With Strikeforce: Houston and WEC 50 in our rearview mirror and UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn 2 less than a week away, I figured it would be a good time to share some first thoughts on the UFC's first event in Boston:
Frankie Edgar - Cinderella or the real deal? Edgar is a good fighter. A very good fighter in fact, but no one expected him to dethrone BJ Penn at UFC 112. Edgar has the chance to shut up all the critics in Boston and prove that his win against Penn in Abu Dhabi was no fluke. The big difference this time around is that he is going to be facing a pissed off BJ Penn who knows this fight could determine his legacy in the sport. Can Edgar climb the mountain again or will his glass slipper fall off come fight night?
Boxing vs. MMA - No, Randy Couture vs. James Toney isn't going to settle with boxing vs. MMA debate no matter who wins. All this fight is going to prove is that Toney has big balls for stepping into the cage against Couture after only a few months of MMA training. Many boxers have talked a lot of smack when it comes to MMA but Toney is the first elite boxer to try and back it up. Much respect.
A new Demian Maia? After getting his face turned into a pureed by Anderson Silva for three rounds at UFC 112, a different Maia emerged at the start of the fourth round. He was aggressive and went right at the long time Middleweight champ, clipping him a few times as Silva danced away. Hopefully, the two last rounds against Silva instilled a new confidence and aggressiveness in Maia from knowing that he can hang in there with the best pound for pound fighter in the world.
More first thoughts after the jump...
Déjà vu in the Lightweight division - There is a very good probability that the next Lightweight title bout after UFC 118 is going to be another rematch. Chances are the winner of Kenny Florian vs. Gray Maynard is going to be the next number one contender in the UFC 155 pound division and depending on who wins between Edgar and Penn, we could very well see Penn vs. Florian 2 or Edgar vs. Maynard 2 by the end of the year.
West Coast vs. East Coast: Yeah, this battle isn't just limited to the rap game. New England's own Marcus Davis will be kicking off the main card against Stockton, California native Nate Diaz. I am hoping that Davis walks out Biggie Smalls and Diaz walks out to Tupac which should start of the night of right.
First UFC event in Boston: Being born and raised in the Boston area, I was super excited when this event got announced. Boston has always been known as a fighting town with a rich history of producing great fighters (Rocky Marciano, Marvin Hagler, Micky Ward). It should come as a surprise when I say Boston is also known for having some of the best sports fans in the world. Add in our love of a stiff drink and I expect the crowd in Boston to be one of the best crowds the UFC and its fighters have ever fought in front of. Sidenote: if you are from Boston and are attending UFC 118, you better prove me right and not make me look like a liar.
What are you first thoughts on UFC 118? Leave them below.