The UFC website is offering the Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard rematch from UFC 125 available for free at their website. Fire up the link and follow along:
0:00 Looks like this is ripped straight from the UFC 125 broadcast. It's interesting to note how the betting odds have played out for these two fights. Maynard closed (at the best available line) as a -140 favorite. Edgar, as of the time of writing, sits at -138 (and a -148 average across sites) four days out from the event. That's a pretty wild swing, especially when you consider the information we have available to us. Maynard not only dominated the first fight, but the most memorable moment of the rematch is the beating he put on Edgar in round one. It will be interesting to see how things move heading into Saturday.
1:44 I forgot who I picked in this one, so I went checked the Bloody Elbow staff predictions for the event. (Who's this Luke Thomas guy?) What I said:
If discussion about the Countdown show is any indication, a small fraction of people are interested in this fight. Which is a shame because this is as legit a title fight as you'll find. The smart money seems to be on Maynard continuing what he did in April of 2008, but I've fallen in love with Edgar's improved footwork and effective speed. Frankie Edgar by decision.
I would have sworn I picked Maynard, but there you go.
I fell in love with Frankie's footwork after the Sherk fight. Unlike Dominick Cruz, who relies on heavy movement, Frankie's footwork is fundamentally sound. He takes short steps, doesn't cross his feet, and is hardly ever in a position where he cannot attack or defend.
2:18 "Our judges for this contest are Patricia Morse Jarman..." - Things You Don't Want To Hear During Title Fight Introductions
3:00 Leading into the rematch, Frankie and Gray are a combined 24-1 with 1 NC. That fact is overlooked considering who they've fought and how long they've been in the UFC (20 fights between them including this one). It's a good thing Gilbert Melendez shanked Shinya Aoki a week after Frankie's first fight with Penn, because I don't know how long I would have lasted hearing people erroneously call Aoki the number one lightweight in the
4:20 I don't know if it's the way they mic'd this show or if they pumped it into the archive, but the corners are crystal clear. I remember checking this fight out with the free look at the new viewing tools (multiple camera angles, audio tracks, etc.) earlier this year, so maybe it has something to do with that. Either way, it's a cool little bonus.
4:48 I talked about Frankie's footwork earlier, but Gray's is solid as well. He's a little more deliberate in his movement, but he keeps a solid base and pushes off his back foot.
5:27 Joe Rogan hasn't said a word so far. Not sure if I missed something as I've been stopping/starting the video a bunch, but it's odd to hear Goldberg talk on his own for so long.
5:30 Just as I hit the play button, Maynard lands a huge, looping left hook which gets Rogan's classic "OOOOOHHHHH!" Sigh.
5:42 This is why you don't defend stoppages with "he was gonna finish him anyway." Gray visibly hurt Frankie with three punches, but Yves Lavigne gave Edgar the opportunity to get back in it. Why was Charlie Brenneman not afforded the same last week? Yes, he wobbled towards the fence. Yes, Johnson kicked him flush on the chin. I don't know if his lights went out on the way down, but he seemed aware of his surroundings when he hit the canvas. If you think that was a good stoppage then you need to argue that Lavigne's non-stoppage was atrocious here because Frankie took some serious punishment.
5:53 Edgar just stood up only to stumble around and fall back down with Gray swinging fists behind him. Again, if you agree with Yamasaki, you have to hate on Yves Lavigne here (who is strolling around the Octagon like he's at an art museum).
6:18 Joe Rogan: "Someone's bleeding." Now, I know it's not outrageous for Gray to be bleeding here, but c'mon now. We can see Gray's face and it ain't got a mark on it. We know who it is.
7:00 Edgar and Maynard trade takedown attempts. Frankie seems to have recovered at this point, but he doesn't have all his wits about him.
7:22 Maynard lands a two-punch combo that sends Edgar somersaulting like Brock Lesnar. Again, there's a huge chasm between this fight and Yamasaki's Brenneman decision. (And I don't mean to harp on it, but it's recent and controversial.) Either we give guys every opportunity to continue, or we stop fights at the first sign of trouble. There will always be a gray area when it comes to the line between a stoppage and allowing a fight to continue, but it can't be this wide.
7:40 Edgar does a masterful job of masking his knockdowns as sloppy takedown attempts. Gray might be credited with 3 (holy shit!) official knockdowns, but Edgar has hit the mat at least 6 times this round.
9:20 Edgar is in great shape for a guy who was just on the wrong side of an arguable 10-7 round.
10:22 That said, for a guy who just delivered an arguable 10-7 round, Gray's got a pretty good mouse and abrasion under his left eye.
11:00 It's less than two minutes since the end of round one, and Frankie's moving around like nothing happened.
12:55 Rogan talks about fighters who land a huge power punch that hurt their opponent and start headhunting. I'm not sure that's what's happening with Gray here. He landed 97 punches in the first round (as noted by Rogan later in the round), and he probably Carwin'd himself to a degree. There's an argument that he shouldn't let Frankie off the hook (he is who we thought he was!), but I think it's safe to say he took the round off.
14:10 Frankie slams Gray, and we get another "OOOOOHHHHH!" from Rogan. This is why I've grown to dislike him so much as a commentator. Everything is a "holy shit" moment. Big takedown? "OOOOOHHHHH!" Blocked head kick? "OOOOOHHHHH!" Foot stomps? "OOOOOHHHHH!" It's the same problem when a submission is applied, Rogan says it's "in deep," and the guy immediately escapes. It's hack. It's disappointing because, unlike with Goldberg, I expect more from Joe.
15:15 I wonder how many 10-8 rounds have been followed with a 10-9 for the other guy. It has to be less than 1%.
Couture slaps Gray in the corner: "You're trying to knock him out now! You don't need to knock him out!"
17:25 Another area Frankie has an advantage in is the diversity of his offense. Gray throws a minimal amount of attack with his legs while Edgar mixes up his boxing with kicks to the legs and midsection.
18:47 Edgar stuffs a Maynard takedown attempt. That was a huge surprise for me in this fight. Gray is a big, strong lightweight, and he put that into great effect in their first fight. It didn't come into play as much in this one, outside of Gray's power strikes in the first round.
20:54 Gray finally gets Edgar down with 40 seconds left in the third round. Edgar gets up only to drop down for a kimura. Fun little scramble on the floor ends with Maynard trapped in a guillotine as the round ends. I think I scored this round for Maynard back in January. I'd probably give it to him after the rewatch as well.
23:30 Edgar has two takedowns IN THIS ROUND.
24:50 It's almost a full three rounds since the first. Gray's punches are a little more labored, but you still get the feeling that any punch he lands could floor Edgar.
26:00 Kim Winslow, my favorite female referee in MMA, getting a lot of face time in this one. Winslow would have let Anthony Johnson get his "Midnight" on with Charlie Brenneman.
29:12 Going back to that first round. What would the live betting odds have looked like at the bell? -10000 Gray? That's half-facetious, but I don't think it's that far off.
30:20 This is arguably the fight of the year (it still has my vote), and Goldberg/Roga don't give it that atmosphere. Goldberg: "It's such a close fight." Such prose! Such narrative! This is the final frame of one of the most dramatic UFC title fights in history, and Goldberg still falls back on "TWO MINUTES REMAINS IN THE FIGHT" and "FIFTH AND FINAL ROUND!" Unacceptable.
32:53 Crowd starts to come alive with a minute to go. Probably not as much as they should.
33:22 Seriously, the majority of Goldberg's call in the last half of the round is counting down the clock. This man is paid to describe the action happening on your screen.
34:20 If we judged the fight on the reactions after the final bell, Gray wins in a landslide. Edgar is much more wary of the upcoming decision.
35:50 Everyone seems disappointed in the draw announcement except one guy in Frankie's corner who understands that a draw's as good as a win for the champion.
36:28 Rogan: "How much do you remember of the first round?" Frankie: "Not much, dude." I love you, Frankie.
36:59 Rogan: "Do you think the scoring in the first round was probably the difference in the draw?" OK, first of all, Frankie just told you he doesn't remember much of the round. Second, WHY ARE WE ASKING FIGHTERS TO EXPLAIN THE JUDGES' DECISION? Outside the fact that the judges themselves probably have a hard time articulating their rationale, the fighters just got done, you know, fighting. The adrenaline is still racing. They aren't (well, most aren't, anyway) going to be able to analyze what just happened in any meaningful detail.
37:45 Gray thinks he won rounds 1, 3, and 5. The fifth, in my eyes, is the most contentious. If judges liberalized their scoring, we wouldn't be talking about a trilogy fight though. Score that first round 10-7 for Gray, and he only needs to take the third to win the fight.