Heavy.com is live in Boston, Massachusetts for this evening’s highly anticipated UFC 118.
The card features a lightweight championship rematch between title-holder Frankie Edgar and former longtime champion BJ Penn, while James Toney and Randy Couture face off in the co-main event of the evening in a boxer vs. mixed martial artist showdown.
However, before the main card gets underway on pay-per-view at 10 p.m. ET, the Heavy MMA crew will be bring you live results from the preliminary action beginning around 7:20 p.m. ET tonight.
The preliminary card features two bouts that will be broadcast live on Spike TV, including Joe Lauzon vs. Gabe Ruediger and Nick Lentz vs. Andre Winner. The undercard also includes a middleweight tilt between Dan Miller and John Salter, a welterweight showdown between Amilcar Alves and Mike Pierce, and is rounded out with a welterweight contest between Nick Osipczak and Greg Soto.
Tune into Heavy.com around 7:20 ET tonight for all the action from UFC 118 in Boston.
Amilcar Alves vs. Mike Pierce
In the evening’s opening bout, Pierce’s gameplan was clear, but I can’t say anyone should have been surprised. The powerful wrestler wasted little time attempting to get the fight to the floor and, on his second try, was postured up in Alves’ guard. After a big shot and a transition into side control, Alves made his move, working the fight back to the feet. However, Pierce reclaimed the dominant position, slamming Alves down yet again. Alves struggled back to his feet once again, but spent far too much time on his back to make any case for him taking the round.
After a disappointing opening frame, Alves needed to make an adjustment, but Pierce just did not give him enough time to do so, earning an early takedown in the first few seconds of round two. Pierce looked to be a bit more active from top position, dropping down knees to the thigh of Alves, followed by a submission attempt. He failed to lock it on and elected to throw elbows from half guard. The remainder of the round nearly mirrored the first, and the Boston crowd hardly seemed pleased. Neither did Alves.
Alves finally decided to remind everyone he was there to fight in the beginning of the third, throwing a left head kick right out of the gate. However, when he looked for a follow-up knee, he was taken down yet again. Much to the dismay of the fans, Pierce continued to smother Alves, but was finally able to do something significant with his dominant position. Pierce locked on an armbar, and, while Alves did his best to survive, screamed and tapped after the pain was too much. The arm appeared to be broken, and Alves debut with the promotion was spoiled by the dominant wrestling of Pierce. Pierce def. Alves via submission (armbar) at 3:11 of Round 3.
Nick Osipczak vs. Greg Soto
Osipczak and Soto came out of the gate gunning, but the latter was the first to bow out of the striking match, securing an early takedown. Osipczak worked several different submissions from the bottom, but simply could not lock anything on. However, the elbow strikes he threw from the bottom were landing flush and becoming quite annoying to Soto. Osipczak worked his way back to his feet, clinched against the cage, and immediately began working knees into his opponent. The two separated and blood began to drip down the brow of Soto, who worked for another takedown, but failed to get it. The very close round came to a close with Soto wiping the blood out of his eye after taking another shot from his British opponent.
The second round began after the doctor took a close look at Soto’s deep cut, and Osipczak immediately landed a big shot and followed it up by stuffing a takedown. However, Soto closed the distance and took Osipczak’s back, failed to get a choke, and settled for the top position. Once there, he avoided an armbar attempt from the Brit and began pummeling Ozipczak with punches and elbows. Ozipczak managed to work his way back to the feet, landing some nice shots as the round ended.
Picking up where the second frame ended, Ozipczak landed several shots, but was subsequently taken down. Soto immediately moved into side control, working several solid knees that looked rather unpleasant. Osipczak appeared to be fading, while Soto continued to battle back from the early adversity. Landing vicious shot after vicious shot, Soto did enough to come back from a bleak first round to win the fight with a dominant third frame. Soto def. Osipczak via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28).
Dan Miller vs. John Salter
Fighting for his UFC career, Miller came out of the gates swinging, and Salter was happy to join in on the fun. After several exchanges in which Salter landed the better shots, Miller was taken to the floor. Miller stayed very active from the bottom, looking for a submission. Salter stayed out of danger, but failed to do anything noteworthy. With just over one minute remaining, the fight moved back to the feet, where Salter continued to land the better shots. When he went for another takedown, Miller looked for a submission and perhaps would have gotten it if not for the bell that signaled the end of the round.
In the second round, Miller seemed content to stand and bang once again, which led to several nice shots landed by Salter. However, when Salter went in for another takedown, Miller was ready. The New Jersey native locked on a slick submission and forced the tap from Salter. Miller saves his job with the UFC in impressive fashion. Miller def. Salter via submission (anaconda choke) at 1:13 of Round 2.
Nik Lentz vs. Andre Winner
Lentz made it clear early that a striking contest against Winner was not an option. The Minnesota native immediately worked for a takedown and, after a small struggle, earned it. However, Winner worked his way back to the feet, but was pushed up against the cage by Lentz. Winner continued to display solid takedown defense, but Lentz remained relentless in his efforts. The two remained up against the cage for the majority of the round, and Lentz finally earned another takedown, but, once again, Winner moved back to the feet immediately. The round ended up against the cage after five minutes of minimal action. Winner landed the better shots, but Lentz earned a few takedowns.
The second round opened with Lentz looking to close the distance and earn the takedown. Winner continued with his balancing act, avoiding the takedown once again. The two began working knees in the clinch, and the Boston crowd did not seem thrilled with the pace. The two finally separated, and Winner landed a few nice shots before the clinch game inevitably began again. Lentz finally earned a takedown, but Winner stayed busy and worked his way back to his feet again. With 30 seconds left, the two clinched again and fans began booing. Lentz picked up his opponent and attempted to slam him to the ground, but, yet again, Winner stood back up immediately.
The third round began with some actual excitement, as the two lightweights exchanged on the feet. Neither landed anything significant, and Lentz then decided to look for a takedown. One minute into the frame, Lentz scored the takedown, but he could only keep him down for about 10 to 15 seconds. The two clinched yet again, the fans booed, and Winner was dragged to the mat. Lentz moved to Winner’s back, but was forced into half guard before earning the mount. Winner continued to attempt to escape, but Lentz moved from dominant position to dominant position. The crowd continued to boo, as Lentz basically laid on top of Winner’s back. Winner’s last ditch attempt to stand back up was in vain, and the two went to the judges’ scorecards. Lentz def. Winner via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 30-27).
Joe Lauzon vs. Gabe Ruediger
Lauzon was introduced by Bruce Buffer in front of the Boston crowd and the Massachusetts native was welcomed with the cheers of the fans. Lauzon immediately dictated the fight, pushing the pace, and earning a quick takedown. Lauzon put on an absolute clinic once the fight hit the floor, pummeling Ruediger and transitioning effortlessly. Lauzon moved between dominant positions for about one minute, and Ruediger looked completely outmatched. After several nice shots, Lauzon moved for an armbar and earned it effortlessly, forcing the tap. Incredibly impressive victory by Joe Lauzon. Lauzon def. Ruediger by submission (armbar) at 2:01 of Round 1.