UFC 136: Maynard vs Edgar III
Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
October 8, 2011
The much anticipated end to the Gray Maynard/Frankie Edgar trilogy takes place at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas. Maynard is 1-0-1 vs Edgar but the Jersey fighter owns the belt. Their New Year’s Day fight in Las Vegas at UFC 125 will go down as one of the greatest of all time. Edgar is a small favorite at -140. Gray “The Bully” Maynard is +110 on the take back.
This is one of the deepest UFC cards in a long time and the undercard is stacked. Chael Sonnen returns to the ring off suspension and takes on Brian “The All American” Stann. The winner will likely get Anderson Silva in his next fight. Jose “Scarface” Aldo defends his featherweight title against Kenny Florian who hopes to avoid becoming the Buffalo Bills of the UFC. Expect fireworks in a lightweight street fight between Melvin Guillard and Joe Lauzon. Don’t blink. Completing the TV card is the Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia/Nam Phan rematch. These two met TUF finale (GSP vs Koscheck) with Garcia coming away with a highly controversial split decision. Here is Sportsbetting3’s analysis of the TV card.
Guillard is very experienced with over 40 fights despite being just 28 years-old. “The Young Assassin” is a devastating striker who is getting a big push off wins over Jeremy Stephens, Evan Dunham, and Shane Roller. He’s a highlight reel knockout artist who is a fight or two away from a title shot. Lauzon (20-6) is a solid veteran with all the tools but is just 4-3 in his L7 fights fighting less than what’s in front of him tonight. Guillard by late TKO.
Ask 100 people who watched the first fight and 85 will tell you that Phan was the winner. Phan is just 3-7 in his L10 fights but he’s off two tough decicion losses to Garcia and Mike Brown. Garcia has all kinds of talent but has been hindered by inconsistency and outside the cage problems. Phan figures to be exxtremely motivated here and will outwork Garcia enroute to a unanimous decision win.
What a classic matchup. The trash talking technically perfect wrestler vs the “All American” war hero with the iron fists. When last we saw Sonnen, he was 60 seconds from beating Anderson Silva but a positive test for PEDs and legal problems have kept Sonnen on the shelf since August of 2010. Stann is off huge KO wins over Chris Leben and Jorge Santiago. If the fight stays upright, Stann will have a punchers chance. If Sonnen take it to the mat, he can lock Stann up for all 15 minutes. Guess what ??? If Anderson Silva couldn’t keep it off the mat, neither will Stann. Sonnen wins by decision or late submission.
It’s surprising to see KFlo this big an underdog. Florian has been in with the best albiet with not a whole lot of succes. He’s 0-3 in championship fights that were all fough at lightweight. He drops to featherweight here off a win over Diego Nunes but faces a true killer in Aldo. The Brazilian champ has not lost since 2005 and has walked through Swanson, Brown, Faber, Gamburyan, and Hominick. Scarface is non-stop kicks, knees, elbows, and punches. Florian has the wits to survive 25 minutes but not the weapons to take the belt. Aldo by an easy decision.
Edgar’s only loss came early in his career to Maynard in a fight “The Truth” was never in. On New Year’s Day, Edgar came off the floor twice in the first round to work at a majority decision draw. That fight was the best I’ve ever seen in person and this one figures to be a war as well. That said, third time might be the charm for the champ from New Jersey. He’s got 40 minutes to make whatever adjustments need to be made and in the end, think that Edgar’s superior cardio may be the difference. Maynard has thunder in both hands but tends to fade in the later round and this is where Edgar steals the fight. Edgar by decision.