Unfortunately, Maynard seems to have improved much more than Kenny did for this fight. Maynard's also one of those fighters who improves with every bout. You don't necessarily notice it every time like with Florian, but he definitely does. He remains undefeated in the UFC and is the only man ever to defeat current lightweight champ, Frankie Edgar.
Maynard dominates the entire fight on the ground, but is unable to finish Florian, thus winning via unanimous decision.
GRAY MAYNARD: TOP CONTENDER
Styles make fights, as they say, and is why Frankie Edgar defeated BJ Penn once again. Some have also said that Maynard could once again defeat Edgar and claim the lightweight belt in their eventual rematch. Maynard is a bigger, stronger wrestler, and if he can take Edgar down and control like he did against Florian, and administer some effective ground and pound all throughout, then he could very well be the next champ.
Edgar's much improved since their last bout, though, and is why he's the current champion, so he may very well be more prepared to counter anything Maynard does. But do the fans really want this fight? Dana White thinks so, but rumblings from different sources say different. They're mixed opinions, of course, but the fans who dislike both Edgar's and Maynard's styles are very vocal. They have seen way too much of the "grinding without finishing" styles that several current UFC fighters utilize, and they have had enough of it.
I can't say that I'm of the same opinion, though. Sure, I'd very much like to see these wrestlers finish more, like Tito Ortiz did back in the day with his amazing ground and pound, but, while these sorts of matches aren't my ideal UFC bouts (I'm a sucker for stand up knock outs myself, preferably head kicks), I certainly don't find them boring.
Although I do concede that some of them definitely are, like Jon Fitch's very recent rematch against Thiago Alves at UFC 117,I certainly didn't find this true for Maynard's match against Florian and Edgar's match against Penn. I personally would like to see if the much-improved Edgar can take the larger, stronger wrestler in Gray Maynard and avenge his only loss. Many, including myself, have predicted that we may see a lightweight version of Sonnen vs. Silva,but without the miraculous finish at the end. Edgar, while definitely at the top of the lightweight heap at the moment, is no Anderson Silva, so it's a bit tough to expect the same results from him. So, the champ once again is the underdog in this one, at least for me.
A SPECTACULAR FINISH NEXT TIME, PLEASE?
Both fighters have been criticized of their performances after the event, though, and I do believe that they have listened. Edgar improved significantly from last time, so I'm pretty sure he'll show the same progression in the next bout. Hopefully, Maynard will do the same and develop some ground and pound as vicious as, if not even more violent and effective, than Chael Sonnen's, and finish Edgar in spectacular fashion. Or, if Edgar wins the fight, he finishes as well in some way or another. Because if he lets the fight go to decision once again, though he may gain more fans, his detractors will remain ever vocal, and I'm pretty sure neither he, nor Dana White, wants that.
What do you think? Do you want to see Edgar vs. Maynard next? Are you excited or bored about the matchup? Do you believe as I do that Maynard does have a good chance of beating Edgar once again? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts!
And check out more amazing photos of UFC 118 at the official UFC website!