Whenever there are two fighters matched up with the wrestling pedigrees that Matt Veach and Frankie Edgar possess, it’s typically going to come down to who has the better stand-up game to complement their wrestling abilities. Here we take a closer look at how these skills were utilized by both fighters in TUF 10’s Fight of the Night.
The beginning of the fight started off with Veach imposing his strength with lead left hooks, transitioning into shots, and displaying good speed and athleticism.
Edgar’s attempt at a head kick was caught by Veach, who set up a series of slams reminiscent of Veach’s stablemate and coach, Matt Hughes.
Although experiencing airtime on a few occasions, a calm and collected Edgar safely enjoyed the rides to minimize the impact and continued to make Veach work to keep him down.
After two and a half minutes of multiple takedowns by Veach, Edgar was able to break free and set the tempo for the remainder of the fight. It was then that Edgar, sensing a visibly tiring Veach, went to work.
Avoiding the occasional counters and managing Veach’s lead left hooks for the remainder of the round, Edgar was able to pick at Veach with lead leg kicks and use his speed to score punches effectively. The thing that caught my eye in the second half of the round was the ring generalship that Edgar displayed.
Early in the second round, a slightly rejuvenated Veach was able to avoid Edgar’s strikes and counter with a quick, explosive shot attempt. Again, showing great takedown defense, it was Edgar making Veach work every second to the point of exhaustion.
Sensing a fading Veach, Edgar was able to double up on his right hand and stagger Veach to the ground.
Going in for the finish, Edgar was able to quickly strike his way from side control, to back control, to mount. Attempting to avoid Edgar’s full-mount attack, Veach gave up his back, and Edgar sunk in a fight ending rear naked choke.
This is definitely a fight Veach shouldn’t hang his head over. Edgar has had great wins over Mark Bocek, Tyson Griffin, Spencer Fisher, and Jim Miller. However, it is his last few wins against Hermes Franca, Sean Sherk, and Veach that has heads turning because of his vastly improving striking ability. He has clearly out-boxed his last three opponents, evolving into a complete mixed martial artist. Why shouldn’t he be considered for a title shot? His only defeat was a closely-contested loss to Gray Maynard. Overall, who has the best wins over the toughest competition between the two? I think we know who “The Answer” is.
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