UFC 118 Preview: Frankie Edgar vs. BJ Penn

PHILADELPHIA - AUGUST 08:  (L-R) Lightweight champion BJ Penn battles Kenny Florian during their lightweight championship title bout at UFC 101: Declaration at the Wachovia Center on August 8, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images)

E. Spencer Kyte previews Saturday’s UFC 118, inlculding the big bout between Frankie Edgar vs. BJ Penn.

Frankie Edgar (12-1-0) vs. BJ Penn (15-6-1)

This might be the fight I’ve been most excited about seeing all summer. No disrespect to the UFC 116 or 117 mains, but this one was so unexpected the first time around that I really want to see if (a) Frankie can do it again and (b) BJ comes with a different level of ferocity than we saw in Abu Dhabi.

Edgar rightfully earned the title in my books the first time around; his executed perfectly, darting in and out, scoring points, and avoiding damage, and he most certainly could do it again. He also scored a takedown, and could turn to his wrestling a little more this time.

That night in Abu Dhabi, Penn looked lethargic to me. I don’t know if anything was wrong – illness, injury, bad cut, whatever – but he didn’t look like the guy who had dismantled Diego Sanchez just four months earlier. If that same guy shows up, he’s losing two-in-a-row for the first time in four years.

I expect a better BJ to show up in Boston, but Edgar will be better too; now that he has the belt around his waist, there is no way he wants to give it up. These are two of the best lightweights in the world and it should be another exciting contest.

Read the full preview here.

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Top 10 Pound for Pound MMA Fighters in the World 4/29/10

It has been some time since I released a top 10 pound-for-pound list, with my last edition coming all the way back in August of last year. There have been some changes and the bottom of the list was tough to determine, but I feel pretty good about this group. I am basing this list over the past few years and using this criteria to make my choices: Quality of wins (i.e. stoppages), Quality of opponents, Amount of damage taken in fights, and Establishment of all-around skills in the cage. Now that the criteria has been addressed, here we go.

1. Anderson Silva – 26-4 – UFC Middleweight Champion: Silva’s last fight was embarrassing for the UFC, but it again displayed how dominant he is. He literally took two rounds off and still won a unanimous decision and in the three rounds he tried, he landed every shot he threw while dodging every shot Demian Maia threw at him. When he gets challenged, Silva quickly runs through his opponents, like Forrest Griffin and Rich Franklin. When guys don’t come at him, like Patrick Cote and Thales Leites, the fights are unwatchable. Bottom line, it is hard to see someone beating this guy and I still think he could step up to heavyweight someday and give Brock Lesnar a run for his money.

2. Georges St. Pierre – 20-2 – UFC Welterweight Champion: GSP hasn’t been challenged since facing Josh Koscheck at UFC 74. The champion has cruised through his opponents and the only complaint against him has been his inability to finish recent opponents. Still, stopping B.J. Penn and dominating Thiago Alves, Jon Fitch, and Dan Hardy is pretty impressive and a potential fight with Koscheck again or slugger Paul Daley or even Jake Shields keeps things exciting with GSP.

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Saturday MMA Review: 8/15

Here’s a weekly rundown of MMA content from Ben Goldstein of CagePotato.com:

– At last weekend’s UFC 101 show, Anderson Silva got his balls back with a stunning knockout of Forrest Griffin and BJ Penn taught Kenny Florian a very painful lesson.

– Brian Bowles scored the upset of the year with his shocking first-round KO of WEC bantamweight ruler Miguel Torres. Unfortunately, Bowles got paid peanuts for the win, and broke his hand in the process.

– Inspired by Nick Diaz’s marijuana-related screwjob of Strikeforce, we counted down the 10 most cursed MMA events of all time.

– The UFC has recently been stockpiling crusty old-timers, including Vladimir Matyushenko and Phil Baroni. Can a “Veterans” season of The Ultimate Fighter be far behind?

– We took a look at some classic MMA moments, crudely recreated in MS Paint.

– Notorious MMA steroid abuser Josh Barnett sold his last shred of dignity in a freaky pro-wrestling bout in Japan.

– Hit up CagePotato.com starting tonight at 10:30 p.m. ET for our liveblog of “Strikeforce: Carano vs. Cyborg.” Get familiar with the card by reading our interview with Cris Cyborg, some last-minute betting advice, as well as our always provocative “Ben vs. Ben” debate.

Saturday MMA Review: 8/1

Here’s a weekly rundown of MMA content from Ben Goldstein of CagePotato.com:

– In a press conference held Friday, UFC boss Dana White announced the returns of Tito Ortiz and Vitor Belfort, and promised to be close on another deal that will “change the UFC forever.”

– Unfortunately, getting Russian legend Fedor Emelianenko into the UFC remains a pipe-dream — and it will remain that way as long as Fedor has morons like Jerry Millen in his camp.

– Josh Barnett insists that he’s innocent of his latest steroid charge. His urine, however, is telling a different story.

– Speaking of ‘roids, we ran down every single steroid bust in MMA history, from Tim Sylvia’s ill-fated attempt to lose his gut to Kevin Randleman’s infamous “dead human or live animal” incident.

– Strikeforce’s August 15th show continues to undergo major changes, with Renato Sobral vs. Gegard Mousasi brought over from Affliction’s canceled “Trilogy” card, Jay Hieron coming in to replace Joe Riggs, and Mitsuhiro Ishida replacing injured lightweight champ Josh Thomson. Luckily, Gina Carano is still looking quite healthy.

– Also in the wake of Affliction’s collapse, the UFC swooped in to rescue Ben Rothwell, Paul Daley, and Joe Lauzon’s little brother.

– Kenny Florian talked to us about his gameplan for BJ Penn, and set the record straight on that text message he may or may not have sent Penn that may or may not have accused Georges St. Pierre of greasing.

Friday MMA Review 4/3

Carlos ConditHere’s a weekly rundown of MMA content from Ben Goldstein of CagePotato.com:

– Carlos Condit didn’t live up to the hype and Junie Browning didn’t live up to his mouth at Wednesday’s UFC Fight Night show. You can check out some videos from the event here.

– Word on the street is that jiu-jitsu phenon Demian Maia will get the next crack at Anderson Silva’s UFC middleweight belt…assuming Silva crushes Thales Leites later this month at UFC 97.

– BJ Penn will finally return to the lightweight division at UFC 101 (August 8th, Philadelphia), where he’ll take on #1 contender Kenny Florian. It will be the first time in 15 months that the UFC’s 155-pound strap will be on the line.

– The ninth season of The Ultimate Fighter debuted Wednesday night, as 16 British hopefuls were cut down to eight official members of Team U.K. We do not have high hopes for this lot.

– After a rage-filled video-blog entry that saw UFC prez Dana White use the word “faggot” and call a female reporter a “fuckin’ dumb bitch,” White has issued a public apology. To the gays, at least.

– Is DADA the next Kimbo Slice?

– We counted down some quick ‘n’ ugly MMA knockouts.

– Check out CagePotato.com on Monday morning for full results of WEC 40 (Torres vs. Mizugaki), DREAM 8 (Aoki vs. Sakurai), and Bellator Fighting Championships’ debut event.

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