The main event of UFC 136: "Edgar vs. Maynard 3" tonight (Sat., Oct. 8, 2011) in Houston, Texas, featured the third and final showdown in the trilogy pitting Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar against longtime top contender Gray Maynard.
The two last tussled at UFC 125 on Jan. 1 in Las Vegas, where the bout ended in a controversial and unsatisfying draw. This, of course, dictated the need for a deciding fight.
Tonight was it. And who can we say is now the undisputed number one 155-pound fighter in the land?
That would be Frankie Edgar, who emphatically brought an end to one of the most exciting trilogies in the history of the UFC by knocking out Gray Maynard in the fourth round.
Whew. What a fight.
The fight began as a feeling out process, as is usually the case. Mistakes were at a premium and neither man wanted to be the one to slip first.
It was Maynard, once again, who landed big shots in the opening frame, "bullying" his opponent no different than he did earlier this year.
He stayed patient this time, not just diving in looking for a finish. He bloodied and battered Edgar, absolutely having his way with him.
But, once again, Frankie survived to the second round.
A measured Maynard came out decidedly slower in the second, very much conserving his energy, waiting for the right time to strike. He ate quite a few punches while doing so, allowing Edgar to regain his footing and creep back into the fight.
By the time it was done, Edgar looked to have evened things up.
The third saw Edgar work hard to get back to even, as an argument could be made that Maynard scored a 10-8 in the opening frame. He was quicker and far more explosive, looking fresher while landing enough shots to keep it extremely close.
The championship rounds would truly determine who the man was.
Edgar came out strong, landing shots that went unanswered until Maynard came down the pipe with a solid counter right hand. It stunned the champion, enough that he backed off, if only momentarily.
Maynard's once vaunted wrestling was nowhere to be found ... again.
Finally, mercifully, Edgar landed a clean uppercut that rocked Maynard and put him on his behind. This was absolutely "The Answer," as he followed up with a blitz of punches.
Enough of them landed to put Maynard out. And while he protested, "The Bully" had clearly been slain.
It's finally over, folks. Thoughts?