There's a phenomenal card on tap for tomorrow night (October 8, 2011) when the world's largest fight promotion invades the Toyota Center for UFC 136: "Edgar vs. Maynard 3" in Houston, Texas.
The main event will feature Frankie Edgar vs. Gray Maynard for the lightweight title. The names alone should be enough to bring forth memories of the five round draw that happened the last time these two stepped inside the Octagon to get busy. "The Bully" punished the 155-pound champion in the opening frame, nearly taking his head off and finishing him in the process, but Edgar had "The Answer" and was able to come back to score a draw before all was said and done.
As stated by UFC President Dana White, no matter the outcome this is likely the last time these two will square off. Make it count, boys.
Kenny Florian had a successful debut in the featherweight division and apparently won over (at least partially) his biggest critic -- his boss -- so he's getting a crack at 145-pound ass-kicker Jose Aldo. After two failed attempts to win the lightweight title, "KenFlo" has one more shot at championship gold.
No pressure or anything.
Along with those two explosive match-ups, a middleweight number one contender bout pitting Chael Sonnen vs. Brian Stann and a lightweight clash between Melvin Guillard and Joe Lauzon make this card a must watch. Oh, and don't forget Leonard Garcia is on the card in a rematch against Nam Phan.
To get you ready to enjoy all the festivities, we're here to break down the five main card fights with our preview and predictions.
Let's get to it, ladies and sirs.
In their first fight, Maynard used his superior wrestling to grind out a decision win. The second fight went to a draw with the majority of the contest taking place on the feet.
I can definitely see this fight going the same as the second, with a few small differences.
Edgar absolutely will not let this fight go the way the first two did. Maynard is an angry man and believes the lightweight title should rightfully be his, which will be his biggest flaw. Edgar will utilize his in-and-out striking, quickness and superior footwork to irritate his challenger until "The Bully" starts getting reckless.
Edgar wont finish, but he will continue to pester Maynard enough to keep this fight going the way he sees fit.
And because of that: Frankie Edgar wins via decision.
Jose Aldo vs. Kenny Florian (145-pounds):
Oh my god, you killed Kenny! You bastard!
I expect to hear this from an angry Florian fan sometime in the first round. "KenFlo" is an all around good fighter, with great conditioning and has been in there with some of the best the UFC has to offer.
The problem? None of them are on the level of Jose Aldo.
"Scarface's" last fight, against Mark Hominick, looked a lot closer than it actually was and ever should have been. Aldo was suffering through illness and was having trouble cutting weight, which meant he was cooked after three rounds.
That won't happen here.
A healthy Jose Aldo wins via knockout in round one.
Stann has the feel good story going for him that has so many patriotic pushers cheering for him. He earned a Silver Star during his time in the military, which is why you so often hear him referred to as a war hero.
He's parlayed those accomplishments into a successful career fighting inside a cage. His run through the UFC middleweight division has been nothing short of spectacular, as he's knocked out both Chris Leben and Jorge Santiago this year alone.
That's impressive, folks.
However, much as I hate to say it, Sonnen is simply too good for him. His strong wrestling style will completely dominate this fight to bring us one step closer to that rematch against Anderson Silva.
The "All-American" schtick makes for a great story, but all good things must come to an end.
Chael Sonnen wins via decision.
Melvin Guillard vs. Joe Lauzon (155-pounds):
Guillard has some of the best and most powerful hands in the lightweight division. He's been running through his last group of opponents, but they haven't exactly been cream of the crop.
But neither is Joe Lauzon.
"J-Lau" has some seriously slick jiu-jitsu and can easily submit the grappling challenged "Young Assassin," if he gets a hold of a limb. I just dont think he will.
Since he started training with Greg Jackson's camp, Guillard has fought smarter and been much more efficient. He'll use his new found smarts to avoid his opponents strengths while playing into his own.
And Lauzon will be kissing canvas before it's all over.
Melvin Guillard wins via TKO in round three.
Leonard Garcia vs. Nam Phan (145-pounds):
When I play Wii boxing, I like to use my "Leonard Garcia" technique. Swing wildly and hope something connects.
Hey, at the end of the day, I actually win ... sometimes.
Thats how this fight will play out yet again. Garcia will use his stand up (ahem) to put Phan away. I have never been big on Nam Phan, and while he looked impressive against Mike Brown back at UFC 133, he won't have enough to overcome "Bad Boy's" blitz.
Leonard Garcia wins via decision.
That's it for us, fight fans. Tomorrow night should be a lot of fun. Now give us your thoughts. Agree? Disagree?
Let's hear it, Cagesiders.