UFC 136 Results: Was Frankie Edgar More Impressive in Beating Maynard or Penn?

Andrew BarrCorrespondent IOctober 9, 2011

UFC 136 has just come to a close, punctuated by Frankie Edgar successfully defending his UFC Lightweight Championship against Gray Maynard.

Not only did Edgar win the fight, but he finished it in impressive fashion, knocking Maynard out in the fourth round.

Edgar has now defended his championship three consecutive times, but only against two opponents: BJ Penn—who is also the man Edgar won the belt from—and Gray Maynard.

When facing both these opponents, many people counted Edgar out and, in both cases, he proved his doubters wrong.

So, did Frankie Edgar look more impressive in defeating BJ Penn or Gray Maynard?

Let's break it down.

When Edgar fought Penn for the first time, he was a HUGE underdog.

Penn had superman status at that point and nobody thought that anyone would be able to dethrone him anytime soon.

It meant a lot when Edgar managed to edge out that first decision against Penn and even more when he won the second fight in dominant fashion.

The second win, in particular, was huge because it solidified Edgar as one of the top pound-for-pound fighters on the planet.

Edgar's win over Maynard was also a giant accomplishment for the champ because Maynard is the only man ever to defeat Edgar and now he has avenged that loss.

Both the victories are important for Edgar in different ways, but I believe beating Maynard was his most impressive performance.

Against Penn, Edgar was always in control and didn't have anything to overcome.

In defeating Maynard, he was forced to display the heart of a champion, surviving the early onslaught.

Then you weigh in the facts that Edgar was avenging his only career loss and that he finished the fight in devastating fashion and it seems pretty clear cut.

Edgar's second win over Penn was awesome, but he's improved since then and his victory over Maynard tonight was definitely the UFC lightweight champions most impressive win to date.

Be sure to check out Bleacher Report for all things UFC 136. B/R is your home for MMA, from pre-fight predictions to in-fight coverage , live results and post-fight analysis...which you can check out on our UFC 136 event hub.

Andrew Barr is a Featured Columnist for Bleacherreport.com. For updates on what's happening in the world of MMA, follow him on Twitter http://twitter.com/#!/AndrewBarr8