These questions and more are what bothered MMA fans after the co-main event of UFC 112 ended. After voicing out these concerns over the past few months, UFC president Dana White has granted fans an immediate rematch between BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar.
ANOTHER IMMEDIATE REMATCH?
I'm personally not a big fan of immediate rematches, especially since the UFC just recently did that at UFC 113, with Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida and Mauricio "Shogun" Rua. I personally would like to see someone else challenge the new champion first, then have the defeated champion get the rematch if he can prove that he's still the top contender. So, by my logic, UFC 118 would headline Edgar vs. Maynard and have Penn vs. Florian earlier in the night for top contender status. But business is business, I suppose, and "Penn vs. Edgar 2" is definitely more bankable than "Edgar vs. Maynard" as a main event.
HOW'D IT GO THIS TIME?
I was personally very excited in this fight because I was one of those people who thought that BJ just had a bad night at UFC 112, especially since he dominated such fighters as Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian in his last few bouts. So, I was extremely curious to see how BJ would adjust after reviewing the fight over and over and creating a new game plan for Edgar.
Surprise, surprise, though, as the match was very similar to the one in Abu Dhabi. Like a WEC fighter, Edgar was full of energy from the very first to the very last bell, extremely active and hard to follow. You thought he was fast and unpredictable the first time? Well, this time, he definitely upped the ante in order to prove to everyone that UFC 112 wasn't a fluke. He looked twice as good this time around, and that includes strength too. Edgar took Penn down almost immediately after the fight began. And, he did this multiple times throughout the fight as well. BJ Penn is incredibly difficult to take down and, if you do wind up with him on the ground, chances are he'll be in control. Not this time, Baby Jay.
THE GREATEST LIGHTWEIGHT IN THE SPORT?
In the fourth round, though, it looked like BJ might have finally woken up and begun to take control, as he began to take Edgar down; something he never tried in Abu Dhabi, which mystified plenty, as BJJ is his bread and butter. BJ manages to take Edgar down, but fails to do anything really effective. His control lasts for only a few minutes, and he never progresses into any solid submissions.
WHAT'S NEXT FOR BJ?
The fight went on like that until the very end, so, naturally, Edgar gets the unanimous decision. So, what happens to BJ now? If he continues to fight at lightweight, he's going to have to fight Edgar again (assuming that he's still the champion by then, of course). But will he have figured him out by then? Some say that no, styles make fights, and Edgar's style is something that BJ can't beat. It's the Rich Franklin syndrome over again. Dana White once said that Rich Franklin is the greatest middleweight in the UFC, but can't beat Anderson Silva (this was, of course, way before the astonishing match against Chael Sonnen). It looks like this can be applied to BJ Penn now as well.
So, what's next for "The Prodigy"? Well, some have speculated that he should move up to welterweight. He already did that recently, though, and was badly dominated by champion Georges St-Pierre.Do we really want to see that again? I don't think BJ can cut anymore and move to the WEC as well. I think that could damage his health way too much.
So, again, what's next for BJ? He says he has to think about this long and hard, and he should. None of this is very easy to take in. What about you, though, what do you think BJ should do next? Surely retirement isn't an option, but what should he do?
While his performance this night was impressive and his abilities do seem to be improving, I'd want to see Edgar try to finish more in his next match. Lyoto Machida was heavily criticized because of this earlier in his career, and was why Dana White didn't move him immediately into title shot contention. Sure, he can't be hit and he can't be beat, but he doesn't finish and isn't that exciting to watch. If he does fight Maynard next and he does win, I'd want to see him finish somehow, maybe with some of that vicious ground and pound he displayed tonight. Doesn't matter what round it happens in , just as long as he pulls it off. Then we can start talking about finishing top contenders in the first round.
What do you think? Finally impressed by Frankie Edgar? Know what BJ should do in the near future? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts on the main event!
And check out more amazing photos of UFC 118 over at the official UFC website!