Currently: 89° | Complete forecast | Log in

UFC 136 breakdown, betting odds and picks

Unlike their fight in January, Frankie Edgar favored over Gray Maynard

Reader poll

Who will the lightweight championship at UFC 136?

View results

HOUSTON — When Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard fought for the lightweight championship at UFC 125, all four prognosticators in the Las Vegas Sun’s picks section sided with Edgar. In their rematch after the fight ended in a draw, scheduled for the main event of Saturday’s UFC 136, all four are picking Maynard.

Oddsmakers had the opposite reaction heading into Edgar vs. Maynard III. Maynard has gone from a slight favorite at UFC 125 to an underdog at UFC 136.

Edgar is installed as a -150 favorite (risking $1.50 to win $1) while Maynard comes back at +120 (risking $1 to win $1.20).

Maynard vs. Edgar was one of five UFC 136 bouts our picks crew — Las Vegas Sun’s Case Keefer (78-44), KSNV’s Kevin West (76-46), ESPN Radio/Cagewriter.com’s Steve Cofield (74-48) and ESPN.com’s Brett Okamoto (60-30) — agreed unanimously on.

Check below to find the other four as well as betting odds and a breakdown for all 11 fights on the card.

Gray Maynard

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’8''
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 8-0-1
  • MMA record 10-0-1
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: +120

Frankie Edgar

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 5’6''
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 8-1-1
  • MMA record 13-1-1
  • Out of: Toms River, N.J.
  • Betting line: -150

Lightweight Championship Bout

Main Event

Last fight: Split draw against Frankie Edgar at UFC 125.

Punch list: Maynard beat Edgar in 2008 by using his wrestling to take the current champion down repeatedly. Maynard nearly beat Edgar in January with his boxing, punching his rival into oblivion in the first round. The only iffy part of Maynard’s game is his jiu-jitsu, as he has no wins by submission. But he’s also never been submitted — or lost period.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Maynard

Cofield: Maynard

Last fight: Split draw against Gray Maynard at UFC 125.

Punch list: Edgar has spent the better part of two years preparing for only two different fighters. Before the UFC 125 fight and rematch with Maynard, he had to beat B.J. Penn twice to first win the belt and second prove he deserved it. The hold-ups have left a long line of lightweights hungry to get a shot at Edgar.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Maynard

Okamoto: Maynard

Kenny Florian

  • Age: 35
  • Height: 5’10”
  • Weight: 146
  • UFC record 12-4
  • MMA record 16-5
  • Out of: Boston
  • Betting line: +260

Jose Aldo

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5’7''
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 19-1
  • Out of: Rio de Janeiro
  • Betting line: -325

Featherweight Championship Bout

Co-Main Event

Last fight: Unanimous decision victory over Diego Nunes at UFC 131.

Punch list: Ah, the joys of being an established star like Florian in the UFC. The former lightweight received a title shot at featherweight after only one win in the weight class because he was the most marketable and well-known challenger available for Aldo. That’s not to say he’s not talented enough to warrant it, as Florian is the only fighter who can say he would be in the top 10 in the world at both 145 pounds and 155 pounds.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Aldo

Cofield: Aldo

Last fight: Unanimous decision win against Mark Hominick at UFC 129.

Punch list: Two of Aldo’s last three bouts have gone to a decision. That’s somewhat surprising after he won his first six fights in the WEC by knockout. Aldo is one of the most well-rounded fighters in the world. Everyone knows about his striking, but he’s also a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and showed off his wrestling chops against Hominick by taking him down multiple times in the opening four rounds.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Aldo

Okamoto: Aldo

Brian Stann

  • Age: 31
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 5-2
  • MMA record 11-3
  • Out of: Scranton, Pa.
  • Betting line: +205

Chael Sonnen

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 5-3
  • MMA record 26-10-1
  • Out of: Portland, Ore.
  • Betting line: -255

Middleweight Bout

Featured Contest

Last fight: Second round TKO victory over Jorge Santiago at UFC 130.

Punch list: No one in the UFC’s stock has rocketed in 2011 as much as Stann’s. He’s gone from a middling light heavyweight to a soaring middleweight with knockout victories over Santiago and Chris Leben within the calendar year. The American war hero, who trains with Greg Jackson in Albuquerque, N.M., has some of the best stand-up in the division, but wrestling has been his weakness.

Staff picks:KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Sonnen

Cofield: Sonnen

Last fight: Fifth round submission loss to Anderson Silva at UFC 117.

Punch list: Sonnen is still referring to himself as “the middleweight champion of the world”. It’s part in good humor, and possibly part in denial. He crushed Silva throughout their title fight before getting caught in a late triangle choke to come up short in what would have been one of the biggest upsets in UFC history. He used his wrestling to take Silva down and pound on him, and a similar game plan will probably be used against Stann.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Sonnen

Okamoto: Sonnen

Joe Lauzon

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’10''
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 7-3
  • MMA record 20-6
  • Out of: Boston
  • Betting line: +265

Melvin Guillard

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’9''
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 10-4
  • MMA record 28-8-2
  • Out of: Albuquerque, N.M.
  • Betting line: -325

Lightweight Bout

Pay-Per-View Fight

Last fight: First round submission win over Curt Warburton at UFC on Versus 4.

Punch list: Lauzon has won a bonus in each of his last five fights — three submissions of the night and two fights of the night. His reputation is sterling as an entertaining fighter stuck somewhere slightly above the middle of the division. Beating Guillard would catapult him to the top.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Guillard

Cofield: Guillard

Last fight: First round knockout of Shane Roller at UFC 132.

Punch list: “The Young Assassin” has looked light years ahead of three of his last four opponents and beat them via first round knockout. He also took a split decision win over Jeremy Stephens in between. An impressive win here could give Guillard the next crack at the winner of Edgar vs. Maynard.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Guillard

Okamoto: Guillard

Nam Phan

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 5’6’’
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 0-2
  • MMA record 16-9
  • Out of: Orange County, Calif.
  • Betting line: -175

Leonard Garcia

  • Age: 32
  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 2-3
  • MMA record 15-7
  • Out of: Lubbock, Texas
  • Betting line: +145

Featherweight Bout

Pay-Per-View Opener

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Mike Brown at UFC 133.

Punch list: Most who saw Phan’s “The Ultimate Fighter” 12 finale bout against Garcia thought he won. But the judges gave the decision to Garcia, which made the demand for this rematch so heavy. Phan has lost one in between, so he could face termination from the promotion with another loss here.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Phan

Cofield: Phan

Last fight: Second round loss via submission to Chan Sung Jung at UFC Fight Night 24.

Punch list: “Bad Boy” fell victim to the rarely used twister submission his last time out. The once-feared Garcia is only 2-3-1 over the last two years with the two victories coming via split decision. But he always brings excitement and usually finds himself in all out striking wars.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Garcia

Okamoto: Phan

Jorge Santiago

  • Age: 30
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 1-3
  • MMA record 23-9
  • Out of: Coconut Creek, Fla.
  • Betting line: +215

Demian Maia

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 8-3
  • MMA record 14-3
  • Out of: Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Betting line: -275

Middleweight Bout

Spike Prelim

Last fight: Second round knockout loss against Brian Stann at UFC 130.

Punch list: Santiago has achieved great success in every other notable promotion he’s appeared in, but can’t solve the UFC riddle. He risks being cut from the organization for a second time if Maia runs through him. Although entertaining, Stann had no issue putting Santiago away in May.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Santiago

Cofield: Maia

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Mark Munoz at UFC 131.

Punch list: The decision over Munoz was razor-thin and could have gone either way. Maia rocked Munoz in the first and took his back in the third, but that wasn’t enough to impress any of the judges. He’s determined to get another shot at Anderson Silva after losing and being humiliated and taunted by the pound-for-pound great in a bout a year-and-a-half ago.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Santiago

Okamoto: Maia

Jeremy Stephens

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 5’9’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 7-5
  • MMA record 20-6
  • Out of: San Diego
  • Betting line: +225

Anthony Pettis

  • Age: 24
  • Height: 5’10’’
  • Weight: 155
  • UFC record 0-1
  • MMA record 13-2
  • Out of: Milwaukee
  • Betting line: -285

Lightweight Bout

Spike Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Danny Downes at “The Ultimate Fighter” 12 finale.

Punch list: Stephens is known for his toughness and power. He’s also gotten involved in some extremely close fights. The showdown with Downes, Pettis’ training partner at Duke Roufus’ stable, was not one of them.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Pettis

Cofield: Pettis

Last fight: Unanimous decision loss to Clay Guida at “The Ultimate Fighter” 13 finale.

Punch list: Pettis failed to deliver in his much-anticipated UFC debut in June. He couldn’t defend Guida’s relentless wrestling. If he loses here, much of the final WEC lightweight champion’s hype will be washed away and he’ll be years from any possible title contention.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Pettis

Okamoto: Pettis

Stipe Miocic

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6’4’’
  • Weight: 241
  • UFC record 0-0
  • MMA record 6-0
  • Out of: Cleveland
  • Betting line: -210

Joey Beltran

  • Age: 29
  • Height: 6’1’’
  • Weight: 240
  • UFC record 3-2
  • MMA record 13-5
  • Out of: San Diego
  • Betting line: +170

Heavyweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: Second round submission win over Bobby Brents at North American Allied Fight Series: Fight in the Flats 7.

Punch list: He has unbelievable hype for someone to never step foot in the octagon. Miocic was a Division I wreslter, a Golden Gloves champion in boxing and a Major League Baseball prospect. The Croatian has finished all of his fights.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Beltran

Cofield: Miocic

Last fight: Third round TKO victory over Aaron Rosa at UFC 131.

Punch list: Beltran has an iron chin that has never failed him. Although he’s got a few losses, none of them have come via knockout despite the punishment he takes. He’ll be motivated to welcome Miocic to a new level of competition.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Miocic

Okamoto: Beltran

Darren Elkins

  • Age: 27
  • Height: 5’8”
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 2-1
  • MMA record 12-2
  • Out of: Hobart, Ind.
  • Betting line: -105

Tiequan Zhang

  • Age: 33
  • Height: 5’8’’
  • Weight: 145
  • UFC record 1-0
  • MMA record 18-1
  • Out of: Beijing, China
  • Betting line: -125

Featherweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Michihiro Omigawa at UFC 131.

Punch list: Most felt he lost to Omigawa and UFC President Dana White vowed to treat it as a win for the Japanese fighter. But Elkins gets to move forward with his UFC career, too. He’s a wrestler who is making his second career appearance at 145 pounds.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Elkins

Cofield: Zhang

Last fight: First round submission victory over Jason Reinhardt at UFC 127.

Punch list: It’s surprising how long it’s taken Zhang to get his next fight considering how quickly the last one went. He dropped Reinhardt almost immediately and was able to lock in a successful guillotine before a minute had passed. That’s exactly what he does best as his last five wins are by first round submission.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Zhang

Okamoto: Elkins

Eric Schafer

  • Age: 34
  • Height: 6’3’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 3-4
  • MMA record 12-5-2
  • Out of: Milwaukee
  • Betting line: +250

Aaron Simpson

  • Age: 37
  • Height: 6’0’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 5-2
  • MMA record 9-2
  • Out of: Phoenix
  • Betting line: -310

Middleweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: First round submission victory over Chris Albandia at XFO 41.

Punch list: Schafer got the call as a late fill-in for injured Nick Catone. It’s his third try in the UFC, but first in the middleweight class. The first two came to a halt after dropping fights in the 205-pound class.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Schafer

Cofield: Simpson

Last fight: Unanimous decision win over Brad Tavares at UFC 132.

Punch list: This is Simpson’s second straight bout where he’s had to deal with a late opponent switch. Tavares replaced Jason Miller in July and now Schafer is in for Nick Catone. Simpson’s quietly on a two-fight winning streak and another victory would have to move him up a notch in the division.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Simpson

Okamoto: Simpson

Mike Massenzio

  • Age: 28
  • Height: 6’2”
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 1-3
  • MMA record 12-5
  • Out of: Paterson, N.J.
  • Betting line: +130

Steve Cantwell

  • Age: 25
  • Height: 6’2’’
  • Weight: 185
  • UFC record 1-3
  • MMA record 6-2
  • Out of: Las Vegas
  • Betting line: -160

Middleweight Bout

Facebook Prelim

Last fight: Unanimous decision defeat against Kryzysztof Soszynski at UFC 131.

Punch list: Massenzio makes his official UFC drop to middleweight. He didn’t want to fight at light heavyweight any longer, but stepped in less than a week before UFC 131 to accept a fight against Soszynski. He was a high school national champion in wrestling.

Staff picks: KSNV and ESPN Radio

West: Cantwell

Cofield: Cantwell

Last fight: Lost to Cyrille Diabate via unanimous decision at UFC on Versus 3.

Punch list: Cantwell is also going from light heavyweight to middleweight for this bout. It’s a move made in attempt to save his UFC career, which has seen three straight losses. He has the tools to compete on this level, as evidenced by the fact that he’s a former WEC champion and well-known for his trilogy against Brian Stann, in which Cantwell went 1-2.

Staff picks: Las Vegas Sun and ESPN.com

Keefer: Cantwell

Okamoto: Massenzio

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

Join the Discussion:

Check this out for a full explanation of our conversion to the LiveFyre commenting system and instructions on how to sign up for an account.

Full comments policy