Edgar vs. Maynard, the Trilogy: Which Man Will Walk out on Top After UFC 136?

Cody SlovenskyContributor IIOctober 7, 2011

Gray Maynard and Frankie Edgar are a rare "match made in heaven" when it comes to MMA. Both men are primarily wrestlers, but have developed solid striking and grappling to add to their arsenals. 

At UFC 125 in January, these men put on what will most likely become fight of the year for 2011. 

Round 1 of that fight was one of the worst overall beatdowns in which an opponent wasn't finished in MMA history. What made that first down special was the fact that Frankie came back and ended up winning the second round. 

The fight ended in a draw, and raised questions about Anthony Pettis getting a UFC title shot. Later that night Dana White announced that there would indeed be a rematch, and that has led to where we are today. 

Injuries arose, so the fight was postponed, and now both men are healthy and ready to go. 

This fight has the potential to be just as exciting as the last fight, but with both men playing it smart and doing whatever it takes to not make a mistake. 

Maynard proved last fight that his wrestling translated to MMA has improved. Edgar also proved that he may have the biggest heart in the sport today. From this fight, there are many "what ifs" that have occurred. 

What if Maynard would've paced himself, and didn't almost gas after the first round?

That is the main question, and lucky for the fans and Maynard, we all may see Gray pace himself and become the new UFC Lightweight Champion of the World. 

On paper, Frankie Edgar is the favorite. Maynard dominated the first fight with his wrestling from start to finish. The second, Gray won only two of the five rounds, but the first round was by a score of 10-8. 

Who truly has the advantage? 

Taking away belts and putting each other side by side, a lot of people say that Edgar will reign supreme, but is that true?

The speed advantage goes to Edgar. While overall Maynard may be the better wrestler, the speed of Edgar truly balances that out. 

When it comes to size and power, it is all Gray Maynard. That being said, once again, the speed of Frankie Edgar really makes things difficult. The last fight proved that if Maynard connects, that it can be bad for Edgar. 

Mentally, Edgar takes it here. In the last fight, 90 percent of fighters would've given up, but Edgar did not let that get to him, and he prevailed. 

When it comes down to the gas tank, Edgar is clearly the favorite. While he is the smaller of the two, he is terribly fast and has excellent footwork. He never slows down from start to finish, and this could be the difference in the fight. 

Overall this is a very even match up. Edgar wins this fight if he dictates the pace from the beginning and takes the center of the octagon. Maynard takes this fight if he plays a smart gameplan, picks his shots and doesn't throw out his gameplan early in the fight. 

Expect many fireworks from these two lightweight warriors, and be sure to see live up to date action and news at Bleacher Report MMA.