Middleweights will be in action tonight when Team Penn’s Tim Williams collides with Team Edgar’s Dhiego Lima.
Last week, Team Penn earned its second consecutive victory when Dan Spohn outpointed Todd Monaghan. However, UFC President Dana White seemed less than jazzed about Spohn’s method of victory, which amounted to the “Dragon” taking Monaghan down and controlling him for the majority of the bout while inflicting little damage.
Team Edgar’s Patrick Walsh expresses appreciation for Spohn’s smart strategy, a sentiment which Monaghan predictably finds irritating. Walsh says he will try harder to support his teammates, though he is currently dealing with his own problem in the form of chronic back pain.
Meanwhile, B.J. Penn’s boys are in the midst of some brutal training. Though they appear to be sweating buckets, all the members of Team Penn give their coaching staff glowing reviews.
Williams recounts how he crashed his vehicle in his youth, resulting in serious injuries. Grateful for a second chance at life, Williams tried out for “TUF 17” but was defeated by Dylan Andrews in the elimination round. Undeterred, the middleweight succeeded in making it to the fighter house this time around, and he vows that no one will outwork him during his time on the show.
Williams also reveals that he was diagnosed with a brain aneurysm prior to his first pro fight, requiring him to undergo surgery. Much like his automobile accident, this ordeal provided Williams with perspective and an appreciation for the fragility of life.
Back at the fighter house, Matt Van Buren gets into it with Chris Fields over which man owns the stranger accent.
“Fields is just a turd. He gets under my skin,” says Van Buren. “I’m not in middle school. We’re in a situation to fight.”
Later, Lima explains how his parents emigrated from Brazil to the United States when he was only 11. Along with his brother, Bellator champion Douglas Lima, the middleweight was thrust into American school without knowing a word of English. Inspired by both Wanderlei Silva’s famous knockout of Quinton Jackson in Pride and his brother’s early success in MMA, Lima has grown into one of the sport’s most highly-regarded prospects.
Both men make weight, and Penn’s assistant coaches, John Hackleman and Mark Coleman, stop by the fighter house to give Williams a final bit of encouragement. Meanwhile, Lima consults his teammates on which middle name he should give his soon-to-be-born daughter.
The men are now in the cage, and Williams presses the action early, initiating the clinch and then taking Lima to the mat with a nice outside trip. Penn’s man lands in side control, though Lima manages to recover half-guard and eats an elbow for his efforts. Williams rains down several more hard elbows, and Lima tries to explode to his feet. Instead, Williams takes his back, much to the chagrin of Frankie Edgar, who was screaming for Lima to put his back on the floor to prevent that very thing. Williams roughs up his foe with ground-and-pound but can’t find the rear-naked choke as the round wanes.
Lima catches Williams with a few nice counter punches to start round two, but Penn’s man eventually scores with a takedown. However, Lima works back to his feet, and the men exchange punches relatively evenly until Edgar’s fighter hurts Williams with a snappy left hook. Williams dives for a takedown, but Lima sprawls on it easily. Penn yells at Williams to initiate another clinch, but Lima clips him with a hard right-left that wobbles him. Williams fires back with a hard superman punch and rips a couple of knees to his man’s ribs from the Thai plum. Williams then changes levels for a double-leg, and although he looks deep, Lima manages to sprawl on the attempt and pivot to Williams’ back, snatching his throat and sinking a rear-naked choke in a single, slick sequence.
With Lima’s come-from-behind win, Team Edgar has control of the fight pick for the first time this season. “The Answer” selects Corey Anderson to take on Team Penn light heavyweight Josh Clark next week.