Decisions, Decisions; Until the Main Event

UFC 136 had a thrilling card with a full card of good fights and many of them saw the full three, or five, rounds. On the entire card the fans saw three finished fights while the rest finished in a decision. Usually this can be boring but not in Houston as every fight was good and meant something to every fighter involved. Of course the biggest fights were at the end of the night when two belts were up for the taking. The Featherweight Title and the Lightweight Title were both up for grabs as the UFC saw two very quick and tough fights. First up was the Featherweight Title as Jose Aldo defended his Featherweight title against Kenny Florian. Aldo has been considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and is also one of the most well-rounded fighters in the world. Aldo is a BJJ champion but also has devastating strikes including his tough kicks. Meanwhile Kenny Florian has fought in four different weight classes since coming into the UFC and has had a shot at titles before. As a fan favorite Florian has been constantly in the mix for title shots and fought twice for the Lightweight Title in the past. This was his first shot at the Featherweight title since dropping to the weight class earlier in the year. The two faced off in what many considered a for sure win for Aldo but Florian had other ideas. The first round saw Florian open up with a good mix of strikes and takedowns surprising everyone with his dominance. After round one Florian began to fall behind as Aldo reasserted his dominance with vicious leg kicks. Florian did not give up however as he continued to press Aldo against the cage and attempt takedowns. As the rounds progressed Aldo seemed to get more confidence as he began to do what he wanted in the cage. Aldo went into the fifth round with a slight lead and finished off the round in the top position. Florian kept the fight close for most of the fight but Aldo came out on top and retained his Featherweight Belt. Aldo will move on to another title defence against a number of different fighters who have moved into the top spot. It wasn’t over there for the Houston crowd as the second title fight got underway after the Featherweight title.

The Lightweight Title fight was the main event in Houston as the champions Frankie Edgar took on the challenger Gray Maynard. This was the third time that these fighters fought with the first fight going to Maynard and the second fight finishing in a draw. The draw was fresh on the mind’s of both fighters before the fight as they both believe that they had won the fight and were not pleased to have a draw on their record. The two fighters came out to a very familiar feeling as the first round was a repeat of the last fight. Gray Maynard came out swinging and caught the champion multiple times. With a more calculated strikes Maynard was able to keep his stamina while punishing Edgar. He again could not finish the tough champion as they went to the end of the first round. The rest of the fight saw Maynard laying back and waiting for a fight ending strike while Edgar became the aggressor. Maynard began to sit back too much and Edgar scored more point in the nest two rounds. In round four Maynard tried to take down Edgar but it was stuffed multiple times. On one of these takedown attempts Edgar stuffed it and then launched back with a vicious uppercut. The strike sent Maynard to the mat and Edgar jumped on the opportunity as he chased Maynard to the fence and continued to land big strikes. Finally Edgar landed enough to KO Maynard and retain his Lightweight Belt. The win also saw the end of the Maynard/Edgar trilogy that kept many people waiting in the wings for a shot at the lightweight title. Maynard will fall down the list as a pile up will be solved with any number of fighters taking on Edgar for the title.

The rest of the fights were very good but it was something that happened after a main card fight that made the most noise. One of the most outspoken fighters in the UFC is Chael Sonnen and he has not become known for keeping his feelings in. With a fight against one of very few fighters Sonnen respects in the Middleweight division, Brian Stann, Sonnen was looking to make his comeback to the UFC after a last round loss to champion Anderson Silva. The fight began with both fighters exchanging and ended with Sonnen earning the takedown and ending the fight on Stann’s back. The next round was much of the same but ended in a different way as Sonnen locked in an Arm Triangle. Sonnen won the fight and immediately the camera focused on the champions Anderson Silva. The last fight that Sonnen was in he took Silva to the fifth round and had Silva beat for the Middleweight title. The fifth round saw Silva lock in a triangle that ended the fight stopping a monumental shift in the UFC champions. Sonnen has been very outspoken about this fight as he claims that the fact that Silva submitted him did not prove that Anderson was the better fighter and instead the four rounds of fighting that Sonnen did proves that he is better than Silva. After Sonnen’s fight with Stann the trash talk continued as he called out Anderson Silva who was sitting in the audience. The challenge seemed to come straight from the WWE as he issued an ultimatum. He stated that they should fight again and if Anderson lost he would leave the weight class but if Sonnen won he would leave the UFC forever. The challenge was a bit childish but it has gotten headlines which may be enough to get him his rematch.  The challenge to Silva was just the icing to the cake in a night full of great fights that will keep people talking until the next fight later this month.

The Bonuses for UFC 136 totaled $75,000 for each fighter involved in the best performances of the night. The “Knockout of the Night” went to Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar for the only KO of the night against Gray Maynard. The “Submission of the Night” went to Joe Lauzon who beat the hometown favorite Melvin Guillard with a stellar display of Jiu Jitsu that finished with a rear naked choke. The “Fight of the Night” went to the rematch between Leonard Garcia and Nam Phan that saw both fighters slug it out with Phan even the series with the win.

 

Full Results:

Frankie “The Answer” Edgar def. Gray “The Bully” Maynard

(KO; Rd. 4)

 

Jose Aldo “Junior” def. Kenny “Kenflo” Florian [Featherweight Title]

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Chael Sonnen def. “All-American” Brian Stann

(Submission; Arm Triangle, Rd. 2)

 

Nam Phan def. Leonard “Bad Boy” Garcia

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Joe “J-Lau” Lauzon def. Melvin “The Young Assassin” Guillard

(Submission; Rear Naked Choke, Rd 1)

 

Demian Maia def. Jorge “The Sandman” Santiago

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Anthony “Showtime” Pettis def. Jeremy “Lil’ Heathen” Stephens

(Split Decision)

 

Stipe Mioci def. Joey “The Mexicutioner” Beltran

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Darren “The Damage” Elkins def. Tiequan “The Wolf” Zhang

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Aaron “A-Train” Simpson def. Eric “Red” Schafer

(Unanimous Decision)

 

“The Master of Disaster” Mike Massenzio def. Steve “Robot” Cantwell

(Unanimous Decision)

 

Upcoming Events:

UFC 137: St. Pierre Condit (Oct. 29th; 9:00 pm)

– Las Vegas, Nevada (Mandalay Bay Events Center)

– Main Event: Georges “Rush” St. Pierre vs. Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit (Welterweight Title]

– Notable: “The Prodigy” BJ Penn vs. Nick Diaz

– Notable: Cheick Kongo vs. Matt Mitrione

 

UFC 138: Leben vs. Munoz (Nov. 5th; 9:00 pm)

– Tape Delay Free on Spike TV/Sportsnet

– Birmingham, England (LG Arena)

– Main Event: Chris “The Crippler” Leben vs. Mark “The Filipino Wrecking Machine” Munoz

– Notable: Brad “One Punch” Pickett vs. Renan Barao

 

UFC on Fox: Velasquez vs. Dos Santos (Nov. 12th; 9:00 pm)

– Live Free on Fox/Sportsnet

– Anaheim, California (Honda Center)

– Main Event: Cain Velasquez vs. Junior “Cigano” Dos Santos [Heavyweight Title]

– Notable: Clay “The Carpenter” Guida vs. Ben “Smooth” Henderson

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