UFC 136

Two titles are on the line. Frankie Edgar will be defending his Lightweight title against Gray Maynard in a rematch that ended in a controversial draw in their last bout.  And Jose Aldo will try to retain his title against the veteran Kenny Florian whose been trying to capture a title of his own the past few years.

Edgar vs. Maynard

This will be their third fight against each other with Maynard holding a win over Edgar in their first fight. In their last fight, Maynard was so close to finishing the fight in the first round, but Edgar was able to weather the storm and took control of the fight to even it up on the score card.

Expect Maynard to come into this fight with a controlled game plan. He will use is physical strength and wrestling to control his opponent.  He’ll want to take the fight to the ground and wear the New Jersey native down. But it won’t be easy as Edgar’s foot movement and quick hands will be the deciding factor of this fight.  If Edgar can keep the fight on the feet, he will retain the title. Both are good wrestlers and in the end I see Edgar fending off Maynard’s takedowns and utilize his quickness to keep Maynard at bay and score points with this hands.

Aldo vs. Florian

Aldo has dominated all his opponents since he debuted in the WEC.  Since holding the Featherweight title he looked untouchable.  In his last fight against Mark Hominick, Aldo seemed to exposed a weaknesses. It was his cardio.  Some were saying Aldo had an injury that forced him to make a big weight cut right before the fight, but who knows?

Florian has made an unprecedented move by dropping to a fourth weight class. He was able to prove that he belongs in the division by beating a tough and top contender, Diego Nunes.  Florian will be Aldo’s toughest opponent yet. Well-rounded with tons of experience Florian will force the Champion to bring his A-Game.

I’m excited for this fight as Aldo is one of the most explosive fighters in MMA. His striking is phenomenal and his team mates say his ground game is just as good. We haven’t seen it yet as he has not have the opportunities to use it in the octagon. I believe Florian’s striking is good too, but not at the level that Aldo has displayed.  I expect Florian to use his reach advantage, but when the opportunities are there he will try to stifle Aldo by keeping him up against the cage. Keeping the fight in tight quarters where Florian can use his knees and elbows is key to scoring points and maintain control.  It’s out in the middle of the octagon is where Aldo can blast those big leg kicks and crushing knees.  I see Florian struggling to control the Brazilian phenom. Aldo will be just too fast and powerful in the striking game.

My Picks:

Frankie Edgar beats Gray Maynard
Jose Aldo beats Kenny Florian
Chael Sonnen beats Brian Stann
Nam Phan beats Leonard Garcia
Melvin Guillard beats Joe Lauzon
Demian Maia beats Jorge Santiago
Jeremy Stephens beats Anthony Pettis
Zhang Tiequan beats Darren Elkins
Eric Schafer beats Aaron Simpson

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