UFC 125: What Frankie Edgar Must Do To Beat Gray Maynard

Andrew GladstoneCorrespondent IDecember 27, 2010

Courtesy of Zuffa
Courtesy of Zuffa

UFC 125 takes place this Saturday night at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and will feature the long awaited rematch between Frankie "The Answer" Edgar and Gray "The Bully" Maynard for the UFC lightweight title.

In the first fight between Edgar and Maynard, Maynard was able to control the distance a lot better than Edgar and scored the majority of takedowns, as well as getting the slight nod standing. Also, it appeared that Edgar was noticeably slower in the third round.

Since the fight with Maynard, Edgar has defeated the likes of former UFC lightweight champions B.J. Penn and Sean "The Muscle Shark" Sherk.

I believe that Edgar's ability to mix up his much-improved boxing and transition game, along with his increased speed, will make the difference in this fight. 

Edgar is much harder to figure out and is able to fight at a ridiculous pace for five rounds.

While Maynard certainly has an edge in the wrestling department, I believe Edgar has a more difficult style to deal with and has an advantage striking. In Maynard's fight against Nate Diaz, he showed that he has holes in his boxing and if Edgar can keep Maynard guessing, I see Edgar out-boxing Maynard for five rounds.

Edgar must not allow himself to plant his feet during this fight and stay off the cage; otherwise, Maynard will gain the upper hand and look for his patented double leg takedown. Also, if Edgar gets taken down, he must pop back up or sweep Maynard because the 10-point must system will favor the fighter on top.

If Edgar can keep up the same work rate he showed in his last fight against B.J. Penn and blend his boxing with his wrestling, I could envision Maynard on his back and in a lot of trouble. While Maynard has a strong base when on top, he has spent little time on his back, and it's hard to gauge how competent he is with his guard.

I see Frankie Edgar winning the fight via unanimous decision as more than likely, as he has won eight of his 13 fights via decision and 80 percent of Gray Maynard's fights thus far have gone to a decision.