UFC 136 will mark the third time that Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar have met inside the octagon. Last time, out at UFC 125, both fighters slugged it out for a five-round war which ended with a draw.
Edgar and Maynard were expected to meet at UFC 130, but injuries sidelined both fighters until now. Now fans finally get to see the lightweight title fight and get to see the unclogging of the UFC's lightweight division.
Along with Edgar and Maynard, Kenny Florian will challenge Jose Aldo for his featherweight title in the co-main event in Houston.
Florian is making his second appearance at 145 pounds and is coming off of a unanimous decision victory over Diego Nunes at UFC 131.
Now Aldo will make his second UFC title defense and his first since UFC 129 when he beat Mark Hominick by unanimous decision.
Nam Phan (16-9 MMA, 0-2 UFC)
Seven wins by knockout, five by submission, four by decision
Six losses by decision, three by knockout
Leonard Garcia (15-7-1 MMA, 2-3 UFC)
Nine wins by submission, three by knockout, three by decision
Five losses by decision, two by submission
Breakdown: A rematch between the two after their last fight was won by Garcia by controversial decision.
Garcia has some slick ground skills and if the fight gets to the ground he has an excellent chance of pulling out the win.
Phan is a more well-rounded fighter in my opinion and even though he is coming off of a loss to Mike Brown, I think he has this one.
Phan gets the win he should've had before.
Prediction: Phan by unanimous decision
Melvin Guillard (29-8-2 MMA, 10-4 UFC)
19 wins by knockout, eight by decision, two by submission
Seven losses by submission, one by decision
Joe Lauzon (20-6 MMA, 7-3 UFC)
16 wins by submission, four by knockout
Three losses by submission, two by knockout, one by decision
Breakdown: Guillard has been very entertaining so far this year and is considered a top contender for the UFC lightweight title.
This is a big fight for Guillard as will be his next few fights. Guillard has excellent striking skills and knows how to finish fights. Guillard will definitely be sharp come fight night and will look to put on a show.
Lauzon has what it takes to beat Guillard with his ground skills. Guillard has seven losses by submission—all but one of those losses is by some sort of choke—and Lauzon's 16 wins by submission stick out here.
Unfortunately, Guillard has been a man on a mission this year and Lauzon is just a bump in the road.
Prediction: Guillard by first round TKO
Chael Sonnen (25-11-1 MMA, 4-4 UFC)
15 wins by decision, seven by knockout, three by submission
Eight losses by submission, two by knockout, one by decision
Brian Stann (11-3 MMA, 5-2 UFC)
Eight wins by knockout, two by decision, one by submission
One loss by knockout, one by submission, one by decision
Breakdown: Sonnen's first fight in more than a year will be against a very tough and very game Stann.
Sonnen has the wrestling to get Stann to the ground and will grind him out for the decision or try and ground and pound him.
Stann will look to keep the fight standing and utilize his strength to earn a quick knockout.
Stann looked sharp against Jorge Santiago since making his middleweight debut he has gone 3-0 scoring early finishes in all three fights.
Prediction: Sonnen by unanimous decision
Featherweight title fight
Jose Aldo (19-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC)
12 wins by knockout, five by decision, two by submission
One loss by submission
Kenny Florian (15-5 MMA, 12-4 UFC)
10 wins by submission, three by knockout, two by decision
Three by decision, one by knockout, one by submission
Breakdown: Florian has a serious ground game that should worry Aldo, but that is if Florian can somehow get Aldo to the ground.
Aldo is going to pound Florian's legs and then finally go in for the kill. Aldo's striking is too good for Florian. Florian was knocked down twice by Diego Nunes—a poor man's Jose Aldo.
If Aldo knocks Florian down, you can be sure Florian won't get back up.
Prediction: Aldo by second round TKO
Lightweight title fight
Frankie Edgar (13-1-1 MMA, 8-1-1 UFC)
Eight wins by decision, three by submission, two by knockout
One by decision
Gray Maynard (10-0-1 MMA, 8-0-1 UFC)
Eight wins by decision, two by knockout
Breakdown: Their UFC 125 fight was epic and has backed up the UFC's lightweight division. That draw has made fans wait almost an entire year to see this lightweight title fight.
Both fighters possess great wrestling and good striking skills.
The easy thing to point out here is Maynard's size advantage over Edgar. Maynard is bigger and stronger and in their first fight he beat Edgar easily.
But, after seeing how Edgar fought back in their last fight I think he will be able to channel that again.
This time around Edgar needs to show better takedown defense to stop Maynard from using his size and strength advantage to end the night early.
Prediction: Edgar by unanimous decision