Sunday, January 2, 2011


I picked Maynard for this one. It's not that I was underestimating the champ, Frankie Edgar. It's just that, seeing Edgar's style and how he beat BJ Penn (especially in that extremely impressive second outing), I figured Maynard was the man to take him out. Edgar's style is to use his amazingly quick footwork and go in and out a hundred percent of the time and outpoint his opponent, and attempt to finish as quickly as possible if an opening arises, which is very similar to how UFC Bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz does battle.

Maynard, however, is an extremely talented wrestler and has power in both hands. He used his wrestling to utterly dominate former top contender Kenny Florian in his last fight and I predicted that he would do something to Frankie Edgar. Edgar's an amazing wrestler himself but I figured that Maynard's abilities would still outclass him, especially considering that he'd already accomplished that before.

Gray Maynard catches Frankie Edgar early in the first round

I was on my feet throughout the first round. My pick was winning and winning decisively! Maynard catches Edgar early in the first round and sends him flying across the Octagon, chasing him down and raining down punches all the way. It reminded me very much of how Cain Velasquez dominated Brock Lesnar to become the new UFC Heavyweight champion. I was extremely certain that this was how the Lightweight belt would change hands.

Imagine my surprise however, when Maynard's beatdown on Edgar lasted until the bell. Edgar took Maynard's punishment for almost an entire round and survived! Oh, wow, Frankie Edgar has an invincible chin, it seems!


Gray Maynard dominates Frankie Edgar in the
first five minutes of the fight
Despite my thinking that this would turn out similarly to how Velasquez defeated Lesnar, the second round was turning this more into how Shane Carwin gassed out and got submitted by Lesnar. After an entire round of just throwing hay-makers and attempting to knock out "The Answer", Maynard looked to be moving slower than he did. What was even more surprising was that Edgar seemed to have recovered almost immediately!

Impossible as it seems, that's how it went down. After getting rained upon by extremely heavy punches for almost 5 straight minutes, Frankie Edgar was moving at his original speed: lightning fast. His punches were as accurate as ever, and he managed to pepper Maynard with multiple jabs before landing a huge power slam, proving without a doubt that he had regained all his energy.


Each fighter now has a round apiece. Unfortunately, though, both fighters seemed to be slowing down more and more as time went on. The rest of the fight was still very exciting and back and forth, but not nearly as action-packed as the first two. What was extremely surprising was that Edgar managed to shrug off almost all of Maynard's takedowns for the last three rounds, which I figured were Maynard's best chances to nab a win. It was exceedingly difficult to score the last three rounds, but apparently, this is how the judges saw it ...

Frankie Edgar miraculously recovers and
turns the tables in the second round

Yup, the judges scored it a draw (48-46 Maynard, 48-46, Edgar, 47-47)! At first, I actually thought it would go to Edgar for a split decision. After his full recovery in the second, I began to slowly changed my mind thoughout the fight and was actually cheering for him, instead of my pick! It was just utterly amazing how he managed to not only recover from that first round and come back as strong as ever, but also stuff almost all of Maynard's signature takedowns. He's still only human, though, and he's not Rocky Balboa, so he can't come back and expect a miracle every time. It honestly really sucks, though for a championship fight to end in a draw. The belt defaults to Edgar, of course, but a condition like this makes one feel that it should go to no one, and Edgar, with the extremely disappointed look on his face, probably felt somewhat similar.


Who will win the next time around?
I was shocked, and, despite the fact that I normally hate instant rematches, I hate championship matches going to a draw much more. Sorry, Anthony Pettis, I'm really stoked that you're the new UFC Lightweight top contender, and you certainly earned it, but this is just how I feel as a fan right now. Thankfully, Dana felt the same way, as he changed the UFC's plans at the last minute to make Edgar's next opponent Maynard once again. This is what he said:

"We changed the plans," White told "After Craig made the announcement, I had a lot of people talking to me, and the reality is, Gray Maynard deserves that fight. We had planned on doing Anthony Pettis next, but Gray went in there and fought his ass off and deserves another chance.

"In the UFC, we do the right thing, and the right thing is to put on this rematch."

Thank you very much, Mr. White! I will definitely be looking forward to that one!


Now, though, I'm in a bit of a pickle as I have no idea who to root for now. Maynard's power almost took Edgar out in the first, but Edgar has an iron chin and can't be knocked out so easily. Plus, he apparently has Wolverine's healing factor and the extra ability to stuff Maynard's takedowns almost all the time. With that, I guess I'm rooting for Frankie the next time around. I still have several months to think this over, though, but right, Edgar's my man! Awesome fight! I honestly can't wait for the next one!

Check out more amazing photos of UFC 125 over at the official UFC website!
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