Photo by Dave Mandel of Sherdog
-Let me eat some crow to start. I thought it was Frankie Edgar that needed to make the adjustments in his rematch with B.J. Penn. I thought he did a good job at keeping the fight close and then taking a couple of rounds late as B.J. faded down the straight. I wondered, though, what adjustments he could even make. Well, Frankie found one. Do what he did in the first fight...better. I imagine the ten rounds between Penn and Edgar looks like a radiant color graph. It starts out heavy on Penn, then gradually moves toward Edgar until he's dominating the canvas.
-I scored this fight 50-45 for Edgar, and I don't think there will be any controversy about any of those rounds. Penn had his moments, but my notes are filled with things like "Penn looks flat" and "Edgar is making Penn react to him." In addition to the high pace he pushed, Edgar did a really good job throwing strikes coming in and out of clinches, feinted/failed takedown attempts, etc.
-What about Penn? I noted that he appeared emotionless on his way to and inside of the cage. He looked flat in the opening rounds. In round five, needing a stoppage for victory, Penn fought with zero urgency. He scored a takedown, almost took Edgar's back in a scramble, and then looked to give up when Edgar was able to turn into Penn's guard.
-Ultimately, Penn made zero adjustments in between the two fights and then made zero adjustments during the fight itself. Regardless of whether he needs to join another fight camp or bring in better people to help him, Penn needs to do alter his corner in some manner. As Joe Rogan noted, Penn's corner had nothing to offer him in terms of technical or tactical pointers and resorted to half-time pep talks instead.
Undercard thoughts after the break.
-What can be said about the Toney fiasco? Couture shot a low single that caused Toney to just about trip over himself. From there it was academic. Couture gets mount. Toney has no ability to escape. Punches. Randy takes forever to lock in the arm triangle. Game.
-Demian Maia looked very impressive again. Joe Rogan seemed surprised that Maia took Miranda down as easily as he did. I guess he forgot what he did to Chael Sonnen? Maia impresses me with what I call grappling angles, for lack of any other term. At some point in the fight, Miranda start to work back up. The traditional move for the man on top is to maintain a double leg and try to pull the hips back out. Maia, instead, changes angles, moving to the side to start trying to take the back.
-More time for me to eat crow. My gut told me that Maynard's wrestling would be the trump card in his fight with Kenny Florian. Watching the tape, I worried that he would try to box and that Florian's dynamic game would overcome Maynard on the feet. Oops. I actually had Florian winning round one up until the end, and I ultimately the round 10-10. From that point on, though, it was all Maynard.
-Marcus Davis's last four losses are to guys who breach six feet in height. I'm not sure if that's the sole reason he lost tonight (because he's getting up there in years), but Diaz utilized his length in a way that escapes a lot of taller fighters. Davis actually landed a handful of strikes that may have been the best of the fight, but Diaz came through with the boxing style that the Diaz boys have been using to confuse plenty of fighters over the last few years. I still don't know how it works. It seems so slow and awkward. But goddamn is it effective.
-I thought Joe Lauzon looked much more built tonight. Did anyone else get that feeling from looking at him?