Johnny Hanson / AP
Published Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011 | 5:55 p.m.
Updated Saturday, Oct. 8, 2011 | 8:44 p.m.
- Gray Maynard out to return a title to Las Vegas at UFC 136
- Weight classes are a hot topic at UFC 136
- UFC 136 weigh-in: Deja vu for Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard
- Stakes are high for Melvin Guillard at UFC 136
- Chael Sonnen abnormally mute before meeting with Brian Stann
- UFC 136 breakdown, betting odds and picks
- UFC 136 co-headliners Aldo and Florian have points to prove
- Frankie Edgar could be the UFC’s most underappreciated champion
- Gray Maynard obsessed with beating Frankie Edgar at UFC 136
- UFC 136: A look at the rapidly approaching mega-card
- UFC 136 section
- All MMA/boxing coverage
HOUSTON — Frankie Edgar said all week that his rivalry with Gray Maynard had a way of bringing the best out of him.
There's no doubt about that after what took place Saturday night at the Toyota Center in the UFC 136 main event. Edgar kept his lightweight championship belt by scoring a TKO victory over Gray Maynard, a Las Vegas native, at 3:54 of the fourth round.
"I'm bringing the belt where it belongs," said Edgar, who fights out of Toms River, N.J.
Through three rounds, the bout seemed like a replay of their UFC 125 championship bout that ended in a draw. Maynard had Edgar in trouble in the first round and nearly knocked him out, but the champion recovered to likely win the second and third rounds.
A close fourth round turned lopsided when Edgar clipped Maynard with something usually seen out of the challengers' arsenal — an uppercut. Maynard wobbled to the fence and Edgar finished him with a right hand followed by ground-and-pound strikes.
"I saw him rocked," Edgar said.
The other belt at risk at UFC 136, the featherweight strap, also didn't change owners. Jose Aldo scored a unanimous-decision victory over Kenny Florian. All three judges gave Aldo four of the possible five rounds.
One of Edgar's most likely challengers, Melvin Guillard, fell out of the race with a stunning submission defeat to Joe Lauzon to start the main card. Also, Chael Sonnen took out rising star Brian Stann with a second-round submission after an eight-minute wrestling clinic. Sonnen immediately called out his enemy, middleweight champion Anderson Silva, for a possible fight on Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas.
Check back to lasvegassun.com for full coverage of UFC 136 and scroll to the bottom for full results from the card.
Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard
Fourth Round More of the same in the first minute of the fourth with Edgar coming in and out. He's also working his leg kick. Maynard lands a few hooks, but Edgar evens it with a straight right to Maynard's nose. Maynard clinches up and they exchange knees. Edgar wobbles Maynard with a straight right, but he recovers. He lands a nice hook of his own and Edgar's right eye is now swollen pretty bad. Edgar is putting more behind his kicks now, which could lead Maynard to look for a takedown. Maynard goes on top and connects with a head kick. The round is about even at the midway point. Maynard shoots in for a takedown, but Edgar gets away. Edgar is a step ahead of most of Maynard's strikes. Edgar gets a late takedown and hurts Maynard with an uppercut. It's over. Edgar pounds Maynard against the fence and wins near the final minute of the round. Frankie Edgar beats Gray Maynard via TKO at 3:54 of the fourth round.
Third Round Both guys are bouncing around and look fresh early. Maynard clinches up with Edgar momentarily and throws a knee. This is another razor close fight in the making. They are both content to stay standing and box each other, which is somewhat surprising for two wrestlers. Edgar lands a leg kick or two, but Maynard won't let him get the takedown on two attempts. By now, these guys have been in the cage together for 55 minutes and it's clear where the advantages lie. Edgar is faster. Maynard is stronger, as evidenced by another combination he lands. Edgar is working his jab to some success when he tries it. Maynard is swinging hard when he punches, but has come up empty repeatedly. Edgar isn't doing much damage, but winning the volume game in the third. Edgar takes another close 10-9 rounds. The score is all knotted up at 38 on the Las Vegas Sun scorecard.
Second Round They circle and the intentions are clear. Edgar wants to recover. Maynard doesn't want to punch himself out. A few jabs land for Edgar, but there's not a lot of action a minute-and-a-half into the round. Edgar throws a successful combination, but Maynard looks fresh. "The Bully" is trying to chase down "The Answer" but Edgar is fast and getting away. They exchange hooks and Edgar has gotten his bearings back — or so it appears. Edgar is coming forward now and works his leg kick. Maynard hasn't come up with much of an attack this round, but throws a head kick with two minutes to go. Maynard nearly slips after an Edgar combination, but looks fine. Edgar has out-boxed Maynard this round, and what do you know? He takes a 10-9 second round just like the last time they fought. Maynard leads 19-18.
First Round We're under way and only a short while remains until a winner that was supposed to come 10 months ago emerges. Edgar is out-boxing Maynard early and weaving in and out. Maynard tries a hook like the one that put Edgar to the ground at UFC 125, but Edgar gets out of the way. Edgar rushes in on Maynard and nearly gets a takedown, but the Las Vegas native shrugs it off and comes forward. Edgar is dictating his pace but doesn't have Maynard in any trouble. Maynard clips Edgar with an uppercut and further wobbles hm with a knee. This is starting to look similar to UFC 125. Edgar answers with a straight right of his own. Two minutes to go and these guys are going all out with high-energy. The crowd is chanting "Frankie", but Maynard knocks him down again. Edgar gets up and Maynard hurts him with a hook. Edgar is just barely surving, much liek their lat meeting. Maynard kicks Edgar in his now-bloody face, but is trying not to punch himself out. A straight left hurts Edgar further and he's trying to survive the round. Bell sounds and Maynard takes a 10-8 in the same vein of their UFC 125 bout.
Jose Aldo vs. Kenny Florian
Fifth Round Florian is the aggressor early, as it's possible he can taste how close he is to his lifelong dream of a UFC title. He pushes Aldo against the fence — sound familiar? — but the champion breaks out. Aldo puts Florian on the ground with a shot and kicks away. Florian can't do anything off of his back and it's worth wondering if the referee should stand this up. Aldo goes for a leg lock, but Florian is out quickly. Aldo is now in Florian's guard. Florian can't like this position with two minutes to go. Aldo has him on his back and unable to make much of a push. Just like that, Florian gets to his feet. Aldo is locked up with Florian and the referee breaks them. Aldo must feel comfortable with where he's at on scorecards as he pushes Florian against cage again and doesn't provide much offense. Florian is throwing all the strikes he can when they break away, but who knows if it will be enough. Aldo lets loose and lands a couple knees with 10 seconds to go. Aldo wins the round 10-9 and takes the fight 48-47 on the Las Vegas Sun scorecard. Judges' thoughts forthcoming. Aldo wins a unanimous decision — all three judges scored it 49-46 — and keeps his featherweight belt.
Fourth Round Florian comes out aggressive and looking for leg kicks. He's moving swiftly and even tries a spinning back fist, a move more tailored to Aldo's game. They clinch up after a minute, which is where Florian wants the fight to be. They're out now and Aldo greets a Florian takedown attempt with a knee to the face. Florian's got Aldo against the fence, much like the first round, and this seems to be his best position. But it's not exciting by any stretch. Aldo shakes out when Florian looks for a takedown. Aside from one minor exception, Aldo is defending takedowns with ease tonight. He throws Florian off of a couple more. But he's offering no offense, as Florian gets Aldo pinned against the cage again. A few boos are ringing out from the crowd, but this is what Florian needs to do. A minute remains and Aldo is trying to punch his way to stealing the round, but Florian gets him clinched up again. Florian takes the fourth and Las Vegas Sun has it 38-38 entering the final round.
Third Round Both men look fresh and prepared to go another 15 minutes if necessary as the bell sounds. Aldo's quickness is getting to Florian, but not in a major way. Florian is coming forward some too. But Aldo is eluding a lot of his strikes with good head movement. A straight right from Aldo rocks Florian and the crowd enjoys it. There's an uppercut. Aldo is controlling the round through two minutes. Aldo's in full mount on the ground after Florian slips. But Florian is staying defensive and not enduring much punishment. But Aldo's firmly on top with no signs of that changing. Aldo gets up after about a minute and Florian is kicking his heel into the champion's shoulder. Florian finally joins Aldo on the feet sporting a cut below his right eye. It was there in the first round, but may have opened a bit more. Round ends with Florian pressing Aldo up against the cage. Aldo takes his second 10-9 in a row and now leads 29-28 headed to the championship rounds.
Second Round Not much to report in the first minute. Aldo grazes Florian's chin with an uppercut, but hasn't landed anything powerful so far. Florian is trying to work his leg kicks, but Aldo is quick enough to get out of the way. Aldo has kind of an odd gameplan. He must be wanting to counter, but Florian isn't offering many opportunities. They trade leg kicks and Aldo's are reverberating through the arena. Ouch. A red welt has shown up on one spot Aldo hit a couple times. Both men playing it safe and not exchanging it too much, but Aldo lands two nice head kicks. He also attacks the aforementioned spot on Florian's leg once more. Florian is holding his own with a few kicks and goes for a single-leg takedown late, but it fails. Aldo wins the second 10-9 and Las Vegas Sun has it 19-19 after two.
First Round Not much action in the first minute other than Aldo coming forward to hit Florian with a couple of punches. Aldo, as expected, looks like the quicker man. Florian shoots for a takedown, but there's nothing there. Two minutes into the round and Florian has succeeded in getting Aldo against the wall. Still no luck on getting it to the ground, though, as Aldo's defense has looked pretty good. Florian actually does throw Aldo down a couple times with about two minutes remaining, but the champion bounces back up. Florian is in a dominant position with Aldo's back until he slips away with 1:30 to go. Aldo is winning the striking. Florian is winning the grappling. It's not exciting, but Florian has controlled more of the round. Florian takes it 10-9 on this scorecard.
Chael Sonnen vs. Brian Stann
Second Round Stann throws one, maybe two punches, before Sonnen tosses him on the ground with ease again. Sonnen is going for a choke, but gives up on it without trying too hard. Sonnen is in full mount at the one-minute mark and this could get even uglier. The wrestling deficiencies Stann promised he fixed are rearing their head here. He can't get Sonnen off from on top of him. Sonnen is taking what Stann gives him in terms of ground-and-pound options. He goes for the body when Stann covers his head and vice versa. The referee stands them up and Stann is feeling it a little. He knocks Sonnen back with one nice punch and sprawls to stop a takedown. But Sonnen gets him on his shoulder and throws in another slam. Sonnen has a deep choke and Stann is forced to tap. Chael Sonnen defeats Brian Stann via submission (triangle choke) at 3:51 of the second round. Sonnen immediately calls out Anderson Silva, who is in audience, and vows to leave the UFC if he doesn't beat him.
First Round Sonnen tries to take Stann down right away, but gets him up against the fence instead. Stann reverses position, but Sonnen is able to land a couple knees. Welcome to a wrestling match. Sonnen gets Stann on the ground with about 3:30 to go. He's in side control and giving Stann a steady diet of knees and ground-and-pound punches. Stann promised he'd be able to get up from these positions, but not so far. Sonnen takes his back a little before the midway mark, but can't sink in a choke. Stann is on his feet, but Sonnen is attached to his back and throws him down for a slam. Now Stann is eating elbows. Four minutes in and this fight couldn't be more one-sided. Stann is covering up late and struggling to defend against Sonnen's shots. The first five minutes go perfectly for Sonnen, who is up 10-9 on our scorecard.
Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan
Third Round Garcia is throwing everything he's got in the first minute — knees, kicks, haymakers, etc. He's got to know he's behind and must do something to finish it. Garcia floors Phan with a left hook and the man who has dominated the fight is clearly hurt. The crowd goes wild as the Texan gets him against the cage and wails away. Phan is wobbly, but alive. Garcia looks exhausted and is now holding Phan against the cage. It's giving Phan time to recover when he looked all but finished a minute ago. Phan isn't in trouble anymore and hitting Garcia with some punches. This is turning into as much of a war as their first fight, which Garcia won via controversial unanimous decision. Phan takes Garcia down with two minutes to go and this could be a refuge for him to only lose the fight 10-9. Garcia wants up terribly. He complains enough that the referee makes them stand and sticks his tongue out in celebration. He's winning the stand-up battle at this point, but not by much. Both men swing away in the final 10 seconds, an apt ending for a definite "Fight of the Night" possibility. Garcia wins the third 10-9, but it's not enough on this scorecard as Phan wins 29-28. Nam Phan wins a unanimous decision as all three judges score it 29-28.
Second Round Phan is countering Garcia's endless kicks with jabs early. Phan appears to be getting the best of it and he looks more fresh. The things these guys are trying have the crowd roaring. A spinning back fist from Garcia misses, but his leg kicks are still reliable. Unlike the first round, Phan is moving forward the most. He's feeding Garcia his hook, but eating a few counters in the process. Phan lands a combination at the midway point that the crowd reacts to. He follows it with a body shot. Garcia is covering up a lot and almost certainly behind here. Phan's movement is better and he's eluding a lot of shots from Garcia. A cut has opened below Garcia's left eye and Phan pushes ahead one more time as the final bell rings. Phan takes another round and now leads 20-18 on our scorecard.
First Round Garcia and Phan exchange leg strikes early. Both land some, but it's about even a minute into the fight. Garcia is the aggressor, but Phan is moving a little quicker. Phan knocks Garcia down with a right hook around the 3:30 mark, but Garcia looks fine. Phan is in Garcia's guard, but "Bad Boy" isn't working for anything at the moment. The referee stands them up with 2:50 to go. Garcia might be winning in the volume department, but Phan is landing the more significant punches. They go to the ground momentarily, but pop right back up. Garcia is leaving himself open quite a bit, but Phan is only slightly making him pay for it. Garcia is coming on strong late, and even mixes in a spinning back kick, but Phan knocks him down once more when he's off balance. Phan takes the first, 10-9, on this scorecard.
Melvin Guillard vs. Joe Lauzon
First Round Guillard comes out storming into Lauzon quickly. He hits him with punches and starts talking, but trips in the process. Lauzon smothers him on the ground, takes his back and chokes him out. Guillard went off as a 6-to-1 favorite, so this will register as one of the biggest upsets of the year. Joe Lauzon defeats Melvin Guillard via submission (rear naked choke) at 0:47 of the first round.
HOUSTON — With the UFC constantly expanding its schedule to include more fight cards per year, some fans have lamented that it will mean less monumental events.
Along comes a card like UFC 136 to wipe any of those concerns away. Tonight’s event at the Toyota Center is one of the UFC’s best of the year, if not the best.
It’s the only card other than UFC 129 in Toronto feature two title fights, and they are both expected to be competitive.
In the most anticipated rematch of the year, Las Vegas native Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar battle for the UFC lightweight belt. Kenny Florian challenges Jose Aldo in a featherweight fight.
The 35-year old Florian is a UFC veteran who appeared on the first season of “The Ultimate Fighter”, but this could be his last chance at a championship. Florian has already failed twice before to get his hands on the lightweight crown.
Florian lost to B.J. Penn in his last lightweight title fight. That’s who Edgar eventually pried the belt from and beat again in an immediate rematch.
This will be Edgar’s fourth straight bout against one of two opponents — Penn and Maynard.
Although those two fights have the highest stakes, some are looking most forward to the third highest billed bout on the card. It’s a middleweight contest between Chael Sonnen and Brian Stann.
The winner will likely get the next shot at pound-for-pound best Anderson Silva, who is undefeated in the UFC, near the beginning of next year. Sonnen came minutes away from beating Silva in 2010 and Stann feels he has he power to make the champion uncomfortable.
The first two fights on the pay-per-view should get the crowd warmed up for the long night ahead. Knockout artist Melvin Guillard meets submission guru Joe Lauzon in a lightweights fight with an obvious style contrast.
Also, featherweights Leonard Garcia and Nam Phan renew a rivalry of their own. Garcia beat Phan via controversial unanimous decision in 2010 and the UFC has worked diligently to schedule this rematch ever since.
Stay here at lasvegassun.com for round-by-round analysis of every fight on the main card and check below for full results from the preliminary card, which included some big-time names usually fighting on the pay-per-view.
Middleweights Demian Maia and Jorge Santiago capped off the undercard appropriately — with another decision. All six bouts went the full three rounds. Maia won this one unanimously, as all three judges scored it 30-27.
Anthony Pettis edged Jeremy Stephens in a lightweight bout by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29). The two men are known for their striking, but the fight turned into a wrestling match with both scoring a number of takedowns. Pettis finished a little stronger, pulling ahead for good in the third round.
Heavyweight prospect Stipe Miocic notched a unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) victory in his UFC debut over Joey Beltran. Miocic pummeled Beltran throughout the fight, but the San Diego native lived up to his tough reputation.
Darren Elkins scored a slight upset over Tiequan Zhang in their featherweight bout. Elkins out-grappled Zhang for three rounds en route to a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26).
Aaron Simpson administered punishment to Eric "Red" Schafer for the entire 15 minutes of their middleweight fight. Simpson won a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27) over Schafer, and scored knockdowns in both the first and second rounds.
In one of the more entertaining bouts to open a card all year, Mike Massenzio defeated Las Vegas-based Steve Cantwell by unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-29). After a tough first round, Massenzio picked it up and appeared to break Cantwell's nose in the second. The loss was Cantwell's fourth in a row, which makes seeing him again in the UFC unlikely.