UFC 136 Fight Card Primer: Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard

UFC 136 weigh-in at the Toyota Center on October 7, 2011 in Houston, Texas. via UFC.com

The main event of UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III will see one of the most exciting rematches in the history of the Lightweight division. Frankie Edgar (13-1-1; 8-1-1 UFC) will defend his Lightweight title against Gray Maynard (10-1-1, 1 NC; 8-0-1, 1 NC UFC) for the second time in the final fight of the evening. This is also a clash between the men ranked #1 (Edgar) and #2 (Maynard) in the USA Today/BE Consensus Rankings. The PPV begins at 9 p.m. ET / 6 p.m. PT.

If you are a fan of fights mixing history with the highest level of skill, this is the fight for you. Edgar and Maynard have, over the course of two previous fights, demonstrated just how evenly matched they are in every aspect of the game. They first met in 2008 as two undefeated prospects. It was a much closer fight than the 30-27 scorecards would indicate, but Maynard was able to use his wrestling to control Edgar enough for the win. After that loss, neither man would lose again leading into the rematch earlier this year, this time for Edgar's title. That fight is an all time classic with Edgar surviving a brutal first round to drag it back to a draw and retain his belt. The third fight was planned for earlier this year, but was delayed due to injury. We finally get it this weekend.

How do these two stack up?

Edgar: 29 years old | 5'6" | 72" reach
Maynard: 32 years old | 5'8" | 70" reach

What have these two done recently?

Edgar: D - Gray Maynard | W - B.J. Penn (UD) | W - B.J. Penn (UD)
Maynard: D - Frankie Edgar | W - Kenny Florian (UD) | W - Nate Diaz (SD)

How did these two get here?

As is the theme with these two, Edgar and Maynard come to this fight through very similar paths. Frankie Edgar came into the UFC with a strong wrestling pedigree. He immediately made a splash by winning a spectacular debut fight against Tyson Griffin in the early days of the resurgent Lightweight division. He won 3 straight before the first Maynard loss, where his smaller size cost him. He turned that size into an advantage with speed, conditioning, and boxing, winning 3 in a row before challenging and upsetting B.J. Penn for the Lightweight title. This is his third title defense.

Like Edgar, Gray Maynard came in as a strong wrestler with high hopes for success in the UFC. A cast member of season 5 of The Ultimate Fighter, Maynard does have one unofficial loss on his record, as he was defeated by Nate Diaz during the show. After a fluke No Contest in his UFC debut, Maynard rattled off 8 straight wins, including Edgar, Diaz, Kenny Florian, and Jim Miller. He is convinced that he won the second fight, and comes into this fight determined to claim his belt.

Why should you care?

Seriously, how can you not? The second fight was amazing, full of skill and drama between two supremely evenly matched fighters. Add in the rivalry of this being the third fight, and you have a real classic brewing here. I can't wait.

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 136 after the jump.

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UFC 136 Judo Chop: The Striking of Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard - Fraser Coffeen

UFC 136 Preview - Melvin Guillard Gunning for Knockout Bonus - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136: Chael Sonnen vs. Brian Stann Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 136 Video - Bruce Buffer: 'You Can't Announce the Way I Announce If You're Not Into It' - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III - Live Weigh-In Video and Results - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136 Video: Frankie Edgar Says Belt Proves He Belongs at Lightweight - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III - Bloody Elbow Staff Predictions

UFC 136 Preview: Melvin Guillard Says Joe Lauzon Folds Under Pressure - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136: Chael Sonnen Denies Gameplanning for Brian Stann - Mike Fagan

UFC 136: Frankie Edgar Talks Gray Maynard, Jose Aldo - Mike Fagan

UFC 136: Melvin Guillard vs. Joe Lauzon Dissection - Dallas Winston

Bad Boy Presents Bloody Elbow Radio - Episode 87: UFC 136 Preview

UFC 136: Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 136: Time Aplenty for Chael Sonnen Despite Competition for Contention - Leland Roling

UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III Betting Lines - Tim Burke

UFC 136: Spike TV Preliminary Card Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 136: Did Promotion Need More Chael Sonnen and Brian Stann? - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136: Jose Aldo's Second Chance to Destroy Foolish Assumptions - Leland Roling

UFC 136: A Running Diary of Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard II - Mike Fagan

UFC 136 Pre-Fight Press Conference Video and Updates - Tim Burke

UFC State of the Union: UFC 136 and the Lightweight Division - Fraser Coffeen

Countdown to UFC 136 Video

UFC 136: Melvin Guillard's Continuing Quest for a Title Shot - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136 Preview: Looking Back at Edgar vs. Maynard 2 Highlights and Reaction - Brent Brookhouse

UFC 136: Facebook Undercard Dissection - Dallas Winston

UFC 136: Dana White Video Blog, Day 1

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