UFC 136 Live on Pay-Per-View at the Toyota Center on October 8, 2011 in Houston, Texas. via UFC.com
In the main event of UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III, Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard looked to complete the trilogy they started in 2008. This time, it was defending champion Edgar who came out on top, stopping Maynard with strikes in the fourth round. The series is now perfectly even at 1-1-1, although Dana White has said there will be no 4th fight for now. This is Maynard's first official loss, and Edgar's 3rd defense of the Lightweight title.
In round 1, things were looking remarkably similar to the 2nd fight at UFC 125. Once again, Maynard landed heavy shots to rock the champion. It looked like it could be over, but just as in January, Edgar survived. Maynard, wary of gassing out as he did in the last fight, pulled back to conserve his energy. That allowed Edgar to slowly creep back into the fight. By the 4th round it seemed we were heading for another close decision when Edgar suddenly changed the fight completely, landing a series of punches that put Maynard down and out. An incredibly dramatic ending to this classic series of fights.
What was the high spot of this fight?
That ending was everything you want out of a champion. Faced with serious adversity AGAIN, Edgar came back. But this time, he wasn't content with the draw - he wanted the win. And he got it. Amazing stuff.
Where do these guys go from here?
Edgar finally will move on to a new challenger after four straight fights of either Maynard or B.J. Penn. Who will that challenger be? There's two real options - either Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez, or the winner of Clay Guida vs. Ben Henderson.
Maynard is in a tough spot. He has a good shot at defeating anyone he faces at Lightweight, but he's also out of the title scene until he either gets a big win streak going, or Edgar loses. Essentially, he's the Jon Fitch of Lightweight. The UFC will have to decide now if they want him spoiling potential challengers, or just biding his time.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now. Incredible action and drama to close out a fantastic series.