UFC 136 Results: Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard Post-Fight Recap and Analysis

Frankie Edgar celebrates after finishing Gray Maynard in the fourth round at UFC 136. Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

It took him 43 minutes and 54 seconds, but Frankie Edgar finally provided a resolution to what he and Gray Maynard started on New Year's Day.

The trilogy fight followed the same script as their UFC 125 rematch. Edgar found his range early, peppering strikes in and out against the slower, more deliberate Maynard. The fight continued this way until Maynard caught an incoming Edgar with an uppercut, sending the champion staggering. Maynard sent Edgar flailing around the Octagon just as he nine months ago, this time with a measured aggression. Edgar, somehow, escaped the round intact.

One would think Maynard would come out stronger than in the second round of the rematch. In that fight, the challenger, whether due to exhaustion or headhunting or some combination of the two, fought passively, allowing the champion not only to recover, but earn back a round on the cards. Maynard's relative patience in the first round figured to leave him more in the gas tank this time around, but the same pattern emerged. Edgar, somehow recovered from his first round suffering, looked fresher and faster, beating Maynard to the punch throughout the second frame.

This is where the script changed. Maynard bounced back in the third round back in January. This time, Edgar continued to fluster Maynard, taking the third round on all three judges' scorecards. That momentum carried into the fourth round. It began to look like Maynard would need to win another 10-8 round in the fifth to win the fight. And the spectre of a draw loomed its head once more.

Edgar erased the need for the fifth round with just over minute left in the fourth. It started with, of course, an uppercut. Maynard staggered back into the fence. Edgar sensed weakness, and charged. Maynard succumbed to the onslaught. He fell to his hands and knees. Edgar kept punching. Maynard's head bounced off the canvas twice before referee Josh Rosenthal stepped in.

Edgar jumped to the top of the fence. He kissed the camera, leaving behind a smudge of sweat and blood.

  • I imagine Gray Maynard feels the same way as the Buffalo Bills teams of the early '90s. After coming within a field goal of winning Super Bowl XXV against the New York Giants, the Bills had their championship dreams slammed shut by the Washington Redskins and Dallas Cowboys in subsequent years. Maynard found himself within seconds of winning the title on two different occasions. At 32, he likely has one more reasonable run at a title, though he'll probably have to win at least two, and probably three, fights to get another shot.
  • If you've grown tired of my criticisms of the broadcast team, you're going to want to skip down to the next bullet point. I was more annoyed by Joe Rogan, UFC color commentator, than ever, which is saying a lot. He claimed anyone who doesn't love Leonard Garcia must not be a fan of the sport. He ignored Jose Aldo's effective offense throughout the fight, wondering aloud whether Kenny Florian's "aggression" would win him a decision. He verbally orgasmed at the end of Phan-Garcia, while giving us a more subdued call for the exponentially more entertaining, relevant, and lasting title fight in the main event. The constant defense of the Goldberg-Rogan team as the best in the business is a sad reflection of the state of broadcasters in the sport.
  • Speaking of the co-main event, I scored the fight 50-46 for Jose Aldo. I can understand a 49-46 card, though Florian didn't show me enough effective offense in the first to outweigh the flurry Aldo landed earlier in the round.
  • Kenny Florian "choked" in another big fight. The reality is that Florian is a great example of "good, not great." He's maximized his skills given his genetic athleticism, but that's just not good enough to beat the truly elite in MMA.
  • Chael Sonnen made a mockery of Brian Stann, but the real story is the post-fight interview he gave to Joe Rogan. Calm and composed, he stepped up to the microphone and announced, "Anderson Silva, you absolutely suck," before proceeding to challenge him not only for the middleweight title on Super Bowl weekend, but for his career and against Silva's future in the division.
  • Nam Phan got his revenge against Leonard Garcia, but not before scaring the hell out of everyone in the process. After taking what looked to be a decisive first two rounds, Garcia dropped him in the third. Phan recovered, arguably won the round, and took home a unanimous 29-28 win from the judges.
  • Demian Maia defeated Jorge Santiago by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27). I've seen some complaints about Maia's performance, but it's become increasingly more difficult for him to mount offense on the floor when his opponents shell up in defense mode...Anthony Pettis defeated Jeremy Stephens by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)...Stipe Miocic won his UFC debut with a unanimous decision over Joey Beltran (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)...Darren Elkins defeated Tiequan Zhang by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)...Aaron Simpson foiled Eric Schafer's comeback fight with a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)...Mike Massenzio opened the evening with a unanimous decision over Steve Cantwell (29-28, 30-27, 29-28).

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FIGHTER OF THE NIGHT

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Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

You can take your Leonard Garcia and shove it up your ass. If you don't love Frankie Edgar, you're not a fan of MMA. In 2010, he beats B.J. Penn twice within a year. He follows that up with two of the most impressive performances ever seen in the sport in 2011. This is what manhood looks like.

MOMENT OF THE NIGHT

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Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

If you didn't love Chael Sonnen's post-fight promo, you probably take yourself way too seriously. 

GOLDBERG LINE OF THE NIGHT

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Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

"Sometimes I think the more tired Joey Beltran looks, the more dangerous he is."

ENTRANCE SONG OF THE NIGHT

"Intergalactic" by the Beastie Boys (Steve Cantwell)

CHOPPING BLOCK

Despite Dana White's assurance that Zuffa needs more fighters, there's no margin for error in the UFC. It only takes one loss to find a pink slip waiting for you on Monday morning. Who's on the Chopping Block?

Steve Cantwell
Eric Schafer
Tiequan Zhang

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