UFC 136 from Houston is in the books and it lived up to all the hype heading into Saturday night.
It is usually hard for an event with such hype surrounding it to live up to the expectations and leave fans fully satisfied with the $44.95 they spent to order it. But it seems to be one of the rare events that has people buzzing long into the next week.
What made this event so entertaining was the unexpected. There were several questions fight fans had coming into this event. How was Chael going to look? Could Florian get over the hump? Was Guillard the next big thing at lightweight? How would the Edgar-Maynad trilogy end? Would Anthony Pettis bounce back? Some of these questions were answered as expected and some were not. There were plenty of surprises on this card in the octagon, but what has people talking the most may be the action outside the cage.
What follows is a list of the five biggest surprises coming out of UFC 136.
Perhaps the most shocking revelation to come out of Houston following UFC 136 was what came out of the big man’s mouth during the post-fight interview.
White spouted that he thinks Frankie Edgar is the number two pound-for-pound fighter in the world in his opinion following Edgar's victory over Grey Maynard. These comments then immediately sent all of Canada into hysteria about their boy GSP getting disrespected.
In a sport where there is so much debate over a list that can not be proven in any way like the pound-for-pound list, the opinion of the promotions boss is a serious point of debate.
Is Dana right? Can Frankie really be number two behind Anderson Silva? Not in most people’s minds. But the boss seemed to be very convincing in coming across that this is what he actually feels.
There is no denying that Edgar is one tough S.O.B, but it is hard to say that knocking out Maynard immediately throws Edgar ahead of the likes of GSP and Jon Jones. In his last two fights he has looked at parts like a walking zombie just waiting to get finished by Maynard, but he has prevailed in both those fights with impressive comebacks.
Personally I would like to see a few more title defenses before I consider putting him in the top three.
Dana is a smart man and this may have been more of a marketing ploy than anything else. White very well may be trying to make this guy a star and get him the recognition that he deserves, and who could blame him.
The only thing maybe more surprising than White’s comments were that Frankie ended a fight so abruptly with those pillow hands of his. In the 16 fights in his career this marks only his third TKO victory and first since UFC 73.
Although he has stood toe to toe with Maynard and slugged it out a bit, watching him drop Maynard and end it with his hands was about the last thing I expected to see in this fight.
“Melin Guillard is his own worst enemy.”
Those are strong words coming from UFC president Dana White. But they are also probably true.
Guillard looked past Joe Lauzon and it cost him dearly. Instead of having his name firmly planted at the top of the division he takes a few steps back after this fight.
He clearly came into this fight not totally focused, a little over confident and his hype train stopped dead in its tracks when he got choked out.
Its back to the drawing board for Guillard. This is a bad dude and if he can ever get the space between the ears wrapped up, he could be a monster. But until that time Guillard will be a mystery every time he enters the cage. UFC 136 is a prime example of that.
Sonnen winning is not a surprise to anyone. He was a big favorite in this fight even with the crazy long layoff since his last fight. But what I found to be surprising was just how dominant he looked. I'm not sure if it was simply how good he was or maybe how unprepared Brian Stann was for a bout like this, but I'll give Sonnen the benefit of the doubt.
He imposed his will and was actually the one handing out submissions, not receiving them. That is a surprise itself.
His performance at UFC 136 is being overlooked by many for his impression of The Rock after the fight in his post-fight interview with Joe Rogan, so remember this guy is not all talk. He is a gangster from Oregon who has a real shot at beating anyone in the division.
This is not to say Aldo has not been impressive in his first two fights in the promotion, because he won both pretty handily. But what is starting to raise people’s eyebrows with the Featherweight champ is his lack of the spectacle that his WEC resume promised.
Aldo came into the UFC and was this mythological figure from the WEC that ended six straight fights in the WEC and seven of his last eight before crossing over. Those are insane results and maybe we just got a little spoiled with his performances over that time.
I'll stop being nit-picky though. It is not as if every fight is going to have a memorable highlight, it is not what the sport is always about and I understand that. But this guy does have perhaps the best highlight reel finishes in the sport, and wanting to see that stuff is only natural.
Aldo is still a beast and near the top of the pound-for-pound food chain after getting past Kenny Florian.