The much hyped, co-main event between boxer James “Lights Out” Toney and MMA legend Randy “The Natural” Couture played out as expected. Couture (the grappler and dirty boxer) took Toney to the ground and proceeded to soften him up with some ground and pound until an exposed Toney left himself open to a choke about 3 minutes into the first round. The fight ended with Toney tapping out a few seconds later. This was a sizzle over substance match that was great for Dana White’s pocket, but not much help in his quest to “legitimize” MMA to fight fans. James Toney was a hell of a fighter. Today he is a Forty something year old former middle weight champ who has not made weight or been in top shape in over a decade. For his MMA debut, Toney weighed in at 235 pounds…and looked it (that’s about as heavy as he has ever been). I remember hearing that this fight was going to be a light heavyweight bout at 205 lbs. apparently; Toney did not want to train that hard. Couture is the Evander Holyfield of MMA. His superior work ethic and high fight IQ has kept him relevant and a contender far longer than a fighter should be. This win, just solidifies his place in the pantheon of UFC legends.
The main event was a bit more interesting. Lightweight champ Frankie Edgar successfully defended his title against BJ Penn with a convincing unanimous decision victory. Edgar was landing first all night, with solid two and three punch combinations that which allowed him to follow up with strong take downs. When the final bell rang, it was apparent that BJ Penn’s reign as king of the 155 pounders had ended.
On that note, seeing the little guys once again provide an exciting fight. As a fan, I would love to see the UFC, officially absorb the WEC and provide fight fans with 135, and 145 lbs fights. Bringing smaller guys will provide fans with more exciting fights. Also, given the large number of Latino fighters at 135 and 145 lbs; the UFC would gain knowledgeable, loyal, viable Latino fight fans, that will help legitimize the UFC and MMA (substance not sizzle).