UFC 136 Odds: Edgar vs. Maynard Predictions and Preview
by Scott Johnson - 10/3/2011
At UFC Fight Night 13, April 2 2008, Gray Maynard defeated Frankie Edgar in a relatively uneventful lightweight bout. Fast forward to New Years Day 2011 and the same two combatants met in the main event of UFC 125 with Frankie Edgar’s UFC Lightweight Championship on the line.
Despite Gray Maynard’s undefeated record and Edgar’s back-to-back wins against former champion BJ Penn, a fighter that many felt was unstoppable at lightweight, Edgar/Maynard II was drawing minimal interest, even amongst the most devoted MMA fans.
When the final bell rang to end the fight it was clear that both champion and challenger had gone above and beyond expectations. Maynard nearly stopped the champ in the opening round with a left hand followed by a relentless beating, earning a dominant 10-8 on the judges’ cards. The champion responded with a heroic effort over the course of the next four rounds, which resulted in the judge’s declaring the bout a draw.
On Oct. 8, UFC 136 will play host to the third instalment of this epic series, which is currently led by the challenger, 1-0-1. In their last meeting Gray was the favourite, and despite the success he has had the UFC 136 odds currently sit in favour of the champ with Edgar at -155 compared to Gray Maynard’s +125.
The betting line for this fight is a nice change of pace when compared to the vast majority of UFC title bouts. Normally, when attempting to turn a profit on a title fight you either need to chase a big dog or risk a large portion of your bankroll for minimal return on the champion.
So now that we know the lead up and betting conditions, let’s take a look at some UFC predictions.
Maynard’s fighting style is a combination of boxing and wrestling. Overall he has completed 60 percent of his takedowns. In the first meeting with Frankie he was successful on nine of 10 attempts, but at UFC 125 he fell well short of these numbers, going three for 17. Gray has relied on his takedowns to help solidify close rounds in a number of previous fights. If he is unable to get Frankie down and keep him down that will take away one of Gray’s biggest weapons.
Edgar also comes from a wrestling background, but he does not rely on it quite as heavily as Gray. Frankie’s takedown accuracy is slightly lower and he uses his wrestling more to compliment his ever improving striking skills.
In the first prediction I picked Edgar to win via decision, and I am predicting the same outcome for UFC 136. At UFC 125, Frankie’s ability to neutralize Maynard’s wrestling turned the focus to their respective striking skills.
Neither man has impressive knockout numbers, but that’s not to say they are not skilled. UFC 125 made it clear that Maynard has power in his hands and Frankie’s footwork and speed was the main reason he was able to upset BJ Penn, not once but twice.
In fact, the wins over Penn showcased what I felt the difference was going to be coming into UFC 125 and what it will be against at UFC 136. Frankie’s lateral movement kept Gray constantly pursuing, but not attacking. Edgar changed up levels nicely, but he always finished with a right hand that was quite effective. Frankie would attack and Maynard would only be able to get off a limited response before Edgar moved out of range.
Maynard’s success in the previous meeting centred on the punch that dropped the champ and the subsequent beating that followed. Once Frankie recovered, Gray didn’t have nearly as much success because he was too focussed on chasing the knockout, all the while struggling to catch up to Frankie.
Frankie Edgar’s striking accuracy and significant strikes landed are both markedly better then Gray Maynard’s. These types of stats along with Edgar’s ability to defend against Gray’s wrestling have me believing that unless Gray is able to land that big punch again that Frankie will win a decision victory.
The main bet should be on a Frankie Edgar victory, but I would also suggest an additional bet related to the outcome of the fight. Depending on your site you may have the option to look at the ‘over/under’ for rounds, which I anticipate will be 4.5 rounds or the finish of the fight.
Based on the fact that these combatants have combined for 16 decision wins, as well as two in their two previous meetings, I feel that the likelihood of this happening again is high. Under these circumstances I would recommend taking the ‘over’ with regard to the round totals and a bet on a decision outcome for the champ with a small wager on the challenger.
This bout will kick off an exciting period in a talent rich lightweight division. Good luck this weekend and make sure to check out the rest of the fight predictions here at Doc’s Sports.
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