Gregory Payan / AP
Published Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010 | 3:54 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Aug. 28, 2010 | 9:46 p.m.
BOSTON — Frankie Edgar proved his first win over B.J. Penn was no fluke Saturday, winning every round of their lightweight title fight at the Boston TD Garden to defend his belt via unanimous decision.
Following his first title defense, an emotional Edgar (13-1) thanked Penn (15-7-1) for making him a better fighter.
"I feel like I can walk on water," Edgar said. "I want to thank B.J. for bringing out the best in me. Training for him made me the best of my career. I knew he was going to come in tough. I just wanted to make that point.
Although Edgar never really came close to finishing Penn, it was a dominating performance by every definition of the word.
Using a strategy similar to the one he used in April, Edgar threw multiple punches at a time and proved too elusive for Penn to counter. When the defending champion needed a takedown he usually got it — and when he couldn't get Penn to the ground, he wisely gave up on the attempt and let his hands go.
After failing to put down Edgar over a total of now 10 rounds with him, Penn said he had no excuses.
"Frankie fought a great fight," Penn said. "He fought me twice and walked away with a decision twice. What can I say? Much respect.
Earlier in the night, Las Vegas native Gray Maynard earned the right to face Edgar next with a win over Kenny Florian. It will be another rematch for Edgar, who lost to Maynard by decision in 2008.
Also earlier in the night, former world champion boxer James Toney made his mixed martial arts debut against former champion Randy Couture.
It didn't last long.
Toney found himself in a position he'd never seen before in a boxing ring when Couture shot in and put him on his back in the first 15 seconds of the fight.
It was smooth sailing from there for Couture, as he worked his ground and pound to soften Toney up before submitting him via arm triangle at the 3:19 mark.
Frankie Edgar (13-1) vs. B.J. Penn (15-7-1)
Round One: Neither fighter wastes any time to engage here as they come out and meet in the center of the octagon. Edgar shoots in for the early takedown and puts Penn on his back just 15 seconds into the fight. Penn looks to capture an arm for a submission but Edgar frees it and ends up in his butterfly guard. Penn basically making it impossible for Edgar to move from this position and he works back to his feet with 3:20 to go. Penn lands a nice left hook under Edgar’s chin. They both come in at the same time and Edgar looks to take Penn down, he can’t at first but then ends up lifting him high and slamming him to his back. Penn very good defensively on the ground though and works back to his feet quickly. Penn sticks out a couple jabs but Edgar uses his speed to avoid them. Penn fits in a straight left towards the end of the round.
Round Two: Penn misses on a head kick and Edgar looks to counter it with straight punches. Now Penn fits in a left hook and now a straight right. Edgar comes back with a body kick. Edgar looks for a single leg, gives it up and surprises Penn with a knee. Edgar feints high and shoots but Penn throws him off easily. Penn lands a few jabs as he backs away from an Edgar flurry. Penn lands a counter left hook and Edgar looks aggressively for the takedown. He drives Penn’s back to the cage and now puts him on his back. Edgar tries to pass guard but Penn kicks him away and now gets back to his feet. Edgar lands a straight left under Penn’s chin as he looks to string together multiple punches.
Round Three: Edgar shoots a takedown, it’s stuffed so he lets it go and throws out a kick. Edgar slightly dictating the action here as he’s clearly more active. He’s not landing any big-time shots but he’s pestering Penn and keeping him out of rhythm. Hard straight right lands for Edgar at the end of a flurry. Now a straight right for Edgar. Good left hook for Edgar, the speed is giving him an advantage up to this point. Edgar shoots and can’t get it to the ground but again, he realizes it and lets his hands go after Penn sprawls. Edgar shoots in again and this time it goes to a clinch against the cage. Edgar unleashes a two-punch combo on the break that lands.
Round Four: Penn ducks under a punch early here and gets the takedown. Penn looking to capitalize on this position here but Edgar doing a nice job of locking him up and preventing him from passing guard, and now he’s up. Penn snaps Edgar’s head back with a jab. Now a brutal leg kick from Edgar completely sweeps Penn off his feet. Edgar drops into his guard and looks to ground and pound. Penn pushes Edgar back with his legs but Edgar come straight back down with a hard punch. Again, Penn kicks him off and this time he pops up to his feet with 1:30 to go. Left hook lands for Edgar. Penn slips a left hook in at the end of the round but this one definitely goes to Edgar.
Round Five: Edgar opens with a leg kick and now comes forward with a straight right. Penn avoids it and shoots in and puts Edgar on his back at the 4:30 mark. Edgar kicks him off and gets to his feet but Penn stays on him. Penn wrestles him back down but Edgar reverses it and ends up on top in Penn’s closed guard. Elbow lands for Edgar. Left punch lands for Edgar, followed by an elbow and there’s only 2:00 to go. Penn works into a seated position and lunges at Edgar’s legs but Edgar sprawls and shoves Penn’s back to the mat. Penn creates space and gets back to his feet with 1:30 to go. Edgar snaps off more effective jabs and there’s nothing Penn can do. He goes for a desperate takedown but Edgar slips away easily. Horn sounds and Edgar has done it again. Edgar wins via unanimous decision.
Randy Couture (19-10) vs. James Toney (0-1)
Round One: Toney walks right out to the center of the octagon to start the fight. Couture shoots in immediately and gets Toney down by grabbing his ankle. Toney on his bak and Now Couture moves straight to full-mount. Toney tying up Couture effectively here to minimize the damage he’s taking. Crowd starts a ‘UFC’ chant. Toney makes his first attempt to stand up and ends up eating a flurry of punches and he’s forced to wrap his arms around Couture again. Now Couture pins him up against the fence and lands three more hard left hands. Couture traps Toney’s left arm now and he’s looking for the arm triangle. Couture hops off the full-mount and rotates his body into the choke and Toney taps instantly. Couture wins via submission at 3:19 of first round.
Demian Maia (13-2) vs. Mario Miranda (12-2)
Round One: Miranda fires off a head kick and then a leg kick, both voided for the most part by Maia. Maia closes the distance and now looks for the single leg. Miranda goes to a seated position and Maia lands two good knees to his chest before he gets back up. Maia staying right on him though and drags him to a seated position again. Instead of pulling Miranda away from the cage this time, Maia hammers away on a six or seven punches with his left hand. Miranda brings up a hand to defend and now Maia brings him all the way to the ground, takes his back and gets his hooks in. Miranda gets Maia up high on his shoulders and tries to slip out the back and now he does and they separate. Both guys little hesitant from their feet here as the action slows considerably through the end of the round.
Round Two: Miranda comes out with a few early aggressive strikes but Maia makes him miss. Maia shoots for the single leg. Miranda defends but Maia scrambles into the clinch and works him to the ground from there. Maia eventually passes guard and gets into the full mount with Miranda’s back trapped against the fence. It’ll take a lot to get out of this position. Maia works his body high up on Miranda’s chest now and works his ground and pound. Thirty seconds left and Maia transitions to the armbar attempt but Miranda breaks it and this will go to the final round.
Round Three: Maia goes for the single leg immediately. Miranda turns away to try and yank his leg free and in one quick move Maia takes his back. Miranda crouches forward and looks to slip out the back again. Maia looks for the arbar as he does but Miranda is free and now back to his feet. Maia slowly gets up his feet, goes for a weak takedown and then rolls over and invites Miranda into his guard. They both might be running on empty tanks here as Maia shoots in weakly but is able to drag Miranda down. Maia moves into full mount but just not creating any offense from it. Forty seconds left and Maia is trying to get an arm for a submission but it’s not gonna happen. Maia wins via unanimous decision.
Kenny Florian (15-5) vs. Gray Maynard (10-0)
Round One: Florian coming out in a very crouched stance with his legs set wide apart. Florian pumping the jab out as both guys want to feel each other out here. Minute in, nothing has landed for either guy. Head kick comes out of nowhere from Florian that seemed to catch Maynard off-guard. Maynard swings on a huge overhand right that misses. Florian feinting a lot, looking for a good angle to fit something in. Head kick blocked by Maynard. Now they come in hard and Florian lands a nice left hook and Maynard shakes it off. Leg kick lands for Florian. Now Maynard looks hard for the takedown for the first time in the fight. Florian backs up to the cage and Maynard stays latched on. Big slam by Maynard with one minute left. Maynard lands a few grazing punches out of Florian’s closed guard to finish the round.
Round Two: Feeling out process again here at the start of round two. Florian tries that head kick again but Maynard blocks it easily. Maynard definitely keeping Florian at a distance here. Maynard counters nicely with a straight left but he might be losing points by backing up so much. Right uppercut lands for Maynard as he backs up and now he shoots in with 2:15 remaining. Maynard drags him to the mat for a second but Florian works back to his feet. Maynard isn’t going to let go of this position though and now he does wrestle Florian to his back. Maynard now in side control. Maynard just smothering Florian against the fence now. He lands a series of hard body shots and finishes the round in top position.
Round Three: Florian briefly puts his hands up here in the third in a request for Maynard to engage him more. Maynard won’t take the bait though and continues to keep him at a distance. Nice straight right lands for Florian. Maynard shoots and Florian just can’t defend his takedowns. Florian on his back again with 3:00 left in the fight. Maynard stands over him and lands a nice right elbow. Crowd growing restless as Maynard stays in top position but can’t land much. Florian traps Maynard’s arm in a submission attempt from his back but Maynard pulls it free. Florian again gets his legs around Maynard’s arm only to have Maynard free himself. Florian back to his feet with 20 seconds left and he comes forward but Maynard circles away until the fight ends. Florian clearly frustrated as he walks away. Maynard wins via unanimous decision.
Nate Diaz (13-5) vs. Marcus Davis (22-8)
Round One: Davis lands the first shot, a left hook to Diaz’s head. Diaz lifts his arms up now early, taunting Davis. Bad decision, Davis tags him with a hook and Diaz is down. Davis looks to finish but Diaz gets back to his feet, shoves him off and raises his arms again to show he’s fine. Another hard left hook lands for Diaz. Diaz tries to fit in a few looping punches but Davis is beating him to the punch. Another left hook lands for Davis, although he is bleeding from a cut near his right eye. Looked like that might have been caused by a headbutt. Diaz now lands a good knee that sends Davis retreating. They clinch against the fence for the first time but only briefly, as Diaz shoves Davis away. Both fighters miss on combinations and Diaz looks for the takedown but it’s defended by Davis. Both guys stand in the pocket and trade shots here at the 1:00 mark. Diaz peppering shots onto that area near Davis’s cut and that could be a problem for him as the fight continues.
Round Two: In between rounds, camera shows the cut over Diaz’s right eye is very deep. Now the cageside physician wants to check it out and after looking it over he says fight will go on. Davis tags Diaz with a left hook to restart the action. Diaz lands a hook of his own and again raises his arms to tell Davis to come forward. They work into the clinch and Diaz puts Davis’s back to the fence. Diaz tries to pull him to the ground but can’t and they separate. Diaz picking his shots now as he lands several unanswered jab-hook combinations. Davis still swinging but he’s coming up with a lot of air. Davis comes in with a nice left hook that lands but Diaz weathers it, walks confidently around the cage and then opens up an effective combination that Davis can’t counter. Another left hook from Diaz and he’s clearly found his range here. Davis using head movement to avoid some of Diaz’s strikes now but he doesn’t have much behind his counters and he’s starting to get dominated by the lanky Diaz.
Round Three: Crowd chanting for Davis to open the final round. Diaz lands a front kick and then a straight right. They clinch up against the fence again and Davis looks pretty beat up. He’s showing a lot of heart fighting through this cut, as the area around his right eye is badly swollen at this point. Davis stops now for a second to wipe blood away from his eye and Diaz comes forward and lands two more unanswered punches. Diaz sees an opportunity to shoot and he easily puts Davis on his back. Diaz now moves to the anaconda and Davis looks out. Referee lifts Davis’s arm to check on him and now he’ll stop the fight. Diaz wins via submission at 4:02 of third round.
Joe Lauzon (18-5) vs. Gabe Ruediger (17-6)
Round One: Ruediger eats a hard right hook right off the bat and Lauzon looks to take him down. He grabs hold of Ruediger and hip tosses him to the floor. Lauzon immediately transitions to his back and looks for the choke. Ruediger squirms out of it but Lauzon is on top of him and lands a series of hard elbows. Ruediger trying to get out of the position but Lauzon transitioning from one dominant position to the next. He ends up in side control with an armbar and that’s how it’s going to end as Ruediger has to tap. Dominant, dominant performance by Lauzon in front of his hometown. Lauzon wins by submission at 2:01 of first round.
Andre Winner (12-4-1) vs. Nik Lentz (19-3-2)
Round One: Lentz looks for the takedown just 10 seconds in. Winner backs up to the fence and stays on his feet. Lentz drives into him and looks for the single leg. He gets him down but can’t keep him there as Winner uses the cage to get back up. Lentz is latched on to him though and so far Winner can’t throw him off. Lentz lets go for a moment to duck under a hard right hook from Winner but quickly shoots in again and puts him back up against the fence. Real lack of action here as Lentz refuses to back off but can’t get Winner to the ground. Winner now creates just enough space to fit in a hard left hook that buckles Lentz’s knees, but Lentz clinches up again to finish the round.
Round Two: Lentz lands a body kick to start the action before driving in and putting Winner up against the fence again. Crowd growing restless as this second round starts to mirror the first. They break for just a moment and Winner looks to get a strike in but it’s quickly put right back up against the fence with 2:30 to go. Lentz refuses to give up the single leg and Winner pushes his head down and how is basically sitting on his back as Lentz hangs on to his shins. Lentz lifts Winner off the ground and over his back to end a very uneventful round.
Round Three: Front kick lands for Winner and he follows it up with a series of hooks. That’s enough for Lentz, as he drives into Winner yet again and we’re back against the fence. Lentz successful in dragging Winner to a seated position this time but he literally has created no offense from any of these positions. Now Lentz wrestles Winner to the ground and is able to take his back. Lentz comes close to a rear naked choke at the end of the fight but this one goes the distance. Lentz wins via unanimous decision.
Dan Miller (12-4) vs. John Salter (5-2)
Round One: Miller comes out with a flurry right off the bat that catches Salters attention. Salter looks to land a jab but Miller counters effectively. Both guys get a few punches in as they stand in the pocket and exchange. Salter lands a straight left but again miller counters it immediately. Miller throws a body kick but Salter catches it and works it into a takedown. Miller tying Salter up well so far, limiting any offense. Now he creates some space and gets to his feet with 1:45 to go. Nice straight left lands for Salter. Now a hard left hook lands for Salter and Miller clinches up with him. They break quickly and now Salter shoots in for a takedown. Miller tries to catch him in a guillotine but can’t hold it and Salter ends up in side control to finish the round.
Round Two: Salter fits in another straight left early in the second round. Miller comes forward with a combination but Salter backs him off with the jab. Now a left hook lands for Miller. Salter shoots in, Miller sprawls and locks in an anaconda choke. Salter tries to roll out of it but it’s tight and he has to tap. Miller wins via submission at 1:53 of second round.
Nick Osipczak (5-2) vs. Greg Soto (8-1)
Round One: Soto comes out looking to fire away immediately, but Osipczak makes him miss and tags him with a straight right. Soto rushes in a for a takedown and get him to his back. Osipczack throwing some elbows from his back. Soto now stands up and comes crashing down with a hard right hand. Osipczack works back to his feet and now tries to lands a few knees out of the clinch. Both guys looking to stay busy in the clinch but unable to land a big shot. Soto shoots again, defended by Osipczack and they go into the clinch against the fence again. Hard straight left lands for Osipczack after the break and another one just as the round ends.
Round Two: In between rounds it looked like the cageside physician wanted to stop the fight but Soto complained and eventually we’re good for round two. The stoppage would have been for a cut over Soto’s left eye. Soto again tries to get it to the ground but Osipczack defends it and now lands a hard knee after the shot. Soto in trouble now, but Osipczack got too aggressive with a wild haymaker. His momentum allows Soto to take his back and now he looks for the rear naked choke. Osipczak turns into him to prevent the choke and puts Soto into closed guard. Armbar attempt by Osipczack won’t go off his back. Osipczack looks for an upkick, Soto tries to transition to his back and can’t and now Osipczak is able to get to his feet with 20 seconds left. Few good strikes land for Osipczack as the round ends.
Round Three: Fight very well may be tied as we head to the third. Soto feints with a strike and shoots in for the takedown and puts Osipczack on his back early. Soto moves to side control and lands a few good knees to the body. Good elbows now from Soto as he pushes Osipczak’s body up to the fence. Osipczak gives up his back because of the damage and Soto takes it. Osipczak turns and now Soto has full mount and looking for the arm triangle. He gives it up and starts working his ground and pound and Osipczak can only cover up. Referee looked close to stopping the fight but Osipczak makes it to the bell. Soto wins via unanimous decision.
Mike Pierce (13-3) vs. Amilcar Alves (11-2)
Round One: Fighters touch gloves and first UFC show in Boston is underway. Pierce throws out a right and shoots in for a takedown. Alves defends but Pierce staying with the single leg and trying to get the fight down. Alves looks to land a knee with his back against the fence for balance. Pierce gets the slam he’s been looking for at the four-minute mark and puts Alves on his back. Pierce lands a hard right after standing up over Alves. Alves weathers it though and now works back to his feet with two minutes to go in the round. Pierce lifts up Alves and slams him to his back again. Alves uses the fence to work back to his feet but Pierce keeps the pressure on and keeps him in the clinch until the end of the round.
Round Two: Pierce with an early takedown to start the second round. Pierce stands over Alves and drops a hard left that just misses hitting cleanly. Pierce falls into side control after the punch and lands a few unanswered elbows from the position. Alves just getting outwrestled at the moment, pinned against the fence and unable to create any space. Pierce stays on top the rest of the way but doesn’t do much damage and we’ll see a final round.
Round Three: Alves feints a knee and looks to catch Pierce with a left hook but it’s blocked. Again he comes in with flying knee attempt this time and Pierce avoids it and takes him down easily. Pierce now in side control and he’s looking for an armbar but Alves breaks it and puts him back in full-guard. Pierce passes and looks for the same submission but Alves gets his arm loose again. A third time Pierce looks for the armbar and now it looks like he broke Alves’s arm as he winces in pain and referee Josh Rosenthal immediately breaks up the fight. Pierce wins via submission at 3:11 of third round.