[photogallerylink id=41078 align=right]Defending his Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight title against the man he defeated to win it, Frankie Edgar won a five-round unanimous decision over B.J. Penn on Saturday at the TD Garden.
Edgar won the title from Penn via decision in April in a much closer fight than Saturday’s bout, which all three judges scored 50-45.
“B.J. really brought out the best in me,” Edgar said. “It was close the first time and I wanted to make a point.”
The 28-year-old Edgar, of Toms River, N.J., is now 13-1. Penn, a 31-year-old native of Hilo, Hawaii, fell to 15-7-1.
“Frankie fought a great fight,” Penn said.”He beat me twice, so what can you say. He got off early, so much respect.”
Edgar controlled the bout from the beginning, scoring a takedown in the first 20 seconds. After Penn escaped and got to his feet, Edgar took him down again with 1:50 left in the round.
Edgar scored another takedown in the second.
After both fighters spent most of the third round on their feet trading punches, Penn began the fourth round with a takedown, but Edgar got up with 3:45 left in the round. In the final three minutes of the round, Edgar swept Penn’s left leg, sending him to the mat, where he landed a hard right hand to Penn’s head in the final minute.
In the fifth round, Penn took Edgar to the mat in the first 30 seconds, but a minute later, Edgar reversed positions.
Both fighters finished the bout on their feet, with Edgar warding off a takedown attempt in the final 15 seconds.
“Frankie looked like a complete mixed martial artist,” said UFC president Dana White. “He looked unbelievable.”
In a battle between a championship boxer and a champion mixed martial artist, five-time UFC titleholder Randy Couture defeated 11-time boxing champion James Toney by submission in the first round of a scheduled three-round heavyweight bout in the co-main event.
With Couture holding Toney in a head triangle, Toney tapped out at 3:19 of the first round.
“I’ve been working on that head triangle a lot,” said Couture.
Couture improved to 19-10, dealing Toney a loss in his first MMA bout. Toney began training for MMA nine months ago.
Within the first 30 seconds of the bout, Couture brought Toney to the mat with a single-leg takedown. He never let Toney off the mat, landing punches to the head, then getting Toney into the head triangle, which he held until Toney signaled to referee Yamasaki that he had enough.
The 47-year-old Couture is a former three-time UFC heavyweight champion and a two-time light heavyweight champion.
Toney has held world championships in boxing at middleweight, super middleweight, cruiserweight and heavyweight. The 42-year-old’s boxing record is 72-6-3, with 2 no contests.
“I got caught, what can I say,” Toney said.
Toney weighed 237 pounds while Couture weighed 220.
“Mixed martial artist went in against a boxer and anything can happen in a fight,” said White. “(Toney’s) a tough guy, but he came in there with one discipline and that was not enough, even if he trained eight or nine months.”
In other bouts on the main card, lightweight Gray Maynard won a three-round unanimous decision against Kenny Florian.
Maynard, who has beaten Edgar, is now 11-0, while Florian, a local favorite from Brookline, Mass., dropped to 15-5.
Demian Maia won a unanimous decision against Mario Miranda at middleweight. All three judges scored the bout 30-27. Maia is 13-2 and Miranda is 12-2.
Nate Diaz won by submission against Marcus Davis in the third round of a welterweight bout. The time of the stoppage was 4:02.
Davis, a resident of Bangor, Maine, is a former boxer who fought in the final boxing card at the old Boston Garden. Diaz is 13-5. Davis is 21-5.
This was the first time UFC held an event in Boston since the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission began sanctioning MMA at the beginning of this year.