UFC 112: Frank Edgar Beats B.J. Penn

Frankie Edgar beats B.J. Penn at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi.There's a new lightweight champion in mixed martial arts, as Frank Edgar shocked B.J. Penn and won a very close unanimous decision Saturday at UFC 112 in one of the major upsets in the history of MMA.

"I love you guys," Edgar said to his trainers after the fight. "This is it. B.J. is the greatest lightweight ever and I just beat him. I just hope I can be half the lightweight champion he was."




Early in the first round both fighters just wanted to feel each other out, with Penn taking the center of the Octagon and standing there comfortably, while Edgar moved around, tried to get in and out and landed a few strikes that didn't have much power on them. Edgar was throwing more strikes, but Penn's strikes were landing with greater accuracy and greater power, and I gave the first round to Penn 10-9.

The second round was more of the same, Edgar constantly moving on the outside and throwing a high volume of punches and kicks, with Penn being more cautious but landing with greater precision when he did land. With about 30 seconds remaining in the first round, Edgar surprised Penn with a quick single-leg takedown, and although Penn bounced right back up, it showed what a diverse offensive attack Edgar was employing. I gave the second to Edgar, 10-9.

Early in the third round Penn seemed to have his timing figured out, and when Edgar would move to the inside Penn would respond by landing a combination of punches. Edgar, however, seemed to realize that Penn had him figured out and began to vary his approach, landing a couple of punches that Penn wasn't ready for. As the round wore on Edgar landed a body kick and Penn landed some more punches, and it was a very close round that I gave to Penn, 10-9.

After the third round, Penn's corner could be heard telling him to take the fight to the ground, perhaps signalling that they thought Edgar was getting the better of the exchanges on the feet. But Penn didn't heed that advice, and it remained a kickboxing match in which Edgar would move in, throw punches, and move back out, while Penn would patiently wait for the opportunity to counter. It was yet another very close round that I gave to Edgar, 10-9.

At the start of the fifth round Edgar shocked Penn by charging inside, taking him down and landing him flat on his back, although Penn wasn't hurt and shook Edgar off before quickly getting back up. On the feet Edgar then threw a head kick, and midway through the fifth round he landed a hard right hand. Late in the fifth Penn looked worn out and slowed down, while Edgar looked as fresh and fast as ever. I gave the fifth to Edgar 10-9.

The judges scored it 50-45, 49-46 and 48-47 in favor of Edgar. It's hard to believe that one judge gave all five rounds to Edgar, but Edgar absolutely deserved the victory, one that improved his record to 12-1.

The 50-45 score is ridiculous.





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