On Saturday night at UFC 136, Gray Maynard, a man who has yet to lose to Frankie Edgar, will do everything in his power to walk away with what he believes to be his belt.
The entire card for UFC 136 is stacked and will culminate with what could very well be the best fight of the year.
Any hardcore UFC fan already knows they don’t want to miss this fight, but for some newcomers it may seem underwhelming. It won’t be.
Read further to see how Edgar and Maynard stack up.
Both of these fighters were NCAA Division I wrestlers. They are both extremely skilled at controlling their opponents on the ground and can outwrestle almost any fighter in their weight class.
If and when this fight goes to the ground, whoever ends up on top will have a slight advantage, but don’t expect it to stay on the mat for long.
Looking strictly at the numbers, Maynard has the advantage in this area of the fight. He has avoided 80 percent of total takedowns attempted on him, while successfully taking down his opponents 57 percent of the time.
Edgar, on the other hand, has stuffed 60 percent of his opponents' takedown attempts but has only been successful 41 percent of the time when attempting to take down other fighters.
The advantage goes to Maynard based on the numbers, but it’s a very marginal advantage in my book.
Frankie Edgar is a brown belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Although we haven’t seen it too much, Edgar does have the ability to finish his opponents via submission.
It’d be absolutely stunning to see Edgar work off his back, with Maynard in his guard, and pull off a submission victory.
While a submission victory from Edgar shouldn’t be highly expected, it's not impossible. Plus it’d be a wonderful way to end this trilogy.
Maynard’s striking was almost the end of Edgar in their second bout at UFC 125. Maynard has the ability to knockout his opponents, while Edgar hasn’t shown that power.
After re-watching the first fight it seems that the fight should have been stopped in the first round. Edgar was out on his feet for a lot of it. I’m not discounting the man's heart for coming back, but I think other refs may have stopped that match.
In this fight, Maynard needs to make sure he doesn’t punch himself out. After he almost put Edgar away, he started head hunting, and that was a mistake.
This is an insanely hard fight to call, but I’m going with Maynard. He just seems to have Edgar’s number.
Expect Gray’s striking to be the dominating force in this matchup. Look for a TKO victory from Maynard late in the third round. He doesn’t want any questions about who won the fight this time.
I've been wrong plenty of times in the past, however, and counting Edgar out of this fight is just dumb. The only thing that's certain about Edgar vs. Maynard is that it will be a fight no fan should miss.