LAS VEGAS — Maybe a prime, motivated Frankie Edgar facing an over-the-hill BJ Penn wasn’t such a great idea after all.
Edgar dominated Penn in every aspect of the fight, culminating in a TKO at 4:16 of the third round with some brutal ground and pound in the TUF 19 Finale main event Sunday night at Mandalay Bau. A bloody, emotional Penn announced his retirement after the fight — and it was certainly the right decision after a poor performance in his first bout at featherweight.
"I shouldn’t have came back," the 35-year-old Penn said. "I shouldn’t have been in the ring tonight."
Edgar remains a top contender at 145 with this performance. It’s his third win over Penn, the first two in lightweight title bouts. Penn, who won titles at 170 and 155, will undoubtedly go down as an all-time great and surely be inducted in the UFC Hall of Fame.
In the co-main event, Corey Anderson destroyed Matt Van Buren by TKO at 1:01 of the first round to become the TUF 19 light heavyweight winner. Eddie Gordon finished Dhiego Lima by TKO in the first round to win the TUF 19 middleweight crown.
MAIN CARD (FOX Sports 1)
Frankie Edgar vs. BJ Penn
Business is about to pick up. Edgar has won the first two. Penn could be retiring after a win here. This is going to be fun.
Penn’s walkout was super emotional. Almost tears in his eyes.
Edgar runs down to the Octagon. Mandalay security is having a hard time keeping up. Hilarious.
Herb Dean is the referee for this featherweight main event.
Loud "BJ!" chant to start. Edgar is starting out like Edgar. All footwork.
Combintion by Edgar. Edgar shoots. BJ on his back.
Penn wants to be on the ground, it looks like. Maybe this is his strategy.
Edgar in guard. Penn is doing some work from the bottom. A little ground and pound from Edgar. Nothing significant.
Edgar stands and lands a kick to the butt. Seriously.
Edgar dives back into guard. He hasn’t done so much from here, but he’s winning on the cards, for sure.
Edgar up and landing leg kicks to a prone Penn. BJ doesn’t want to stand up.
Dean stands them up.Under a minute left.
Edgar lands a body kick. Good left by Edgar. Combo by Edgar. Penn is very upright.
Another left hook by Edgar. Round over.
10-9 Edgar — Clear round for Frankie. Penn was very content to stay on his back. He did nothing from there. Edgar was the better boxer quite easily. Penn was staying upright, almost as if he wants to be taken down. Strange.
Same upright style for Penn. Edgar boxing, feinting.
Good right hand by Edgar. Penn not doing a whole lot standing.
Penn with a combination. Finally.
Edgar lands a right. Shoots for a takedown. Edgar takes him down.
Penn has butterfly guard. Edgar on top, holding position. Some punches. Nothing hard.
Edgar stands up. Lands some leg kicks. Penn is still prone. Edgar back on top. Good right hands now. Penn does not look great. Maybe he’s lulling Edgar into a false sense of security.
More punches from the top from Edgar. Pretty dominant right now.
Edgar still on top. Looking to advance his position and he’s in half-guard. Lands some big punches to Penn’s face. Elbows now. Getting off here. A lot of his stuff is landing. Big elbows! Wow. Penn is not looking good.
Round is winding down. And it’s over.
10-9 Edgar — Very dominant round. Penn’s strategy is very, very odd. Edgar is doing everything he wants to do. BJ is not mounting any kind of offense and at the end took some damage.
Good combination by Edgar. Penn is still standing upright. Still doing very little.
Edgar lands a left hook. Combination by Edgar. Penn partially blocks an Edgar head kick.
Edgar with more combinations pressing forward. Edgar trips Penn down and he’s in guard. Penn’s face is swelling up. Edgar lands some punches from the top.
Edgar in half-guard. Elbows. Punches. Penn is cut. This is kind of a butt whooping.
That is a bad cut. Penn is bleeding a lot. More elbows. More punches. Edgar is relentless.
Big legs from Edgar. Penn is mounting no defense. This is ugly.
And it continues. That’s it! TKO for Edgar. That was destruction.
Official result: Frankie Edgar def. BJ Penn by TKO at 4:16 of the third round
Analysis: Edgar is a contender at 145 without a doubt. Penn had nothing for him. BJ needs to retire. No more of this, please.
Corey Anderson vs. Matt Van Buren
Anderson is arguably the best propect coming out of this season’s TUF, a very athletic wrestler with evolving striking skills. Van Buren? Well, he’s super tough and has the best nickname on the show — "Gutter." That’s fantastic. An all-timer.
Mario Yamasaki is the referee for this light heavyweight TUF Finale.
Big combinations by Anderson. Van Buren is hurt badly. He’s down and now up again. Taking a ton of punishment. Anderson is crushing him. Hey, Mario. Step in here, bud.
That’s it. Finally. Anderson is a bad dude. Super impressive.
Official result: Corey Anderson def. Matt Van Buren by TKO at 1:01 of the first round
Analysis: Anderson has some hands, eh? Along with that excellent wrestling, Anderson’s striking has come a long way. He’s actually a pretty scary proposition for some guys at 205. Has a bright future. Good TUF prospect.
Dhiego Lima vs. Eddie Gordon
This fight has serious potential. Gordon is a big, strong wrestler with a college football background. He also has power in his hands and some improving striking.
Meanwhile, Lima is a very fast, technical striker with a submission game that was a surprise on the The Ultimate Fighter 19. The winner here gets the TUF contract at middleweight.
Yves Lavigne is the referee for this TUF middleweight final.
Gordon lands a combination. Lima is up against the cage. Gordon smashing Lima against the cage. Wow. Big right hand.
Hammer fists to the back of the head. Gordon is swaming. Lima is out! Gordon wins by TKO. Wow. That did not take long.
Official result: Eddie Gordon def. Dhiego Lima by TKO at 1:11 of the first round
Analysis: Whoa. Gordon has serious power. Cracked him with a couple of overhand rights and then ground and pound that was pretty serious. Two of those punches came to the back of the head, though. Don’t know if they mattered, but still. That is illegal.
Derrick Lewis vs. Guto Inocente
The Blackzilians are very high on Inocente. Matt Mitrione thinks he’s the next UFC heavyweight champion. He’s been out for two years with injuries. It’ll be really interesting to see how this goes for him.
Lewis is a converted boxer with a nice record, a UFC win and some heavy, heavy hands. This one could very well end quickly.
Inocente is giving up more than 30 pounds in this fight. That’s scarier. He probably won’t want to go to the ground.
Fairly long feeling out process.
Lewis pushes forward. Inocente using his footwork. Lewis presses him up against the cage. Smart move.
Lewis grabs a single leg, but Inocente gets up quickly.
Lewis just threw a huge right and Inocente ate it. Damn. Dude has a chin. Lewis has huge power.
Inocente lands a leg kick and falls down. Lewis wades in, avoids up kicks and he’s in guard.
Lewis drops some serious ground and pound. Inocente is out. Oh my Lord. Lewis’ power is scary. Absolutely scary. Bounced Inocente’s head off the canvas.
Inocente has no idea what happened. Wow.
Official result: Derrick Lewis def. Guto Inocente by knockout at 3:30 of the first round
Analysis: Stay off your back against Lewis. My goodness. His ground and pound is absolutely ridiculous. Inocente has potential. There might have been ring rust there. But Lewis was a terrible matchup. Too big. Too much power.
Justin Scoggins vs. Dustin Ortiz
This is probably the most interesting fight besides the main event on the entire card. Scoggins is a serious, serious prospect at flyweight. At 22 years old, he’s 9-0 with two wins in the UFC.
Ortiz has won five of six and he probably should have won a decision over John Moraga in January, but the judges thought otherwise. He’s only 25.
Ortiz immediately goes for a takedown. Scoggins, from the bottom, gets a hold of an armbar. It’s tight! He’s really cranking on it, now belly down. Ortiz somehow gets out. His arm looked torqued. Wow. That was crazy.
Scoggins has Ortiz up against the cage. They’re back standing in the center.
Scoggins lands a punch with Ortiz coming in and takes Ortiz down. Scoggins finds his back briefly. Ortiz counters. Now he’s in dominant position. They’re back up. Scoggins pressing Ortiz against the fence.
Scoggins ducks under and has Ortiz down. Some serious scrambling here with Scoggins getting the better of it.
Scoggins has Ortiz’s back, but it probably won’t be for long. Ortiz is shaking him loose. They’re both standing. Ortiz lands a big combination right at the bell. Fun stuff.
10-9 Scoggins — Still have no clue how Ortiz got out of that armbar. This one was almost over quickly. Scoggins also got the better of the exchanges.
Ortiz dominates the entire round on top. Scoggins does next to nothing. After winning most of the exchanges in the first, Scoggins is on the wrong side of this one now. The tide has turned.
10-9 Ortiz — Easy one to call. But not quite 10-8.
Scoggins lands a hard right and then a left.
Ortiz lands a left of his own.
Now they’re back grappling. Scoggins has Ortiz pushed up against the cage. Ortiz is down now. Ortiz looking for the switch. Now he’s looking for a takedown.
This is a pretty evenly matched fight. Ortiz goes for a takedown. Scoggins looks for a switch.
Ortiz ends up on top. That might do it for this fight. It’s very close, but Ortiz finishes the round on top.
10-9 Ortiz — This was a close fight and the judges struggle most when it’s a grappling battle. But Ortiz won the second and third rounds. Hard to dispute.
Official result: Dustin Ortiz def. Justin Scoggins by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Analysis: Two judges had it right. All Ortiz does is win split decisions. The guy is really tough and no one wants to see his wrestling in the flyweight division. Scoggins is 22. He could be a future champ. But he’s no longer undefeated.
PRELIMS (FOX Sports 1)
Jesse Ronson vs. Kevin Lee
Ronson has lost two in a row and Lee is coming off a loss to Al Iaquinta in his UFC debut back in February.
Lee immediately shoots for a takedown. Ronson defending. He’s up against the cage.
They break and are standing in the center of the cage.
Lee goes for a takedown again up against the cage. Ronson defends well and they’re back standing.
Lee is trying to turn this into a grappling match. Lee lands the takedown, but Ronson pops right back up.
Lee landing hard on Ronson against the cage. Ronson hits some punches too. Lee gets that takedown he wanted.
Lee riding the back of Ronson as the round ends.
10-9 Lee — Lee only got the one takedown, but he controlled the cage and landed a few punches. Enough for the round barely.
Ronson lands a kick. And another. That kickboxing background is helping here.
Lee looking for the takedown again. Ronson is defending well. They’re both back up.
Lee gets a takedown and actually holds Ronson down briefly. Ronson back up again.
Good right hand by Ronson. Uppercut. Ronson shoots for a takedown. But why?
Lee defends. They’re both standing. Ronson lands a combination that backs Lee up.
Lee goes for a takedown. Ronson is against the cage. Doesn’t look like he’ll get this one. Time is running out. That’s the round.
10-9 Ronson — Lee landed a takedown, but Ronson was far more effective standing up. He did more damage and stuffed the majority of Lee’s shots.
The two exchange. Doesn’t take long for Lee to shoot for a takedown against the cage. No dice.
Ronson landing some strikes now. Stuffs a takedown. Lee gets a takedown and Ronson finds his back in a scramble. Ronson has his arm under Lee’s chin! Lee slips out and gets on top. Wow. That was close. Ronson didn’t have the hooks in, but the choke was there.
Lee dominates with some more wrestling. There’s a big athleticism difference here and it mattered a ton.
Lee has Ronson’s back now as Ronson stands up. Big exchanges by both men late. Ronson gets the better of it. Good end to a pretty boring fight.
10-9 Lee, 29-28 Lee — Not a good fight. Lee should win, because he controlled things. Ronson landed more, but Lee was the aggressor and he dictated where the fight took place.
Official result: Kevin Lee def. Jesse Ronson by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Analysis: Neither guy looked very good. One dimensional. Lee was able to get things to the floor well enough to win. Ronson could be facing the prospect of a release.
Jumabieke Tuerxun vs. Leandro Issa
Issa has lost two of three fights and Teurxun fell in his UFC debut to Mark Eddiva in March. This is a pivotal fight for both men if they want to keep their jobs.
Issa is sporting quite the bald spot. He might as well just go full Dana White.
Tuerxun throws a combination and says Issa landed a shot to the groin. No idea where that happened. Oh, there it is on the replay. Right before the combination.
Tuerxun pressing forward with combinations. Very aggressive.
Issa lands a nice leg kick. And another. Good way to slow your opponent down.
Tuerxun is throwing wildly, but not landing as much as Issa. Issa is being elusive. Tuerxun is kind of sloppy.
Tuerxun lands a right and knocks Issa down. He gives chase and knocks him down again. Issa turtles. Tuerxun needs to be careful on the ground with Issa, who is an accomplished grappler.
The round ends in a clinch.
10-9 Tuerxun — Jumabieke was losing before that late flurry when he dropped Issa twice. He’s coming forward recklessly, throwing wild punches. Some are finding their mark. Issa needs to weather that storm and fight smart.
Issa connects and Tuerxun lands one of his own.
Hard, hard leg kick by Issa. Wow. Left hand by Tuerxun. And another hard one off a combo.
Issa might be in trouble here. Tuerxun continues to press forward. Issa slips and Tuerxun gets on top. Issa is looking to sweep.
Issa uses the cage to sweep and Mario Yamasaki is right on top of it. He takes away a point. Wow. Really? That seemed excessive. Just don’t let him earn that position.
Issa dives for a takedown and gets it. But now they’re back up.
Issa lands a good leg kick. Tuerxun stuffs a takedown. Issa lands some punches.
Nice leg kick by Issa takes Tuerxun off his feet. Tuerxun goes for a takedown and gets it at the bell.
10-8 Tuerxun — His striking is still winning him the fight. Actually, it’s more of his sheer aggression. Issa is starting to figure things out, though.
Issa gets a takedown. He’ll need to finish this fight. A submissin could be his best bet.
Issa looking for a mounted crucifix. He has a guillotine choke and is now on the bottom. Tuerxen slips out. Issa somehow makes it into a mount.
Where was this slick grappling from Issa earlier? Issa has an armbar! Tuerxun taps. Damn. Needed the finish, got the finish.
Official result: Leandro Issa def. Jumabieke Tuerxun by submission at 3:29 of the third round
Analysis: Issa didn’t look so great standing up and he got that point taken away. But he decided to show off that BJJ black belt in the third round, finally. Tuerxun could not match him on the ground and it showed.
Adriano Martins vs. Juan Manuel Puig Carreon
Martins is best known for getting knocked out by Donald Cerrone back in January. He won six straight before that. Puig has won six in a row and is one of Mexico’s top prospects.
Martins lands a combination out of the gate. And another good one.
Martins catches a kick and sends Puig onto his butt. Both are back up.
Big right by Martins rocks Puig! And Puig responds by kicking Martins directly in the jewels. Nice.
They’re back fighting and Martins absolutely lays Puig out with a right hook while Puig was coming in. Wow. Guess that groin kick didn’t matter. Right on the snooze button.
Official result: Adriano Martins def. Juan Manuel Puig Carreon by knockout at 2:21 of the first round
Analysis: Martins striking looked pretty solid. Losing to Cerrone is nothing to be ashamed about. This was a nice bounce-back win for him in the lightweight division. Puig has some serious work to do.
Patrick Walsh vs. Daniel Spohn
Couple of TUF 19 semifinalists going at it here. Apparently, these were the only two other guys Joe Silva felt warranted a chance on this card other than four finalists.
Walsh lands a big, awkward takedown. Spohn looking for an arm-in guillotine. Walsh is in half-guard, though, so he seems pretty safe. And now he’s out.
Spohn gets back to full guard. Walsh looking to isolate one arm and drop some ground and pound. Walsh looking for a kimura possibly. He’s into half-guard.
Walsh looking for a straight armbar. He’s a strong dude. Spohn is out. Walsh lands an elbow. Looking for the armbar again. Spohn needs to figure out a way to get out of there.
Walsh in side control now. Dominant grappling from him right now.
Spohn eats an elbow. And then a big right hand. Spohn is bloodied.
10-9 Walsh — Very, very good round for Walsh. On the show, he loved to stand and trade. He went back to his wrestling roots in that round and it was a smart dedcision.
Another takedown from Walsh. Spohn needs to work on that takedown defense. He also needs to get up off his back or this round is going to look the same as the first.
Walsh back looking for the straight armbar. Spohn sweeps and Walsh is on his back, trying to torque that arm. Spohn is out and the crowd cheers.
Spohns lands an elbow. Walsh is trying to get up. Spohn takes his back. Hooks are in with Walsh standing up. Walsh is loose. They’re back standing.
Spohn with a right hook. Then a sloppy combination. Walsh goes for a takedown, wisely. Spohn stuffs it. Spohn seeking a guillotine. He should be more concerned about not getting taken down.
Walsh lands the takedown. He’s in half guard. Walsh looking for that straight armbar again, not surprisingly. Hasn’t worked yet, though.
That’s the end of the round.
10-9 Walsh — More dominant wrestling, though Spohn had his moments in that round. He needs to keep it standing.
Spohn lands a combination and starts pressuring Walsh standing. He lands again on Walsh against the cage.
And here’s the takedown attempt. He’s got it. Walsh on top.
Spohn giving up his back. Walsh in half-guard.
Spohn gets up with Walsh tying up his arm. Walsh lands another takedown. Credit to him for this deliberate, effective strategy. Isn’t much fun to watch, but it’s working quite well. There’s something to be said for that.
They’re stood up. Spohn lands some big punches. Walsh has a hell of a chin. Final minute now. Big knees from Spohn.
Walsh gets a takedown. Spohn wants a guillotine. Nope. Walsh was bloodied. Spohn should have gotten the hell out of there rather than trying for the guillotine.
Spohn gets up, but it’s too late. Round over and fight over.
10-9 Walsh, 30-27 Walsh — Spohn had his chances in the third round and rocked Walsh. But to say that takedown defense is loose would be quite the understatement. Walsh dominated the wrestling. That made the difference.
Official result: Patrick Walsh def. Daniel Spohn by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Analysis: I don’t see any reason why Walsh can’t win fights in the UFC’s light heavyweight division. He’s got good wrestling and an iron chin. Spohn has potential standing, but has work to do in grappling for sure.
EARLY PRELIMS (Fight Pass)
Sarah Moras vs. Alexis Dufresne
This is an excellent chance for some new blood to emerge in the women’s bantamweight division, which sorely needs it. Both women are making their UFC debuts. Moras is an alum of TUF 18.
The referee for this catchweight bout is Yves Lavigne. Dufresne didn’t make 135, so Moras agreed to come in higher, too.
Big combination by Moras. Dufresne gets her into a clinch and takes her down. She’s in guard.
Dufresne jumps into side control. She drops a knee in side control. Now into half guard. Moras defending well. She’s a good grappler, though Dufresne has a more impressive BJJ pedigree.
Moras back to guard. Dufresne stands up and eats an up kick. But she lands a punch coming back into guard, too.
Round ends with Dufresne in guard. Solid grappling match so far.
10-9 Dufresne — Moras seemed to get the best of the stand up very early until Dufresne took her down. She wasn’t able to do much damage there, but kept control for most of the round.
The two come out and exchange big punches. Dufresne lands a takedown. Her wrestling has been the difference so far.
Dufresne in side control. Now half guard. Lavigne stands them up. Dufresne looks tired.
Now Moras lands a takedown and she’s on top. No damage being done. Dufresne has her wrapped up. Lavigne stands them up again.
Moras shoots and Dufresne counters. Moras ends up on top, though. Some solid grappling. Some ground and pound by Moras. Dufresne sweeps. She’s in side control. That’s how the round ends.
10-9 Moras — Dufresne has slowed down quite a bit. Looks tired. Moras was the aggressor in this round, getting two takedowns and spending most of the time on top. Clear round for her.
Dufresne grabs a takedown. Moras tries to counter. Doesn’t work. Dufresne is in half guard.
Dufresne is positionally sound, but doesn’t do a whole lot of damage from the top. She’s in guard now.
Moras getting in some shots from the bottom. Moras goes for a triangle. Then hits an upkick. Moras is doing better from the bottom than Dufresne is from the top. Wonder if the judges will see it that way.
Moras looks to sweep. Can’t get it. Dufresne is the bigger, stronger fighter. Also the heavier one since she missed weight. Moras goes for an armbar. Nope. She’s way more active from the bottom.
Moras goes for a toehold. Won’t get it. Fight over.
10-9 Moras, 29-28 Moras — Dufresne held top position for most of the third round, but Moras did more from the bottom. She connected with punches and elbows and threatened with submissions and sweeps. Dufresne kind of just hung out there. The judges will probably think differently.
Official result: Sarah Moras def. Alexis Dufresne by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
Analysis: Dufresne missed weight and gassed out. Not a good look for her UFC debut. She’s only 23, though, so she has time to straighten stuff out. Moras looked solid, if unspectacular. Her grappling is pretty strong and her hands looked better than they did on TUF.
Robert Drysdale vs. Keith Berish
I’m actually pretty excited about this fight. Drysdale is, of course, a a Brazilian jiu-jitsu master and a potential prospect, though 32 years old, in MMA. This is his UFC debut. Same goes for Berish, who is also undefeated. The UFC could use some fresh light heavyweight talent.
Drysdale shoots in for a takedown and gets it. This is where he wants it. Berish is in a bad spot against the cage. Drysdale is trying to get his back and gets it.
Body triangle for Drysdale. Working for the rear-naked choke. Or a neck crank. Now, the crank. Berish getting up to his feet with Drysdale still on his back. He’s up and then back down! Drysdale squeezes and that’s it. Berish taps.
It looks like Berish’s knee gave out. Ouch. That was not good at all. Groans from the crowd on the replay.
Official result: Robert Drysdale def. Keith Berish by submission (rear-naked choke) at 2:03 of the first round
Analysis: We know what kind of BJJ competitor Drysdale is and he’s still undefeated in MMA. It seems like we’ve been waiting forever for him to come to the UFC. He’s here now and has a shot to make noise.