This war has gone on long enough. It’s time for Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard to step into the octagon one last time and finish this. It’s Edgar-Maynard III and Al Dannity has his take on Saturday night’s big fight.
Heart of a champion
Gray Maynard hammered the holy hell out of Frankie Edgar in the first round of their meeting in January. Despite this opening barrage from The Bully, Edgar showed tremendous willpower to come back and earn a draw. That’s the kind of determination he needed to show, particular after he was dominated in his first meeting with Maynard back in 2008.
Technically this contest offers two contrasting styles. Maynard has superior power and a much stronger ground game but Edgar’s Boxing skills and take-down defense ensure that his exceptional conditioning will keep him in this fight. The champion is the favorite because of what he did after that initial battering. He showed stamina, the kind of resilience needed to earn a win over five rounds. It’s the activity he will show over the distance that should prove decisive. It’s going to be close but I like Edgar to retain his championship on points.
Aldo has a point to prove
Jose Aldo faded horribly in his UFC debut as he held on to outpoint Mark Hominick and retain the UFC Featherweight title. On Saturday he can put things right against one of the great nearly-men of MMA. Kenny Florian, a two-time challenger for the UFC Lightweight title, has always come up just short when glory was within reach. Now aged 36, he faces a tremendous challenge against Aldo. The Brazilian won’t be intimidated by any supposed power advantage owned by Florian due to his experience in heavier weight classes. The stand-up game is heavily weighted in the champion’s favor, meaning Florian will have to look to take this fight to the ground. Over five rounds he will have plenty of chances to test Aldo’s excellent take-down defense but I don’t see Florian enjoying much success. This one should go the distance but MMA betting fans can expect Aldo to retain with ease.
Brian Stann, a silver star decorated former marine, will face Chael Sonnen in the biggest non-title bout on the card. Sonnen’s one of the best wrestlers in the sport and his one glaring weakness, submission defense, is unlikely to be tested here. Stann’s only hope is to force Sonnen into a stand-up battle, an unlikely outcome to say the least. Other highlights on the card include Anthony Pettis making his first appearance since a shocking defeat to Clay Guida in June. Pettis should make light work of Jeremy Stephens in their battle on the preliminary card. Demian Maia is also on the comeback trail. Maia will look to rebound from his loss to Mark Munoz with a big fight against Jorge Santiago.