I called 6 out of 7 winners but got the manner of win wrong in 3 of those 6 (Maia won by decision, not submission; Sonnen won by submission, not decision; and Edgar won by TKO, not decision). The most surprising events of the night were Edgar’s TKO (which was really a KO) of Maynard; Lauzon’s super-fast submission of Guillard; and Sonnen’s submission of Stann.
I knew Edgar would win but I got nervous when the first round started like the first round in their last fight. Maynard hit him hard and he hit him a lot. Frankie Edgar has a phenomenal chin though and he weathered the storm like a true champ. Then he came out and won the next two rounds and eventually knocked Maynard out in the fourth. Ironically, it was an uppercut that led to Maynard’s eventual demise; the same punch that had Edgar in trouble in the first round! Edgar said he’s bringing the belt back to TR (Toms River) where it belongs. I guess that means I’ll see it tomorrow when I go to church. :-)
Sonnen didn’t surprise me with his dominant wrestling or his constant attack. He did surprise me with his beautiful submission. I love arm triangles and I think they’re one of the most under-utilized submission techniques in all of MMA. Sonnen applied one effortlessly, and while Stann defended it as best he could, Sonnen used Stann defense to nearly put him to sleep. Brilliant stuff. And it really goes to show that next to the champ Anderson Silva, Sonnen is the best 185 pounder on the planet.
I was shocked to see Joe Lauzon submit Melvin Guillard as quickly as he did. Guillard has always had problems with submission guys—in fact I think all of his UFC losses are by submission—but he has looked like a new fighter in his last 5 fights. Lauzon has dominated people before, but they’ve been bums, and when faced with the real talent at 155 he’s never gotten the job done. Now I don’t wanna call Guillard a bum, but his performance tonight is leaving me at a loss for what else to call him. It was terrible and Lauzon’s was great.
As far as the other fights went, I was pleased with Pettis, he looked good. Florian lost a decision like I knew he would, but it was sad to watch. I don’t know if he’ll ever get another title shot. I’m wondering if he’ll consider retiring after this one and just focus on broadcasting and teaching. The Maia fight was dreadfully boring. So were a couple of other prelims. Nam Phan got his rightful victory and Garcia fought in exactly that rock ‘em sock ‘em robot way that he always does. I’m over it.
And that’ll do it. I’m out!