Edgar vs. Penn
The main event of Saturday’s UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn 2 pay per-view is a battle for the UFC Lightweight Championship as champion Frankie Edgar takes on B.J. Penn.
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Penn enters the fight as the clear favorite with a betting line of -320 with Edgar given a line of +230 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this bout, which will take place from the TD Garden in
Frankie Edgar (12-1):
Strengths: Edgar is light on his feet and allusive in the striking game. His quickness was what allowed him to cause problems for Penn. Penn is a wrestler by nature, but his striking has improved greatly over the last two years. Edgar is one of few fighters that was able to take Penn down in a fight. Another strength for Edgar is his conditioning as he easily went five rounds with
Weaknesses: Edgar is very solid and a tough guy, but he doesn’t strike a lot of fear in opponents. There is little worry that he will finish you as he has seven decision wins in his career. Edgar is kind of just a pest for his opponents. He won’t knock you out in an exchange, he is a good wrestler but doesn’t have tremendous submission skills, and he always keeps moving. But, no matter what negatives he may have, his style works.
Last Five Fights:
Unanimous decision win over B.J. Penn at UFC 112 on April 10, 2010
Second round submission win over Matt Veach at Ultimate Fighter 10 Finale on Dec. 5, 2009
Unanimous decision win over Sean Sherk at UFC 98 on May 23, 2009
Unanimous decision win over Hermes Franca at UFC Fight Night 14 on July 19, 2008
Unanimous decision loss to Gray Maynard at UFC Fight Night 13 on April 2, 2008
B.J. Penn (15-6-1):
Strengths: Penn is considered by many as the greatest lightweight fighter in history. He has explosive hands, great wrestling, was the youngest jiu-jitsu world champion in history, and he has amazing flexibility. Penn also is very tough to finish, as he has only been stopped twice in his career. Penn has great takedown defense, which forces opponents to have to stand with him, where he has the edge with a very fast jab and powerful hook.
Weaknesses: Penn has only really struggled in his career against bigger opponents. Edgar was the first lightweight to really pose a problem for him in recent years. Penn has always had questions about his conditioning and training, but those issues have died down since returning to the lightweight division in 2007. In the loss to Edgar, Penn couldn’t seem to get his rhythm down and he will need to come out with a better game plan against Edgar in this rematch.
Last Five Fights:
Unanimous decision loss to Frankie Edgar at UFC 117 on April 10, 2010
Fifth round TKO win over Diego Sanchez at UFC 107 on Dec. 12, 2009
Fourth round submission win over Kenny Florian at UFC 101 on Aug. 8, 2009
Fourth round TKO loss to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 94 on Jan. 31, 2009
Third round TKO win over Sean Sherk at UFC 84 at May 24, 2008
Who will win: The first fight was largely considered a fluke as even though Edgar won, it was a very close fight that could have as easily went to Penn. Now, Penn has even more motivation to finish Edgar, while Edgar may not be able to get any better than his showing at UFC 112. While Edgar does have the right skill set to win this fight, the raw talent edge goes to Penn and we see him finishing Edgar with a choke in round four after slowly picking him apart in the first three rounds.
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Posted: 8/26/10 4:10PM ET