Frankie Edgar has shown the heart of a champion twice against Gray Maynard. But only after the second instance did really leave no doubt that he was the champion deserves.
Edgar has faced Maynard twice in the last 10 months and received a ferocious beating, in the early rounds. New Year’s Day at UFC 125, the judges declared the bout a draw. On Saturday night at UFC 136 in Houston, Texas, Edgar did not let it go to the cards.
After surviving the first round on Saturday, Edgar gradually took control before finishing the fight in a flurry of fists. Coming out of a fight, Edgar landed a right hand flush to the jaw of Maynard. Seeing the staggered unbeaten challenger, Edgar went ahead and landed more punches, including a right hook that floored Maynard. Edgar hands rushed half a dozen left before the dramatic competition was stopped at 3:54 of the fourth round.
“That last fight we had, it hurts the first round. You may want to make it more exciting (again),” said Edgar (01/01/14), with a smile after avenging the only defeat of his career – a fight 2008, compared to Maynard, when the two were still in the mid-carders of the division.
“This is not an easy fight someone three times.”
In his UFC 125 main event, called Edgar Maynard down three times in the first round that could easily have been arrested. Edgar survived, however, and fought to a draw.
At UFC 136, Edgar Maynard struck again in the first round, landing uppercuts and right hands to release the champion and almost kill him. Once again, however, Edgar is carried through.
He left the UFC president Dana White breath, said in a press conference after the fight that he has “never seen (expletive) in my life.”
In the second and third round, Edgar used his speed to get in and out before Maynard could counter. Edgar also mixed his attack, flustering Maynard, who never knew when to kick, the attempt to kill, combination or blow was coming.
Going into the fight, few would have predicted a knockout victory Edgar. But when he saw Maynard was dizzy, the jumping champion in the opening.