Sunday, Jan 02, 2011
Maynard and Edgar Calling for Third Bout After Thrilling Fight
By Kelsey Mowatt
Critics that believed a rematch between UFC champ Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard would fail to deliver a memorable bout worthy of main event status, were proven dead wrong last night, as the two lightweights thrilled fans with a classic, 25 minute war to kick off 2011. Of course early on, it appeared as though the UFC 125 headliner would be an abrupt affair, as Maynard staggered and dropped Edgar on several occasions with vicious strikes. Edgar not only survived the round, but the champion came out firing in the second, and battled his way to a five round draw with the only man to have defeated him in 15 pro fights.
“I got hit with a big shot; he came out strong, did a good job, but I bounced back, felt like I won the last four rounds,” Edgar said in the post fight presser. “It was a great fight; it was exciting, for me and the fans, it was a win-win.”
Not surprisingly, Maynard believed he should have been awarded the lightweight belt, particularly due to the fight’s opening five minutes, when the Xtreme Couture fighter may have been a strike or two away from stopping Edgar.
“I don’t want a loss; I want the belt,” said a dejected Maynard afterwards. “Draw’s a draw; thought that was my fight. I thought I had that; thought the belt was mine.”
“I thought I won the third for sure,” Maynard added, who defeated Edgar by unanimous decision the first time they met in April, 2008. “The last round we landed about even. I was going hard for the last and I thought he backed up a lot…Then you’ve got the round where it could have been 10-7 I thought. I mean, I dropped him how many times? Five times? He dropped? He didn’t land a punch. That’s at least a 10-8.”
With neither man walking away with the win, naturally questions were raised in the post-fight press conference, as to whether Edgar and Maynard would like to have an immediate rematch. Complicating matters, however, was that heading into the event WEC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis had been promised a shot at the winner. It was announced in the press conference afterwards, which UFC President Dana White did not attend, that Pettis would indeed face Edgar next. The UFC site was updated later, however, indicating that White was “suggesting in interviews that Edgar and Maynard will have a rematch first.”
“Yeah, I probably would man,” said Edgar when asked if we would prefer to fight Maynard next. “To have a little more closure would be nice. He’s got a win over me and now we have a draw. For me, I would like to have the opportunity to fight him again.”
“Obviously it doesn’t feel good,” said Maynard while discussing the fact, that at the time, he had been told Pettis would face Edgar next. “I thought that was my fight; thought that I had the belt. I worked my ass off for this. Guess it kind of hurts.”
With both men calling for it and White reportedly on board, it would appear as though fans can look forward to Edgar vs. Maynard III. This time, one can likely expect, that there will be far fewer people claiming they’re not interested in the fight.
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 2:43 pm