When it comes to having pride in one's state, I have an almost jingoistic view. I love New Jersey. It's my home. Being from here means you have a certain chip on your shoulder due to the disrespect received by the rest of the country. This also means you love everything about the state. Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band is the greatest band on the planet. You recognize that living outside of two major cities yet having an ocean (suck it Mid West) is the best way to live life. Diners mean that at any hour of the day, you can enjoy Disco Fries which are the most brilliant culinary creation. Being from New Jersey also means that you have an "Us vs. the World" mentality and will support any hometown celebrity.
Tonight was New Jersey's coming out party. Greg Soto is a brown belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Kurt Pellegrino. He's made a name for himself on the local circuit and is one of the best prospects coming out of the state. His upset win over Nick Osipczak set the night up for New Jersey. He lives in my town and reading the twitter updates from Mellisa Pellegrino (twitter.com/pellegrino_mma) got me excited for the rest of the night.
Dan Miller has hit a rough patch in life as of late. While many know about his losing streak within the UFC (three straight losses to Chael Sonnen, Damian Maia, and Michael Bisping) some may not know about the problems going on in his personal life. His loss to Chael Sonnen happened after he and his wife lost their first child. Their son has health problems of his own and this has weighed heavily on the mind of the North Jersey fighter. Dan Miller's fight style is essentially New Jersey personified. He is a gritty blue collar fighter who fights with a ton of heart and emotion. His anaconda choke of John Salter, most famous for celebrating Jason McDonald's broken ankle, continued the Jersey win streak.
The trifecta was complete as Frankie Edgar, a huge underdog, man handled BJ Penn, arguably the greatest lightweight fighter of all time, for five rounds. Coming into this fight there were detractors. Actually let me rephrase that, everyone was a detractor saying that the fight in Abu Dhabi was a fluke and the poor judging cost BJ a win. Frankie Edgar was thought to be too small, not strong enough, and not elite level wrestling. What we whitnessed tonight was Frankie Edgar retiring BJ Penn. While BJ may flounder around the UFC in the novelty fights (Penn/Hughes3 and Penn/Gomi2) he will never compete at the top of the division again.
Last night was a great night for New Jersey. The New York Red Bulls thoroughly dominated the San Jose Earthquakes and the clean sweep at UFC 118. We have the best pizza in the world. We have the best diners in the world. And we have the best looking women in the world.
My name's Matt Roth, fuck you I'm from Jersey.
PS: Fuck Bon Jovi