As a long time UFC fan, I’ve recently noticed that their marketing team has seemingly taken a break from using corny phrases to label their events. In fact, the last UFC pay-per-view to not be named after the fighters in the main event was back at UFC 125: Resolution, which featured the eventual draw between, you guessed it, Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard. You just don’t see that kind of irony everyday.
UFC 136 was actually able to provide us with closure, however — more closure in fact than any card in quite a while. Not only did Edgar vindicate himself in triumphant fashion, but Jose Aldo proved to many of his critics that his gas tank is not an issue, Kenny Florian proved that he will never, ever, win a title fight, and Chael Sonnen proved that ring rust is for the weak. But now, we look to the future, and more importantly, try to predict it for the weekend’s big winners. So if you think our future match-ups are garbage, be sure to let us know in the comments section below.
It’s no stretch to say that UFC 136 was, on paper, the most stacked UFC card since UFC 100. It featured two title fights, the return of the only middleweight to make Anderson Silva look human, a rematch from one of the most controversial decisions of 2010 and a lightweight contender looking to keep his winning streak alive. Add on the UFC Fan Expo being held on the same weekend, and it would seem impossible for UFC 136 to live up to the hype. Yet, impressively enough, it did.
If you’re a fan of “zombie style” fighting, then Frankie Edgar absolutely has to be one of your favorite fighters after last night. In a performance that caused more than a few of us to experience déjà vu, Edgar seemed like he was one punch away from being knocked out throughout Gray Maynard’s early onslaught. But Edgar hung on and managed to take the next two rounds en route to a fourth round TKO. It’s an impressive accomplishment, especially considering that Frankie Edgar is a natural featherweight while Gray Maynard is pretty big for a lightweight, if Mike Goldberg is to be trusted. Any questions about Frankie Edgar’s ability to finish seem to have been answered last night. Especially in the eyes of Dana White, who awarded Frankie Edgar the 75k Knockout of the Night honors.
(“I’m so sick of your friggin’ face.” “No, I’m so sick of *your* friggin’ face.”)
Well, we’re finally going to sort out this lightweight championship mess. Thanks for joining us for the ride. Bear with us as we try a slightly different format to appease the complaints we’ve had about spoilers and such. If you want to read about certain fight, click ”next page.”
Jose Aldo grew up playing soccer, but transitioned to MMA when his love of brawling with rival teams began to overcome his love of scoring goals. His UFC 136 opponent Kenny Florian took his passion for soccer all the way to a position on the Boston College varsity team. Tomorrow night, they’ll be trying to kick each other, in a real sport. As this is a championship fight, their soccer-juggling showdown should have really gone five rounds. But I have a feeling it would have been an even bigger blowout if Aldo didn’t grab the fence in the third. A sign of things to come? [Ed. note: No.]
Want to make some real money this weekend? Then come over to my place on Saturday afternoon and be prepared to clean some toilets. Want to make some hypothetical, for-entertainment-purposes-only money this weekend? Then check out the latest UFC 136 betting lines (via BestFightOdds) and read our gambling advice after the jump.
PPV Main Card
Frankie Edgar (-125) vs. Gray Maynard (+120)
Jose Aldo (-320) vs. Kenny Florian (+301)
Chael Sonnen (-255) vs. Brian Stann (+227)
Nam Phan (-210) vs. Leonard Garcia (+208)
Melvin Guillard (-312) vs. Joe Lauzon (+310)
Spike TV Prelims
Demian Maia (-275) vs. Jorge Santiago (+245)
Anthony Pettis (-277) vs. Jeremy Stephens (+250)
Joey Beltran (+190) vs. Stipe Miocic (-210)
Tiequan Zhang (-120) vs. Darren Elkins (+115)
Aaron Simpson (-313) vs. Eric Schafer (+300)
Steve Cantwell (-135) vs. Mike Massenzio (+130)
Zuffa Editorial Director Thomas Gerbasi has just given us a stack of his upcoming book UFC Encyclopedia, a slick and meticulously detailed reference guide to the promotion’s 18-year history — perfect for your coffee table or the crapper. And we want to give away three copies to the savviest fight-pickers in the Potato Nation.
This Saturday, UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III goes down at the Toyota Center in Houston, featuring the conclusion (we hope) of MMA’s grittiest lightweight rivalry, Jose Aldo‘s latest title featherweight defense against Kenny Florian, and Chael Sonnen‘s love-fest with Brian Stann. Submit your predictions for these three fights in the comments section below, including the winner’s name, the method of victory, and the time/round of stoppage, if any. Your entry should be in this format:
Add this to the list of explanations as to why Jose Aldo nearly fell apart in the last round of his title defense against Mark Hominick. As the above video illustrates, the UFC featherweight champ suffered through the worst weight cut of his career before UFC 129 in April. Aldo’s coach Andre “Dede” Pederneiras explains that Junior had packed on more muscle than he had in the past, and was forced to cut 6.6 more pounds on the day of weigh-ins. Aldo’s training partner Marlon Sandro guides us through the weight cut process, which involves a lot of weight loss cream and a hot bath (“it feels like your skin is melting”).
With 1.1 pounds to go, Aldo mentally breaks down, refusing to cut any more, damn the consequences. The video leaves us hanging for part 2 for some reason, but look, we all know what happened; Aldo made the weight, and showed obvious signs of fatigue in his fight the next day. No matter what happens in his title defense against Kenny Florian at UFC 136 on October 8th, Aldo’s days in the 145-pound division may be numbered.
(Eder Jones wins fight, loses pie-eating contest.)
This Friday marks the official start of Autumn, and like clockwork, I’m catching a goddamned cold. There’s something about the change of seasons that seems to wreck my immune system, which has grown frail due to a life of solitary blogging and poor hygeine. So as I chug my Airborne/orange juice cocktail, let’s all take inspiration in these six men, who were way worse-off than I am now, and still managed to kick ass.
Method of victory: TKO (cut), 4:45 of round 2 In his own words: ”I took the fight and I was really sick. I was so sick, after the first round I thought I was going to fall unconscious. And I told my cornerman, I’m like, listen, when the second round will start I will try a high kick in the beginning and if I don’t knock out my opponent, I want you to throw the towel. My cornerman look up at me like this, he said ‘Georges, I don’t have a towel, you’re gonna die in the ring.’
And I got so angry, I was like, I can’t believe this guy, he’s supposed to be my friend, he wants me to die in the ring. So I stood up, I hear the [bell], I fought through it, and by some kind of miracle I was able to cut the guy and to TKO him and the referee stopped the fight. I was completely exhausted. That was my toughest fight.”
UFC featherweight champion José Aldo made his MMA debut seven years ago at EcoFight 1 in Amapá, Brazil.
Why it matters:
It’s not the fact that Aldo defeated Mario Bigola in just 18 seconds by soccer-kick KO at the event, it’s that he did it at the age of 17, setting the tone for what would become a dominant career. Bigola retired following the bout and Aldo racked up an impressive 19-1 record, including an undefeated eight-fight tear through the WEC and successful defenses of his WEC and UFC belts.