Edgar, Sonnen and McFedries Among Early Winners at UFC 98

Rising lightweight star Frankie Edgar scored a major upset over former UFC champion Sean Sherk, while Chael Sonnen and Drew McFedries were among other early winners at UFC 98.

In a matchup featuring two lightweight fighters primarily known for their wrestling abilities, Frankie Edgar earned the biggest win of his young career by defeating former champion Sean Sherk in a dominant performance, taking all three rounds on every judge's scorecard.

Sherk, coming off a win over Tyson Griffin in which he out-struck him, opted to stick with his standup, largely staying away from takedowns until late in the third round. That strategy turned out to be a big mistake. Edgar got the best of most of the exchanges, bloodying Sherk's face in the process.


After a close first round, Edgar took over in the second with his excellent footwork and lateral movement, landing the majority of the punches. In the third, Sherk finally scored a takedown, but Edgar was quickly able to return to his feet. After shaking off one final takedown try, Edgar blasted Sherk with a hard right, then closed out the fight with a guillotine try as the final horn sounded.

The win improves Edgar's record to 10-1, while Sherk drops to 33-4. All of Sherk's previous losses have come to men who have been UFC champions (Georges St. Pierre, BJ Penn and Matt Hughes).

Middleweight Drew McFedries is known for his massive punching power, and he showcased it again with a 37-second knockout of Xavier Foupa-Pokam. McFedries dropped Foupa-Pokam with just his third punch of the fight, a right hook to the jaw. "Professor X" was able to get back to his feet, McFedries dropped him again just seconds later, and referee Yves Lavigne put a halt to the action as McFedries had him trapped against the cage.

Foupa-Pokam, not realizing the fight had been called, tried to grab McFedries' leg, and then protested the stoppage, but it appeared to be justified.

Middleweight Chael Sonnnen rebounded from his UFC 95 loss to Demian Maia, controlling Dan Miller with his wrestling and groundwork to earn a unanimous decision victory.

Sonnen (22-10-1) found himself in trouble in the opening seconds of the bout, falling into an arm-in guillotine. Miller held on for a good 20 seconds, trying to end the fight early, but Sonnen finally escaped, then proceeded to beat up Miller from the top for the remainder of the first round.

The second and third rounds featured more of the same, as Miller never seemed to recover from the expended energy of the failed guillotine and Sonnen kept on the heat. While the performance didn't excite the fans, it made for a decisive win for Sonnen, who needed it after being overwhelmed by jiu-jitsu wiz Maia back in February.

The victory was the first in the octagon for Sonnen since April 2006.

Fireworks in Las Vegas

    Lyoto Machida, right, trades punches with Rashad Evans in the second round of their UFC light heavyweight mixed martial arts match Saturday, May 23, 2009 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Machida won by knockout in the second. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

    AP

    Rashad Evans recovers shortly after being knocked out by Lyoto Machida in the second round of their UFC light heavyweight mixed martial arts match Saturday, May 23, 2009 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

    AP

    LAS VEGAS - MAY 23: Lyoto Machida celebrates after defeating Rashad Evans (not pictured) by knockout during their Light Heavyweight Title bout at UFC 98: Evans vs Machida at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Lyoto Machida

    Getty Images

    LAS VEGAS - MAY 23: Lyoto Machida (R) bows to Rashad Evans (L) after Lyoto claims the title during their Light Heavyweight Title bout at UFC 98: Evans vs Machida at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Lyoto Machida;Rashad Evans

    Getty Images

    Lyoto Machida, right, delivers a right to Rashad Evans in the second round of their UFC light heavyweight mixed martial arts match Saturday, May 23, 2009 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Lyoto won moments later by KO. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

    AP

    LAS VEGAS - MAY 23: Rashad Evans falls to the floor after Lyoto Machida (not pictured) knocks him out during their Light Heavyweight Title bout at UFC 98: Evans vs Machida at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Rashad Evans

    Getty Images

    LAS VEGAS - MAY 23: Lyoto Machida (R) battles Rashad Evans (L) during their Light Heavyweight Title bout at UFC 98: Evans vs Machida at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Lyota Machida;Rashad Evans

    Getty Images

    LAS VEGAS - MAY 23: Lyoto Machida (R) battles Rashad Evans (L) during their Light Heavyweight Title bout at UFC 98: Evans vs Machida at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Lyoto Machida;Rashad Evans

    Getty Images

    Lyoto Machida celebrates his second round KO victory over Rashad Evans during their UFC light heavyweight mixed martial arts match Saturday, May 23, 2009 at The MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Eric Jamison)

    AP

    LAS VEGAS - MAY 23: Xavier Foupa-Pokam (R) battles Drew McFedries (L) during their Middleweight bout at UFC 98: Evans vs Machida at the MGM Grand Garden Arena on May 23, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa, LLC via Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Xavier Foupa-Pokam;Drew McFedries

    Getty Images

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