Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Kenny "Kenflo" Florian is one of those fighter's who's definitely better every time he gets in the cage, not because the preview specials or commentators tell you so, but because you can visually tell the difference. Literally every time  he steps into the cage, you can see that he's once again sharpened up his already impressive Muay Thai and BJJ skills. He showed incredible stand up skills and footwork against Japanese phenom Takanori Gomi, and I was looking for him to display a comparable, if not much better performance against Gray "The Bully" Maynard.


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 did what any elite wrestler would do in MMA: take his opponent down and control him. Maynard stayed on top the entire time, and Florian was literally unable to do a single thing the entire fight. Maynard was able to take him down at will every time, and he managed to keep him there. Florian did everything he could to survive, but could not reverse the much stronger wrestler on top of him. "The Bully" rained punches and elbows constantly on his devastated opponent, and Florian wound up with an incredibly battered and bloody face.

Maynard dominates the entire fight on the ground, but is unable to finish Florian, thus winning via unanimous decision.


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.


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!

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Hello, I'm Noel Blanco and I write Fitness Philippines. I have been involved in physical fitness for more than 10 years now and am currently taking up graduate studies on Exercise and Sports Science at the University of the Philippines. You can contact me at fitnessphp@yahoo.com
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