all the way here. Pierce via decision.

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