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(www.MMABAYNEWS.com) Frankie Edgar wouldn’t let a third fight with Gray Maynard go to a decision this time, as he topped his foe and retained his lightweight title at UFC 136 in Houston.
The third fight started a lot like their previous meeting at UFC 126, but Edgar pounded away at Maynard in the fourth round to win the bout by technical knockout.
The champion and challenger were patient and circled the Octagon early. Later, Edgar swarmed on Maynard for a brief clinch, but they separated a shortly after. Maynard then landed an uppercut and wobbled the champ. Edgar took some more shots from the challenger and was rocked a couple more times. Maynard attempted some more uppercuts and pressured the champion, leaving the title holder wobbly until the end of the round. The first round of this match-up was a near mirror image of their previous fight’s first round.
Maynard measured patiently as he waited for a chance to land another uppercut after the second round got underway. Frankie landed a left hand that left a mark early in the round, but there was no immediate follow-up to that. Later, the champ landed a right hand, but Maynard didn’t fall back at all. Edgar’s attempts at clinching and takedowns were also met with strong defense from the challenger. Maynard didn’t land any major powershots in the second frame and Edgar seemed to find his rhythm a little more.
Maynard continued to try and find his uppercut, while Edgar did what he could to circle and land quick combinations. Maynard didn’t find the powerpunch that helped in the first round and Edgar continued to do his typical dance and avoid his opponent, while at the same time finding some strikes that scored points. Edgar continued to pepper Maynard until the end of the round and edged him in the third frame.
Edgar continued to find combinations into the championship rounds. He landed several strikes and solidified the advantage on the feet halfway through the round with both legkicks and punches. Edgar managed to land an uppercut that wobbled the challenger and followed through with massive right hands that dropped Maynard. After Maynard went to the ground, the champ stayed on the attack kept striking from behind until his opponent was out and the ref stepped in to stop the contest 3:54 of the fourth round.
Despite being rocked in the opening frame, Edgar persevered and retained his UFC lightweight title in Houston.
“I hit him with a right hand and… I [saw] him rocked and I just went in for the kill,” Edgar said in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan.
With the win, Edgar avenges the only loss of his career and bests a no.1 contender that’s been chasing him for quite some time. Edgar improves his record to 14-1-1, while in the first defeat of his pro career, Maynard drops to 10-1-1, overall.
The lightweight title picture is still far from in focus, however, with UFC president Dana White’s proclamation that Strikeforce lightweight champ Gilbert Melendez is on his way to the UFC. It appears that there are still some tough fights in the future of Frankie Edgar.
In the co-main event of the evening, Jose Aldo was able to shut down Kenny “Kenflo” Florian’s third opportunity at UFC gold.
The fight itself was reminiscent of what Florian tried against B.J. Penn in his second title fight, but the results were both with Florian ending up with a loss.
Florian opens up the first round with a few leg kicks. Then Florian decides to shoot for a takedown and Aldo easily stuffs it and lands devastating strikes. Shortly after Florian breaks away and then goes back to shooting for a takedown after takedown against the fence, but Aldo is able to stuff all the takedowns. Towards the end of the round, Florian kept pushing forward with the takedown against the fence and was able to land an elbow.
Round two Florian utilizes much more of his leg kicks and the pace of the fight slows. Aldo seems a bit timid but lands a few thunderous leg kicks in the round and a nice straight right hand. From there Florian was able to counter a leg kick attempt from Aldo.
The third round beings and Aldo seems to unload with his hands a bit more. Aldo continues with an inside leg kick that buckles Florian and tags Florian with some solid strikes. At about the half way mark, Florian is off balance and ends up on the bottom and Aldo keeps working for position and Florian was able to defend well and nullify Aldo, although Aldo did get the mount at one point. Towards the end of the round Aldo would break away from Florian and when the fight restarted on the feet, Florian would press hard for the takedown against the fence but couldn’t secure it.
Aldo gets back to work on Florian’s left leg on round four and the swelling is clearly evident. At the half way mark, Florian works for a single against the fence but he couldn’t secure the takedown. Aldo appears to be a bit slower but still keeps fending off takedown after takedown from Florian. At the end of the round Aldo is able to get off a right hand and a kick to the body.
The final round starts with Florian pressing for the takedown yet again and the crowd boos Florian. After the two men separate Florian goes for a knee but slips and Aldo is able to pass to full mount. Florian would then quickly escape from full mount and put Aldo into half guard and as Aldo tried to mount, Florian would get back to his feet. With a minute left to go Aldo pressed Florian against the fence and Florian reverses Aldo. At the end of the round Aldo attempts a flying knee and a roundhouse kick that don’t find the mark.
After a grueling five round bout, the judges awarded Aldo a unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
“It played out great, he’s a very strategic fighter, so he’s a very smart and experienced guy, so I just had to go in there and impose my game,” Aldo said post-fight.
“I expected him to try to pin me against the cage. I saw him try to do that against B.J. Penn and he did the exact same thing, and I just had to defend it. He was always trying to take me down, I knew I could land more kicks but I had to defend takedowns.”
After the win over Florian, Aldo defended his UFC title for the second time and continues to solidify him as one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the sport.
Dominant Sonnen submits Stann, calls out Silva
The only thing overshadowing Chael Sonnen’s victory were the comments he made after it.
After sitting out the past 14 months due to multiple suspensions and legal issues, the enigmatic middleweight finally got back in the cage and derailed the quickly rising Brian Stann with a second-round submission victory.
But his post-fight speech did nothing but preview what likely will be his next bout: a rematch with UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva.
Against Stann, Sonnen promised there would be no feeling-out process, and he immediately shot for a double-leg takedown. He had to work from the clinch for nearly two minutes before getting it, but he promptly landed in side control. As Stann tried to get to his feet, Sonnen took his back, secured his hooks, and then worked for a rear-naked choke from the standing position as Stann returned to his feet. He couldn’t get it, but he slammed Stann back to the mat and battered him with heavy ground and pound for the final minute of the round.
Sonnen again scored the double-leg takedown to open the second round. He then moved to full mount and delivered more punishment. Stann eventually pulled his opponent back into full guard before a premature standup allowed Stann to blast Sonnen with a right hand. Sonnen, though, quickly closed the distance, scooped up his opponent, dumped him again and landed in side control. Sonnen then secured an arm-triangle choke, switched sides and forced the tap-out at the 3:51 mark of the round.
Stann was simply overwhelmed and was clearly frustrated at the bout’s conclusion.
Everyone then hung on Sonnen’s first words. And he didn’t disappoint.
“Anderson Silva, you absolutely suck,” said Sonnen, who dominated the champ for four rounds at UFC 117 before falling to a late-fight submission. “Super Bowl weekend, the biggest rematch in the history of the business. I’m calling you out.”
“I beat you, (and) you leave the division. I beat you, and I leave the UFC.”
And with that, Sonnen left the cage.
Should he get the rematch, Sonnen (26-11-1 MMA, 5-4 UFC) will do so on the strength of a 4-1 run.
Stann, meanwhile, (11-4 MMA, 5-3 UFC) snaps a three-fight win streak and suffers just his second loss in seven fights.
Phan gets redemption, beats Garcia in thriller
Their first meeting ended in one of the most controversial judging decisions of 2010. But the rematch awarded the rightful victor his long-awaited win.
After a controversial split-decision defeat to Garcia in December, Phan earned a unanimous and thrilling decision victory over his always-exciting opponent in the rematch.
Phan got the better of the stand-up and buckled Garcia on multiple occasions in the first round. Body shots also landed especially flush. Garcia landed some nice kicks to the body, but Phan’s balanced attack clearly won him the round.
Early in the second, Phan landed a solid combination that again buckled Garcia. As the round wore on, Garcia’s striking appeared to become more desperate, and a disciplined Phan made him pay with counter shots and especially effective hooks to the body.
By the third round, Garcia was clearly fatigued, frustrated and bleeding. But he came out winging haymakers while putting audible grunts behind them. The strategy allowed him to connect with some low kicks and punches to the body, and he dropped Phan with a left a few minutes into the round. Once Phan was back up, Garcia poured on the blows, but he soon punched himself out, and Phan was able to recover and find his legs. Phan then scored a takedown, but the ref called for a quick stand-up. Garcia, though, was too tired and wild to capitalize, and Phan avoided any finishing blows.
In the end, the judges awarded Phan the redeeming unanimous-decision victory via 29-28 scores. The exciting bout brought the Toyota Center crowd to its feet.
Phan (17-9 MMA, 1-2 UFC) halted a 1-4 skid and saved his UFC career with the victory. Garcia (15-8-1 MMA, 2-4 UFC), who recently competed in the WEC, falls to 1-2 in his latest UFC stint.
Lauzon stuns Guillard with first-round submission
Fighting near his hometown and with a likely title shot waiting in the wings, Louisiana native Melvin Guillard couldn’t have entered the cage any happier. Less than a minute later, he couldn’t have left any more disappointed.
Facing fellow lightweight Joe Lauzon, Guillard darted in and out of range with an abundance of confidence. But perhaps a little too confident, he swarmed in and was countered with a quick left to the chin. Guillard clearly was staggered, and Lauzon quickly wrestled him to the mat, took his back, secured the rear-naked choke, rolled Guillard to his stomach, and forced the tap-out.
Lauzon, who entered the fight as an approximate 4-to-1 underdog, needed just 47 seconds to score the shocking upset.
Lauzon (21-6 MMA, 8-3 UFC) quietly picks up his third win in four fights and his fifth victory in seven bouts. All have come via stoppage.
Guillard (29-9-2 MMA, 10-5 UFC), who was all but guaranteed a title shot if victorious, snaps a five-fight win streak in the most disappointing of fashions.
SEE ALSO: UFC 136 preliminary-card results: Maia shuts down Santiago, Pettis edges Stephens
MAIN CARD (Pay-per-view)
- Champ Frankie Edgar def. Gray Maynard via TKO (punches) – Round 4, 3:54 – retains lightweight title
- Champ Jose Aldo def. Kenny Florian via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) – retains featherweight title
- Chael Sonnen def. Brian Stann via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 3:51
- Nam Phan def. Leonard Garcia via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Joe Lauzon def. Melvin Guillard via submission (rear-naked choke) Round 1, 0:47
PRELIMINARY CARD (Spike TV)
- Demian Maia def. Jorge Santiago via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Anthony Pettis def. Jeremy Stephens via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook)
- Stipe Miocic def. Joey Beltran via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
- Darren Elkins def. Tiequan Zhang via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)
- Aaron Simpson def. Eric Schafer via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Mike Massenzio def. Steven Cantwell via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
UFC 136 Results: Chael Sonnen And The Best Interview In UFC History
By Jonathan Snowden – Feature Writer
UFC contender Chael Sonnen cut one of the best promos in UFC history last night. Will his rematch with Anderson Silva draw big at the box office?
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Oct 8, 2011 – “Anderson Silva – you absolutely suck. I’m calling you out, Silva, but we’re upping the stakes. I beat you, you leave the division. You beat me, I’ll leave the UFC forever.” – Chael Sonnen
With those words, a legend was born. You never know what Chael Sonnen is going to say at any given moment. His interviews are as exciting as his fights. He’s liable to defame an entire country, question the legitimacy of his opponent’s wins, even drop in a joke here or there. His roaming one man show has taken him from unknown middleweight to one of the sport’s most talked about fighters. And that was before tonight’s epic post-fight challenge to champion Anderson Silva.
Lost in Sonnen’s post-fight tomfoolery was an amazing performance against Brian Stann. The former Marine, frankly, didn’t look like he belonged in the same cage with Sonnen. The Team Quest wrestler took Stann down at will, and once he got him there combined high level jiu jitsu with a wrestler’s base. Stann was helpless – even an early referee stand up couldn’t help him. Sonnen moved from side control to mount with flawless technique. When he secured an arm triangle, Stann had no choice but to tap out.
Sonnen deserves a rematch with Silva. At UFC 117 he took the champion into the fifth round. If not for a last minute miracle submission, Sonnen would be the champion. That in itself will help sell the fight. The hilarious pro wrestling style challenge will take it to the next level. If the UFC plays this right, this can get mainstream play. NBA Hall of Famer Charles Barkley certainly seemed to find it hilarious. I think America will have the same reaction.
The response, so far, has been overwhelmingly positive. Some purists will worry about the homage to Rowdy Roddy Piper. Concern that something that makes people smile and laugh is “bad for the sport” will be expressed – and should be immediately dismissed. The UFC is in the sports entertainment business. And it doesn’t get much more entertaining than Chael Sonnen.