UFC 118: 10 Things Learned

10 Things Learned at UFC 118

Here’s ten of the biggest stories to come out of UFC 118: Penn vs. Edgar 2.

No Questions left Un-Answer-ed

Sorry – I had to.

Frankie Edgar silenced the critics and proved (again) that he not only belongs in the lightweight division, but that he’s deserving of wearing the belt around his waist, dominating B.J. Penn for twenty-five minutes en route to a unanimous decision victory.

All the pre-fight speculation circled around what Edgar could do differently versus what “The Prodigy” could improve, and in the end, Edgar showed that a similar gameplan with a little added intensity was all it took to hand Penn another defeat and maintain his title. The stick-and-move style worked again, but there was more ferocity on his takedowns and exchanges, perhaps Edgar’s way of getting out the anger that accumulated over four months of hearing he didn’t deserve the title and was going to get beaten in the rematch.

Edgar dominated Penn like we have never seen in the lightweight division, adding insult to injury by scrambling effectively when Penn brought the fight to the ground. While he’s got another tough test in his future, for now, Edgar deserves nothing but praise and congratulations for another impressive performance.

The Shifting Legacy of B.J. Penn

Before the fights Saturday night, I wrote a piece at my blog for the Vancouver-based newspaper I work for asking if we’ve all been buying into the B.J. Penn mystique for far too long. Watching “The Prodigy” look decidedly non-prodigious, it looks like maybe we have.

Make no mistake about it: Penn is a supremely gifted talent who could be one of the greatest fighters of all-time, but his legacy might be moving closer to “imagine what could have been” territory.

Some fighters work every day to prove why they are considered the best in the world (see St-Pierre, Georges), while others are willing to accept the accolades and get by on their natural gifts. That is where Penn rests right now, and he’ll stay there for eternity if he doesn’t make some changes.

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