Site Network:

Fans Loving MMA

Fans are loving MMA right now, with the UFC Championships gearing up for number 118.

Bridgewater lightweight Joe Lauzon got the building rocking with a high-energy domination of Gabe Ruediger in this much-anticipated Massachusetts debut of the UFC, the major leagues of mixed martial arts. But neither Marcus Davis nor Kenny Florian could keep the Boston Tee-off Party going.

Davis, who lives in Bangor, Maine, and trains in Somerville, was bloodied, battered and choked unconscious by Nate Diaz. And Florian, who grew up in Dover and trains in Brookline, was taken down and smothered in a unanimous-decision victory by Gray Maynard.

It took Randy Couture's heart-thumping beatdown of boxer James Toney to breath some life back into the crowd of 15,575.

Lauzon got things off to a rousing start. Really, all the 26-year-old native of the fight town of Brockton had to do was emerge from the tunnel to invigorate the fans, who had been sitting on their hands through four preliminary fights that were heavy on technical grappling, light on crowd-pleasing fisticuffs. But as enthusiastically as he was greeted upon entering the cage, Lauzon turned the arena's energy up a notch from the fight's opening moments.