UFC 118 Breakdown and Predictions Josh Davis May 23, 2011 Events, Previews In what was originally billed as a freak show, UFC 118 brings fans some of the most meaningful fights of the year. UFC 118 offers a main card that will determine the future of the lightweight division, a fight between an MMA legend and a boxing legend as well as fights in the middleweight and welterweight divisions. The main event of the evening is for the light weight championship, when Frankie Edgar makes his first title defense against BJ Penn, the man he took the title from. The co-main event between MMA legend Randy Couture and boxing legend James Toney has been called a freak show by UFC President Dana White. In another lightweight bout Kenny Florian faces Gray Maynard, with the winner becoming the number one contender in the division. In the middleweight division, Demian Maia is making his first appearance sine his loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 112 when he faces fellow Brazilian Mario Miranda. In the welterweight division Nate Diaz will fight his welterweight debut against the always dangerous Marcus Davis. Main Event Frankie Edgar vs B.J. Penn II – In a rematch of UFC 112 Penn will attempt to take back what he lost, the lightweight title. In the first meeting Edgar was able to out-work, out-strike and even take Penn down on two occasions in route to a unanimous decision. Penn has not made any excuses for his loss and credits Edgar for fighting a great fight. Penn has stated in multiple interviews that he is revitalized and ready to show the world once again why he is referred to as the prodigy. Edgar on the other hand, will try to do exactly what he did in the first fight. Edgar will try to confuse Penn with his striking style. If he is able to confuse Penn and slow him down he will then be able to work his take downs and possibly defend his title. Prediction: Penn has only had back to back losses once in his career. Penn will come out and take the fight to Edgar and he will dictate the pace of this fight. Penn wins a five round decision. Co-main Event Randy Couture vs James Toney - In a fight that many people say is a freak show and a fight that is bad for MMA is actually an interesting match up. It is your typical grappler versus striker fight and whomever can implement their game plan is going to win. Couture will look to work inside the clinch with some dirty boxing and attempt to get this fight to the ground. Couture will need to use his Greco-Roman wrestling background to get this fight to the canvas and work his ground and pound to defeat Toney. If Couture is not able to do this, it could be a long night. Toney is going to do his best to keep the fight standing where he is able to use his boxing skills and hopefully land the knockout punch. Toney is a pure boxer and hopes to catch Couture with a power shot. If Toney is not able to keep this fight on the feet he will have a very tough time trying to defend Couture’s ground and pound. Prediction: Couture has too much experience in the octagon for Toney to deal with. Couture will be able to close the gap and get Toney to the mat. Once this happens the fight will be over. Couture will win by first round TKO. Kenny Florian vs Gray Maynard - In what could be a fight of the year candidate we have two of the best in the division fighting for a title shot. Florian, who has been there twice before, knows exactly what it takes to get there. In this fight Florian will have his hands full. Florian will need to use his take down defense as well as his striking to keep Maynard on the outside. If Florian allows Maynard to get inside and get this fight to the ground, he will have to work his jiu jitsu skills and hope for submission. Maynard will want to use his wrestling skills to dictate the pace of the fight. Maynard will come out with a relentless pace and attempt to take Florian down. If he can get Florian on his back he will be able impose his will and use his wrestling to get the victory. Predictions: Florian is truly one of the best in the division but Maynard is certainly a tough opponent. Florian is very well rounded and has the tools necessary to defeat Maynard. Florian wins this by submission in the second round. Nate Diaz vs Marcus Davis - This will certainly be a very interesting fight. Diaz is making his debut in the welterweight division and he wants to make an impact by defeating Davis. Diaz is going use his size and reach advantage to set up his strikes. Diaz will attempt to out strike and out work Davis to a victory. If the fight goes to the ground then Diaz will use his Brazilian jiu jitsu skills and work for submissions. Davis will try to get inside of Diaz’s reach and work punches inside. On the ground Davis will look to out wrestle Diaz and overpower him to control the fight. Predictions: Diaz will be able to use his size and reach advantage to dictate the pace of this fight. He will be able to use his pawing jab to set up the rest of his strikes and even possibly his submissions. Diaz wins this fight by submission in the second round. Demian Maia vs Mario Miranda - This fight puts two Brazillian Jiu Jitsu experts against each other. Maia is coming off a loss to Anderson Silva and is looking to get back into the win column. Maia is a submission expert with improved stand up. In this fight, he will look to use his improved striking game to get this fight to the ground. Once the fight is on the ground Maia is one of the best. Miranda is also a submission specialist and will try to get this fight to the ground and work a submission. Prediction: Maia is one of the best in the division on the ground and he will be able to dictate the pace of this fight. Maia will win by submission in the first round. UFC 118 will certainly be an excellent night of fights and at the end, fans will not only know the future of the lightweight division but they will also know if boxers can compete in the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.