“UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III” took place Saturday night inside the Toyota Center in Houston.
The Octagon’s long-awaited return to Texas featured a pair of thrilling championship affairs.
Featherweight king Jose Aldo defended his crown against Kenny Florian in the card’s co-featured attraction, while lightweight champ Frankie Edgar rallied to beat Gray Maynard in the main event.
In addition, middleweight Chael Sonnen returned from a turbulent year-long off season to dominate Brian Stann.
Here are the official results and play-by-play from tonight’s show:
(Facebook 6:10PM ET/3:10PM PT)
Mike Massenzio Defeated Steve Cantwell via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
1stRound: Sparring session to start the scrap. Cantwell lands a big right hand. He connects with another big right that buckles Massenzio. Cantwell stuff a takedown attempt. Cantwell, 10-9.
2ndRound: Cantwell tags him with a clean head kick. Massenzio shoots for a takedown, but is getting pounded in the body. Cantwell manages to get free. Massenzio hits him with a left. Cantwell eats an uppercut, but can’t get the former WEC champion down. Massenzio starting to find his range and is landing big shots. Both fighters are bloodied. Massenzio, 10-9.
3rdRound: Massenzio comes out throwing bombs to start the final stanza, landing a couple. He is really finding a home with his left hand. Not sure why Massenzio keeps trying for a takedown, he’s winning the standup battle. Cantwell gets taken down for a moment. Massenzio rocks him with another left uppercut and is laying the lumber now. He goes for another takedown for some reason. Cantwell’s nose appears broken. Cantwell attempts a leg-lock as the fight ends. Massenzio, 10-9 and rallies to win 29-28.
Aaron Simpson Defeated Eric Schafer via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
1stRound: Simpson drops him with a big right less than a minute into the fight. Schafer survives and appears to have recovered. Simpson’s hands look good early. Simpson nails him with a right uppercut. Schafer eats four punches for each one he throws. Simpson, 10-9.
2ndRound: Simpson is headhunting and succeeding. Simpson is unloading a barrage of punches, head and body. Simpson’s standup looks much-improved. Simpson rocks him with a vicious right. Simpson drops him with another right just as the horn sounds. Simpson, 10-9.
3rdRound: Simpson lands a combo to the body, then head – story of the fight. And again. Schafer connected on two left hooks in the entire fight … maybe. Simpson, 10-9 and sweeps 30-27.
Darren Elkins Defaeted Tiequan Zhang via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-26, 30-27)
1stRound: Zhang drops him and immediately goes for a guillotine choke. Elkins escapes and is now in top position. Elkins moves to full mount and now takes his back. He has both hooks in with a minute remaining in the round. Elkins, 10-9.
2ndRound: It’s like deja vu all over again. Zhang goes for a guillotine and Elkins ends up on top. Elkins immediately transitions to taking the Chinese fighter’s back and has four minutes to work. Not much action for the rest of the round. Elkins, 10-9.
3rdRound: Zhang stuffs a takedown and tries another guillotine. This choke was tighter than the other two, but they ultimately end up in the same position as the previous two rounds – Elkins in top position. Elkins takes his back and has a body lock. Elkins, 10-9 and cruises to a 30-27 win.
Stipe Miocic Defeated Joey Beltran via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28)
1stRound: Standup affair for much of the opening round, with Miocic landing plenty of leg kicks. Beltran seems to be having trouble closing the distance. Miocic, 10-9.
2ndRound: Beltran much more aggressive, but gets taken down for his efforts. Miocic is smothering him on the canvas, but Beltran gets back up. Beltran takes him down and lands some big shots on the ground. Miocic gets to his feet and appears unfazed. Beltran tags him with a left hook. Miocic easily takes him down, but Beltran gets back up. Both appear winded. The heavyweights exchange leather as the horn blares. Close round to score, Beltran, 10-9.
3rdRound: Miocic takes him down for a moment, but not many strikes thrown. Beltran connects on a right. Two minutes remaining and the fight could be up for grabs, both are tired, though. Beltran stumbles and Miocic ends up on top, that may have won him the fight. Miocic in side mount and is dropping some punches. Miocic moves to full mount, then takes his back. Miocic, 10-9, and takes the scrap 29-28.
(Spike TV 8PM ET/5PM PT)
Anthony Pettis Defeated Jeremy Stephens via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
1stRound: Sparring session early. Stephens gets Pettis down for a brief moment, but nothing comes of it. Pettis accidentally lands a groin shot and time is called. Fight resumes. Stephens takes him down again, but Pettis works his way back to his feet. Stephens, 10-9.
2ndRound: Pettis gets an early takedown. Stephens gets back up, but Pettis slams him back down. Stephens goes for a kimura, but Pettis has his back with a minute to go. “Showtime” going for a rear-naked choke, but there’s not enough time. Pettis, 10-9.
3rdRound: Stephens comes out fast and secures a takedown. Pettis gets to his feet. Stephens stuffs a takedown. Pettis trips him to the canvas. Stephens fights is way back up, but Pettis slams him to the mat again. Pettis pressing him against the cage. Stephens reverses and is trying to get a late takedown. Close round to score, and it will likely determine the fight. Pettis, 10-9, and wins the bout with a razor-thin 29-28 score.
Demian Maia Defeated Jorge Santiago via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
1stRound: They are swinging for the fences early, but Maia gets a takedown. Santiago gets free and tags Maia on the way up. Santiago connects on a knee, but Maia uses it to take him down again. Maia, 10-9.
2ndRound: Santiago takes the center of the cage and is walking Maia down. Not much devastating is landing by either fighter, as Maia gets a takedown. Santiago doing a good job of avoiding damage, but has spent much of the round on his back, nonetheless. Main, 10-9.
3rdRound: Santiago showing a greater sense of urgency, but Maia is avoiding his punches. Maia has a body lock and drags him to the ground with half of the round remaining. Maia isn’t unloading many shots, as it appears he’s content on riding out a decision win. Maia, 10-9 and wins the fight 30-27.
(Pay-Per-View 9PM ET/6PM PT)
Joe Lauzon defeated Melvin Guillard via Submission (Rear-Naked Choke) at :47 in the 1stRound
1stRound: Guillard comes out like a house on fire and lands a kick to the body. He attempts a knee, but Lauzon catches him with a left hook and stuns him. Lauzon pounces and takes his back. He gets both hooks in and locks in a rear-naked choke. Guillard is forced to cry uncle. BTW – Guillard was nearly a 5-to-1 favorite #UpsetCity
Nam Phan Defeated Leonard Garcia via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
1stRound: Garcia is much more active in the opening minutes. Phan answers back and drops him with a right. Phan looking to work in the full-guard. They get stood up, seemed kind of early. Phan connects with a big left hook. Phan gets him with a body shot. Garcia kicks him in the midsection. Garcia goes for a shot, but ends up on his back and Phan unloads some punches as the horn sounds. Phan, 10-9.
2ndRound: Phan comes with a flurry that appears to stun Garcia. Phan really beating up his body. Garcia appears winded. Phan is landing nearly anything he wants. Phan, 10-9.
3rdRound: Garcia comes out with a great sense of urgency and drops Phan. He’s going in for the kill and is tagging Phan. Garcia needs to be careful not to blow his wad. Phan appears to have recovered. He keeps punching Garcia in his face, but with not much power. Phan secures a takedown, but they get stood up due to inactivity. Garcia throwing wild punches, none landing, though. GREAT FIGHT. Garcia, 10-9, but Phan should have won the rematch, 29-28.
Chael Sonnen Defeated Brian Stann via Submission (Arm Triangle Choke) 3:51 in the 2ndRound
1stRound: Sonnen goes for a takedown early, but Stann manages to fend him off. They are exchanging blows while clinching against the fence. Sonnen trips him to mat and lands in side-control. Stann tries to scramble free, but Sonnen sticks to him and takes his back. Sonnen advances to full mount. Sonnen unloading some good ground-and-pound. Sonnen, 10-9.
2ndRound: Stann comes out throwing a kick and Sonnen instantly plants him on his back. Sonnen immediately moves to side-control, and now mounts him with four minutes remaining in the round. They get stood up, seemed kind of premature. Stann tags him with a big right, but Sonnen picks him up and slams him to the ground. Sonnen moves for an arm triangle choke and Stann is forced to tap.
Middleweight king Anderson Silva is sitting front and center. It will be interesting to see what Sonnen has to say during his post-fight interview.
Sonnen told Silva he absolutely sucks and issued a challenge for Super Bowl weekend. If Sonnen wins, Silva leaves the division. If Silva wins, Sonnen leaves the UFC forever. #Boom
Jose Aldo Defeated Kenny Florian via Unanimous Decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) (Aldo retains UFC featherweight title)
1stRound: Florian lands a leg kick, but Aldo forges ahead and tags him in the eye. Aldo stuffs a takedown and unloads a barrage of punches. Florian gets him to the mat for a brief moment, but the Brazilian gets back up. Florian has him pressed against the fence. The challenger working hard for takedowns. Florian, 10-9.
2ndRound: Aldo is reluctant to throw kicks due to Florian’s takedowns. As I type that, he lands two big ones to Florian’s lead led. Aldo nails him in the head with a kick. Florian gets him with a powerful leg kick in return. Aldo, 10-9.
3rdRound: Aldo scores on a one-two combination. Then again with a straight right. The champ pounds Florian’s lead leg and follows up with a right. Aldo starting to find his groove. Florian goes for a shot, but Aldo ends up on top. Not much action on the mat, as Florian works his way back up. Aldo, 10-9.
4thRound: The inside of Florian’s right thigh is purple. He goes for a takedown and eats Aldo’s knee while in the clinch. Florian still relentless with his takedown attempts, but he keeps getting denied. Aldo hits him with a right as the horn sounds. Aldo, 10-9.
5thRound: Florian gets denied on another single-leg takedown. Florian tries a knee and slips to the mat. Aldo moves to full mount, but Florian is active and avoiding any damage. Florian works his way back to his feet. Aldo, 10-9, and wins the bout 49-46.
Frankie Edgar Defeated Gray Maynard via TKO (Strikes) at 3:54 in the 4thRound (Edgar retains UFC lightweight title)
1stRound: Edgar lands a nice one-two combination. He shoots for a takedown and has a body lock, but gives it up. Maynard connects on a big uppercut that wobbles the champ. Maynard follows up with some more punches and a knee. Edgar gets dropped again. Maynard is landing the uppercut at will. Edgar survives, but he’s in trouble. Maynard, 10-9. It could have been a 10-8 round, probably was.
2ndRound: Edgar scores with a left hook and leg kick. It appears he has recovered, but his movement isn’t like it was at UFC 125. Maynard stuffs a takedown attempt. Edgar lands a body shot. Edgar, 10-9.
3rdRound: They exchange leg kicks. Edgar is denied on two takedown tries. Edgar lays a big right hand on him. One-two combination by Edgar. Maynard missed with a big haymaker. A solid body kick by Edgar. Edgar, 10-9. Let’s just say it’s tied heading into the championship rounds.
4thRound: Edgar scores on another huge one-two combination. Maynard goes for a takedown but is turned away. Edgar is finding a home for his right hand. Edgar punishes his lead leg. Edgar is beating him to the punch. Maynard stuffs a takedown, but eats a big right. Edgar pounces and unloads bombs. Game. Set. Match, Edgar.
Frankie Edgar is MMA’s modern day Rocky Balboa. Amazing.