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THE ROCKTAGON

by James Swift


Let me start off tonight’s recap by saying TOM BRADY IS THE WORST HUMAN BEING THAT HAS EVER LIVED. I know it’s not really “cool” to wish physical malaise on anyone, but if he just so happened to come down with a new strain of herpes, that would be just fine and dandy with me..

So anyway. . .wait, didn’t we just have an UFC PPV like two weeks ago? I’m not saying that the company is in danger of over saturating the market or anything, but this event marks the THIRD weekend in a row that the promotion has hosted a televised card. Not that I’m complaining by any stretch, since this is one of the dopest looking cards the UFC has put on in quite some time.

We’ve got ourselves a featherweight throwdown between an Asian and a Mexican that REALLY, REALLY don’t like each other - so it’s sort of like Manny Pacquaio and Juan Manuel Marquez, except nobody really cares who wins. We’ve also got a lightweight clash between the ONLY dude on the planet that still thinks that the “Sisqo” ‘do is “happening” and a former computer programmer that looks sort of like a dehydrated gargoyle - but, eh, we could probably do without that one.

The “big three” fights, however, are absolutely colossal. Not only do we have TWO title fights on the card (featuring at least three of the top twenty pound for pound fighters on the planet in action), we’ve also got one of the most heavily anticipated middleweight bouts in recent memory on deck. . .featuring the return of quite possibly the single most entertaining personality in the HISTORY of mixed martial arts (and the even GREATER possibility of him getting his head punched right off his shoulders, to boot!)

Yeah, you don’t need me to get you excited for this one. Welcome, one and all, to the Rocktagon recap of UFC 136: Edgar vs. Maynard III!

Tonight’s show is coming to you LIVE from The Toyota Center in Houston, Texas, where there will be a GRAND TOTAL of nothing going on this fall because the NBA is on strike and they don’t have an NHL team. Meanwhile, I’m doing the as-it-happens play-by-play from the quaint and cozy Bailey’s Irish Pub in K’Saw, Georgia. . .where the suspect ne’er-do-well to suspect MILF ratio is practically 50/50 on most evenings. Anyhoo, I’m ALREADY in a chipper mood, because I just got back from seeing a production of Wicked at the Fabulous Fox a few hours ago. If you ever get a chance to see the show, I say take it - and for once, I’m not being a pretentious dingleberry when I give something my recommendation. I mean, how can you not love this shiz-nit right here?

That, and I am convinced (CONVINCED, I SAY) that the entire thing is a parable for the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Just see it, and you’ll know EXACTLY what I’m talking about.

As always, our hosts tonight are Joe “Hulk” Rogan and Mike “0-200” Goldberg.

As I’m getting here, I JUST heard about Al Davis dying, and as a long time Oakland/L.A. Raiders fan (they’re pretty much the only team in all of sports that I fervently follow), yeah, it’s pretty sucky. I mean, I really should have seen it coming, I guess - Al was damned near 90, as it was - but even so, this is a hard bit of news to overcome. That said, here’s the best memorial I can muster for the time being:

And don’t you worry: there will be PLENTY of recently deceased celebrities that I WON’T be venerating throughout this article, so there is absolute ZERO danger of this thing turning into a sap fest.

We’re about twenty minutes late for this thing, but guess what? I DON’T CARE. Thusly, we’re jumping straight into the second Spike TV prelim, a middleweight clash between Demian Maia and Jorge Santiago. And odds are, this thing is going to uglier than homemade soap. . .maybe I should have showed up an hour later, instead.

Santiago with leg kicks. He’s circling in and out - which means he ain’t getting anywhere NEAR close to a knockout here. Maia scores a facile takedown. Maia has Santiago in the half guard. Santiago shucks him off. Things get vertical, we have a clinch and Maia is throwing some crazy looking uppercuts. Maia clips his foe with an overhand right. Maia with another takedown, and some bombs from above. For the rest of the round, Santiago “Defends” himself by pretending to peddle an invisible bicycle on the mat of the Octagon. 10-9 for Maia.

Jeez, neither of these guys can hit the broad side of a barn if they tried - after this bout, we might as well nickname him Jorge “Stormtrooper” Santiago. Maia with a leg kick and a nice one-two. Clinch, and Maia gets a single leg. Maia is pretty much an entire year ahead of Santiago when it comes to wrestling. Maia gets side control, and Jorge goes back to peddling that Huffy that only he can see. 20-18 for Maia.

Round three begins, and Santiago immediately gets taken down. Clinch, and Santiago is looking for a knockout. . .which he ain’t getting, ever. Maia looks like he might be going for a German suplex, but he apparently doesn’t have any plans of letting go of Santiago. And Maia scores another takedown. Half-guard for Maia - he’s raining some shots, but it isn’t working, so he switches to the north/south position to try.. . .something, I guess. And now, he’s back in the full mount, feeding Santiago elbows as the round expires.

A really, really boring fight right here. 30-27 decision victory across the board for Maia.

About five minutes to go before the main card kicks off. Rogan and Goldberg do the hard sell for the main events, suspiciously leaving out any and all references to a certain HGH-using, mortgage-fraudster middleweight. I wonder why that is?

LIGHTWEIGHT BOUT

Melvin Guillard (29-8-2-1) vs. Joe Lauzon (20-6)

For Melvin Guillard, it’s really a simple proposition here: win this fight, wait about a year, and you’ll probably get first dibs on whoever the UFC Lightweight Champion is following the early 2011 bout between whoever wins tonight’s Frank Edgar/Gray Maynard bout and whoever wins November’s Clay Guida/Ben Henderson bout. Riding a five fight win streak, “The Young Assassin” is considered one of the most talented - and underappreciated fighters - in the lightweight division. But then again, these sorts of wins aren’t exactly given now, are they?

Joe Lauzon - a guy that will NEVER ever be in the title hunt in the UFC - is probably best known for that one time he knocked out Jens Pulver, back when we all didn’t know that Jens Pulver sucked. Since then, “Creepy Joe” has been in and out of the UFC - alike that one wad of T.P. that never gets sucked down the commode, you can rest assured that Lauzon will never be far off from making a main card appearance at a UFC PPV.

Guillard is the heavy favorite going into this one, but as we all know by now, success on paper doesn’t automatically equate success in battle. Just ask Robert Mugabe, who I hear was really kick ass at Risk. So can Guillard put one more feather in his cap on his road to campaign 2012, or will Lauzon pull of the monumental (well, maybe not so much) upset this evening? In short: yeah, probably that first part..

Melvin Guillard is SUPER over with tonight’s crowd. He definitely gets a rock star reaction, even if his track record in the Octagon has been more Ram Jam than Pearl Jam as of late.

Round one begins with Guillard tossing some knees. Just seconds into the fight, however, Lauzon ROCKS Guillard with a nasty left. The heavily hyped favorite is down, and Lauzon is looking for a guillotine. . .and he’s GOT IT. Guillard taps at just 0:47 of the very first round. Uh, you know all that stuff I was telling you about Guillard being a feature lightweight contender? Yeah. . .never mind, I guess.

CHAD MENDES is the new face of the UFC’s crappy overpriced shaving gel campaign. BS, we ALL know that award should have gone to Roy Nelson, instead.

Anderson Silva is also in the hizzy, as is Rashad Evans (who gets booed like crazy) and Forrest Griffin, who for some reason, gets cheered like crazy. Huh.

FEATHERWEIGHT BOUT

Leonard Garcia (15-7-1) vs. Nam Phan (16-9)

Originally, the curtain jerker for tonight’s show was supposed to be a Heavyweight clash between Dave Herman and Mike Russow, but since old Hermy had to haves him some of the mary-wanna, the fight got scrapped and this featherweight showdown got bumped up to main card status.

The match here is actually a rematch of a VERY controversial fight from last year, which a lot of people thought had an all-time horrible decision (and those kinds of people are right, I tell you). Following the UFC’s unwritten policy of “Asian people aren’t allowed to win, ever,” Nam Phan is riding a two fight losing streak (meaning that one more loss and is ass is Bellator bound) and Leonard Garcia really isn’t, despite some downright heinous losses to Mark Hominick and Chan Sung Jung over the last few months.

The storyline here is absurdly simple, folks: Leonard Garcia wants to hush up the critics that said he was given a gift basket win a year ago, and Nam Phan wants to slake upon the sweet, sweet nectar of vengeance by knocking Garcia’s head clean off his shoulders. And it just dawned on me that the UFC missed a golden poster opportunity by featuring Nam Phan pointing into space with the text “Bring me the head of Leonard Garcia” posited underneath him. Oh well. . .I’m sure we’ll have the venue to reference some other Sam Peckinpah movie at some other point during the evening, right?

I guess my favorite subplot going into this fight is that in an interview a few weeks ago, Phan said he was going to go off on Garcia like a “terrorist on the 4th of July.” In other words, don’t expect Phan to be making his way to any shows that require airline considerations for the rest of his UFC tenure.

There’s a lot of empty seats tonight. . .it’s also PRIDE WEEK in Atlanta, so maybe there’s a lot more overlap between MMA and THE GHEY than we originally surmised (note that I’m wearing a rainbow wig and my girlfriend’s angora sweater as I type this.)

Speaking of suspiciously well-groomed males, Nam Phan has what is possibly the nicest head of hair I have ever seen on a guy that doesn’t sell cars or forecast the weather. Meanwhile, Leonard Garcia, on the other head, is apparently a big proponent of using special ed labor to do his barber work.

Garcia with early jabs. Phan bullies Garcia into the cage and momentarily drops him with a left. Phan follows him to the ground. Garcia ties Phan up, and the ref issues a stand-up. Garcia eats ANOTHER nasty left from Phan. Garcia with a takedown attempt, but Phan just pummels him as he attempts the double leg. Phan has Garcia backed up against the cage, Garcia says that he got eye poked, so we have a momentary stoppage. Garcia tries for another takedown as the bell sounds, but Phan stuffs it like a juicy, delicious, succulent bell pepper (PS, I am really hungry as I type this, in case you haven’t noticed.)

Phan begins round two with a flurry of straight jabs. Garcia is doing his best windmill impersonation at this point. Phan is landing the heavier shots throughout this fight. Phan is just TAGGING Garcia up against the cage. Garcia is bleeding from underneath his eye. Phan rattles off two more shots as the bell sounds. 20-18 easy for Phan.

Garcia HAS to finish Phan to win this fight. He comes out swinging like a machete-armed octopis, but to this credit, Phan is defending MOST of the shots. AND PHAN GOES DOWN. Shee-yet. Now it’s GARCIA that is trying to bully Phan up against the cage. Time for a FIST exchange on Wall (of pain) Street. With about two minutes left, Phan lands a takedown. They may be enough to win him the fight. A minute and a half to go, and the ref stands them up. Garcia is pretending to be Sonic the Hedgehog while Phan closes his eyes and just starts throwing his legs around like a helicopter. Garcia gets a takedown. Ten seconds to go, and the first man to connect lands the death blow. Unfortunately, nobody lands anything, so this one is headed to a decision.

29-28 unanimous decision for Nam Phan. A really, really entertaining fight, every bit as awesome as the Maia / Santiago fight was lousy.

Dominick Cruz is in the house. But yeah, you or nobody else cares..

Of course, it would be insensitive of me if I did not acknowledge the recent passing of one Steven Paul Jobs, who owned some computer company or something. While most folks recall him most as the mastermind behind the iPod, iPhone and iPad, iThink it is also important that we also acknowledge the OTHER Steve Jobs. You know, the guy that wasn’t above doing home invasions and holding employees hostage in order to make a point (and oh yeah, something about stealing livers from people, too.)

Sigh. . .I wonder if this means they’ll be changing the commercials to say “I’m A PC, and I’m alive” now?

As part of what might as well be an ongoing series here at The Rocktagon, I would like to call your attention to yet ANOTHER marketing snafu my near and dear university committed a few weeks ago. My college has a department dedicated to Holocaust history - which is really nothing out of the ordinary, as tons of schools across the U.S. and abroad have similar institutes. Now, our Holocaust history department routinely holds movie nights - which, once again, isn’t anything out of the norm. The rub in this scenario isn’t that they decided to show a movie - “Schindler’s List”, as it were - a few weeks back as much as it was HOW they decided to promote it. . ..

. . .because, as we all know, nothing says “respectful observation of the death of six million Jews” quite like a PIZZA PARTY, am I right? I mean, hell, of ALL THE FOODS you had to run with here, you went with the one that AUTOMATICALLY conjures up terminology like “ovens” and “baking?” Man, I can’t wait until next February, when they’ll probably celebrate “Roots” with Grape Kool-Aid and catering from Popeye’s Chicken.

Now, if you will, pardon me for a moment: my all time favorite and least favorite person is headed to the cage. And no, I’m NOT talking about more than one person.

MIDDLEWEIGHT BOUT

CHAEL SONNEN (25-11-1) vs. BRIAN STANN (11-3)

That loud fapping sound you hear over the broadcast is that of Dana White self-pleasuring himself in a press box, because no matter what happens in this fight, he’s going to be using hundred dollar bills as spank rags following this fight’s aftermath.

It’s no secret that the winner of this bout is first in line for a shot at Anderson Silva’s Middleweight Championship. It’s also no secret that the winner of this bout will also serve as the probable coach against Anderson Silva on the highly touted, FX debut of The Ultimate Fighter next spring. And this, of course, leads to dollar signs, dollar signs, and oh yeah, more dollar signs for all parties involved.

Outside of a lighting rig falling into the Octagon, there is simply no way ANY OF US can lose in this bout. As far as advertising goes, the two men facing off tonight are pretty much the most desirable, mass-marketable, White-America-I-Don’t-Like-Obama-or-Rap-Music-friendly fighters on the face of the earth. If Dana White was looking for a great white hope against “The Spider,” odds are, he’s found at least one of them in this match-up.

Reading Brian Stann’s life story is like reading some fairy tale penned by the G.O.P. A former Iraq Marine, the John’s Creek, Georgia resident was awarded the Silver Star honor following his stint in Operation Matador, making him a bona-fide WAR HERO/marketing goldmine for the Ultimate Fighting Championship. And as far as those allegations of him sexual assaulting a female soldier during that same stint. . .uh, I didn’t hear you say anything, did you?

Stann, a former WEC standout, entered the UFC in 2009 as a Light Heavyweight, sucked, dropped to middleweight, and has been kicking ass ever since. In his last two fights, he positively MURDER-DEATH-KILLED Jorge Santiago and Chris Leben. . .not only is the dude a factory for highlight-reel knockouts, he’s causing brain damage FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLES with such splendor and valor that I am shocked, downright shocked, that his mug hasn’t been plastered to a Wheaties box yet.

Admittedly, it is a tough sell putting ANYONE up against Stann, but in the quest to uncover the ANTI-SILVA, there was only one man on the planet that could serve as a more Tea-Party-friendly ULTRA-AMERICAN contender to the throne: ladies and gentlemen, your hero and mine, CHAEL FREAKING SONNEN.





There is NO way around it: Chael Sonnen is the single greatest pro wrestling bad guy EVER in the history of anything that isn’t pro wrestling. His promos are absolutely amazing, and the dude pretty much LIVES his gimmick - I mean, shit, you would HAVE to be one hell of a talker to get yourself OUT of failing a steroid test AND getting popped for mortgage fraud in the SAME week, wouldn’t you?

Sonnen, outside of being the most entertaining speaker this side of Cornel West, is also the only man in recent history that has gotten CLOSE to defeating Anderson Silva. Following a year long suspension for pissing hot, Sonnen wants NOTHING more than a rematch against the legend he almost vanquished. In fact, if you are the UFC, YOU want nothing more than to see these two rematch, following a lengthy, insult-strewn publicity campaign that ought to make the 2012 Presidential run look downright sanitary by comparison.

No matter who wins this fight, we’re guaranteed an AWESOME build-up for what may very well be Anderson Silva’s final Middleweight title defense come next summer. And oh yeah, this fight - between a world class wrestler and a world class striker - just might turn out to be pretty damned enjoyable, too.

The referee can’t say “let’s get it on” fast enough for this one, I say. . .

Chael Sonnen promises he’ll give Stann “a red, white and blue as kicking” before the fight. It’s official: CHAEL SONNEN = THE ROCK OF THE 21st CENTURY.

Round one begins, and Sonnen IMMEDIATELY bullies Stann into the cage. Sonnen with a fast takedown, and now he’s got side control and dropping some elbows. Sonnen can’t get the full guard, so he jut floats over and gets Stann’s back instead. Sonnen has some hooks in, and he’s pretty much riding on Stann’s back at this point. Sonnen rolls, and he has Stann in the full mount. Stann looks for a triangle as the round concludes, but it ain’t happening. Easy 10-9 for the returning Sonnen.

Stann IMMEDIATELY gores Stann for a takedown to begin the second. Sonnen in full control, pretty much clubbing Stann from the full mount. Stand-up issued. Stann lands a right, but Sonnen responds by simply TAKING HIM DOWN AGAIN. Sonnen is displaying an intensity level that is OFF THE CHARTS in this fight. Now, I’m not saying that has anything at all to do with the pepperoni pizza growing on his back, but…

Sonnen has side control, and he’s working on an arm triangle. Sonnen switches sides, and Stann has no option but to tap out. As soon as the ref waves off the fight, the crowd starts chanting “SILVA!” and the camera pans to Anderson, who for some reason, is buddying it up with Charles Barkley.

And in the post fight, Chael Sonnen cuts the greatest under-a-minute HEEL PROMO of all time as he challenges Anderson Silva to a rematch - yeah, you NEED to see this one.

Dear lord. . .I am so jacked right now that it is ridiculous.

Hey, I plumb forget about the NHL season starting! Seeing as how my hometown team is now playing in a city 5,000 miles away, it’s just mildly difficult to get too pumped about pro hockey starting anew. That said, I have THREE bold predictions for the 2011-2012 season that are so true, you will probably see John Bucigross re-tweeting them a few hours from now.

#001 Everybody will think the Pens and Caps will waltz to the Eastern Conference finals, but neither

team will manage to escape the first round of the playoffs.

#002 San Jose will make a strong push for the Campbell Trophy, only to choke at the ABSOLUTE last

possible second.

#003 The Stanley Cup Finals will involve two non traditional market teams duking it in an epic 7- game series that about half the viewing audience of Manswers will watch, with the Tampa Bay Lightning taking home Lord Stanley by beating the Phoenix Coyotes 4 games to 3. Gary Bettman

attempts suicide by eating an entire packet of furniture tacks immediately thereafter.

Oh, and the Winnipeg Jets will probably make the playoffs, pull off at least one major upset, and then get creamed in the second or third round of play. Hey, they still have that Thrasher DNA in them, after all.

And hey, speaking of underweight contenders getting the crap smacked out of them. . .

UFC FEATHERWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT

Jose Aldo (19-1) [CHAMPION] vs. Kenny Florian (15-5) [CHALLENGER]

Tonight, we’re staring down two back-to-back championship fights, and of the two, I think this is the one that everyone thinks is the more observably one-sided. Sure, current Featherweight champion Jose Aldo was tested by Mark Hominick back at UFC 129 (in what I still consider the best match of 2011, so far), but we also tend to forget that Aldo absolutely kicked Hominick’s ass for the first twenty minutes of that bout. This Florian kid is a tough cookie, but let’s face it: he ain’t exactly in Hominick’s league when it comes to the art of surmounting attempted homicide.

You don’t need me to tell you how great Aldo is. He’s pretty much murdered everybody that was worth talking about in the WEC, and now, he’s looking to carve up his first UFC-bred star in Kenny Florian. Florian, as we all know, is a downright awful commentator, but as a fighter, he’s had his ups and downs - but when it comes time to throw down with world class grapplers like BJ Penn and Gray Maynard, the dude shows that he’s still pretty far back in the line when it comes to top-tier fighting talent in the promotion.

I really can’t think of a single category where Florian would have the perceived upper hand here. Striking, wrestling, submission, haircut - they all tend to favor Aldo in this bout. Even so, and this cannot be said enough, what we oft expect in the UFC isn’t exactly what we get sometimes. You know, sort of like the Wendy’s on Chastain Road, who apparently can’t tell the difference between chocolate and vanilla milkshakes.

Pretty much everybody expects this to be Kenny Florian’s funeral. . .and you best bet Jose has been brushing up on the orations of Pericles in preparation for this fight. Now, I’m not saying this fight will end a certain way, but if you remind me, I’ll be sure to post a PayPal link so you can send contributions to the surviving Florians in the next recap.

As round one begins, Florian is actually the one throwing a majority of leg kicks. Maybe their souls get flip flopped like Gandhi and Genghis Khan in that one episode of Celebrity Death Match or something? It’s obvious that this is going to be a very technical (read: quasi-boring) fight from the get-go Florian desperately looks for a takedown, but I don’t see it happening. Florian says that he got eye poked twice and goes for ANOTHER feeble takedown. Florian looking for a single leg against the cage, and he finally gets a leg trip. Aldo pops right back up, however. Florian looking for a German (no, not Hitler), but he can’t get Aldo off his feet. Florian ends the round by pushing Aldo up against the cage and landing short range elbows. 10-9 Florian.

Aldo is no good on a takedown attempt. Florian switches up his boxing stance. Florian with some shots connecting. Florian goes for another takedown.. . .no dice. NOW Aldo is throwing those lethal leg kicks, and Florian is looking wobbly. Aldo shakes off a clinch and misses on a soccer kick that probably would have given Florian a new cleft. Aldo with some more nasty leg kicks. Florian concludes the round by looking for a takedown against the cage. 19-19 at this point.

Aldo comes out jabbing in round three, and an inside leg kick ALMOST cuts Kenny Florian down like a Redwood. Florian circles outside, looks for a takedown but. . .yeah, you can guess what happened there. Aldo gets the mount. Aldo tries to get Florian’s back, but it isn’t happening. Aldo seems to be content with the full mount, so he goes back to working for something there. Aldo up, and K-Flo is throwing up kicks. Florian tries to end the round by doing - what else - a takedown, but as expected. . It doesn’t exactly go his way. 29-28 Aldo.

It’s a leg kick exchange to begin round four. I think Aldo is winning, since you really can’t see his veins trying to explode like Florian’s. KENNY, ENOUGH WITH THE TAKEDOWN ATTEMPTS ALREADY. Jose circles out, Jesus, TWO more foiled takedown attempts from Florian. The two say “forget it” and just clinch instead. Takedown fail, another clinch. At this point, the most entertaining thing about the round is listening to Florian’s corner man curse in the background. Aldo misses a knee as the round ends. 39-37 for Aldo.

Final round. Clinch. Single Leg attempt. Aldo circles. It’s like a Crayola flip book, in a way. K-Flo slips on an invisible banana peel and Aldo kicks the leg from above. Aldo in the half guard with a NASTY elbow shot. Aldo shucked to half guard. It’s standing. Both guys look gassed. About a minute and a half to go. Aldo bullies Florian into the cage with about sixty seconds on the clock. Aldo with a combination platter consisting of jabs, elbows and high kicks as the bout comes to a conclusion.

49-46 decision for your reigning UFC Featherweight Champion, Jose Aldo, Jr. Florian looks crushed as Aldo celebrates by doing a backflip off the cage.

Bes sure to spend 11-11-11 watching The Immortals -because calling it “300 Part 2” is just too damn confusing.

UFC LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT

Frankie Edgar (13-1-1) [CHAMPION] vs. Gray Maynard (10-0-1-1) [CHALLENGER]

To a lot of people, the absolute best fight of 2011 occurred on the very first day of the calendar year, as Frankie Edgar rebounded from an all-time ass kicking in the first round of his second fight against Gray Maynard to rally to a controversial draw decision. Thanks to mutual injuries, this long-awaited third bout in the trilogy has been delayed more times than Duke Nukem Forever, but after months and months of waiting, we’re FINALLY getting to see this storied rivalry come to a conclusion. . .unless there’s another draw, which, let’s face it, can’t possibly happen again, right?

To the uninitiated, Frankie Edgar is (rightfully) considered the pound for pound best lightweight fighter on the planet. In fact, his only loss came at the hands of Maynard back in 2008 - since then, he’s been on an undefeated streak, doing away with such long-tenured stalwarts as Sean Sherk and BJ Penn. . .twice.

However, there’s a bubbling undercurrent of fighters poised to snatch that championship belt from his waist. Clay Guida, Ben Henderson, Donald Cerrone, Melvin Guillard, Dennis Siver, Edson Barboza, Nate Diaz. . .and that’s not even counting the guys that haven’t been absorbed into the company yet, like Eddie Alvarez and Gilbert Melendez. But at the top of that threat list, of course, is the man he’s facing tonight: the only man to ever best him in battle, Gray Maynard.

Maynard won the first fight, battled Edgar to a draw earlier this year and looks to finally take the strap this evening. Although Maynard isn’t exactly known for being the most entertaining breed of fighter (I reckon his most entertaining fight was the one he had against Rob Emerson back in ‘07 where they both knocked each other out at the same time), but the dude can flat out hammer a mofo when it counts.

Tonight, the trilogy (probably) ends. Will Gray Maynard’s brute force finally earn him a world championship, or will the reigning champ’s lighting speed prove enough to keep the title for one more challenge?

Ladies and gentlemen, let’s turn to the cage for some final resolution. . .

LOL at the commentating duo not even mentioning Tito Ortiz in the first row. Maynard out to Pearl Jam (I think) and Edgar out to Biggy (I think). Maynard, understandably, looks pissed, and Edgar looks like me circa the 8th grade.

We begin with circling, and Edgar shoots for a takedown. Edgar looking for Maynard’s back, and Maynard almost knocks Edgar’s head off with an uppercut. Edgar doesn’t know what colors are anymore as Maynard knees him in the clinch. Maynard drops Edgar AGAIN with another huge right. Edgar eats ANOTHER uppercut and a flurry of punches. Edgar is in DEEP TROUBLE here. A right, a left high kick and a knee (in a row!) puts Edgar on his ass. Edgar’s nose is busted wide open, and for good measure, Maynard lands one more crisp right on Edgar’s face as the round ends. An almost scene-by-scene remake of what happened in the first round of the last fight here.

Apparently of the same genus as Wolverine from the X-Men movies, Edgar has almost completely healed from having has face torn open like a burrito in the course of about a minute. Maynard is WAY more conservative with his striking here. . .which could be a HUGE mistake. Edgar is beginning to land some leg kicks, and he has found a rhythm with the circle - jab technique. Edgar with a counter punch, and now, Edgar is controlling the tempo of this fight. The round concludes with Edgar with a strong left hook.

Edgar with a combo, and Maynard looking for that uppercut. Edgar gets nothing with a takedown attempt. Leg kick exchange. Edgar still working for a takedown. Edgar with a MONSTER right. Edgar can’t get the single leg, so he bobs in and out with jabs, barely missing Maynard’s deadly uppercut as the bell sounds.

Fourth round. A bloody-nosed Edgar throws some leg kicks. Maynard whiffing on his punches. Now EDGAR lands an uppercut. Maynard gets dropped, and Edgar pounces. Maynard tries to stand up, but Edgar swarms him with punches. Maynard falls down again, Edgar carves him up, and the ref jumps in 3:54.

Your winner, AND STILL UFC LIGHTWEIGHT CHAMPION, Frankie Edgar.

In the post fight, Edgar talks about how much he loves his kids and Joe Rogan calls him the toughest dude ever from New Jersey. Meanwhile, Maynard pouts in the corner, as he knows full well that he will probably never got another title shot in the UFC again.

All in all, that was a pretty good show. The main event was good, the Garcia/Nam fight was fantastic, and dear lord, THE CHAEL SONNEN. It probably will not be remembered as an all time legendary card, but you really cannot complain about what you’re given, either.

SHOW HIGHLIGHT:

Chael. Freaking. Sonnen.

SHOW LOWLIGHT:

Umm. . .the Maia / Santiago pre-lim was pretty underwhelming.

ROGAN-ISM OF THE NIGHT:

“I think he said ‘sorry if I hit you in the balls.’” (during the frantic third round of the Garcia/Nam fight).

FIVE THINGS I LEARNED FROM TONIGHT’S SHOW:

I.T. guys are known for their ability to lock in reverse dragon sleepers..

Every time you enter your home state, you HAVE to play “I’m Coming Home” by Diddy.

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again - only to fail eternally (The Florian family motto)

Loser Leaves Town challenges AREN’T limited to the world of pro wrestling

There may or may not be adamantium in the drinking supply in Tom’s River, N.J.

Well, that’s all I’ve got for this week. Crank up “Bite That Breaks Skin” by Senses Fail and “Strawberry Julius” by Bikini Kill and I’ll be seeing you in a few.

James Swift

is the author of “How I Survived Three Years at a Two-Year Community College: A Junior Memoir of Epic Proportions” and “Mascara Contra Mascara: A Tale of Two Masks.” He is a freelance writer currently residing in the metro Atlanta area.

My Twitter:

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My YouTube Channel:

youtube.com/user/JSwiftMedia

My Blog:

internetisinamerica.blogger.com

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TWF FLASHBACK

November 2006

SATIRE: DISCONTINUED WWE XMAS PRODUCTS!

by Sean Carless

With Christmas just around the corner, what better way to spend your few remaining dollars (left over after the seemingly infinite line-up of fucking pay-per-views ) then on the following "quality WWE merchandise!" After all, if they don't move this stuff, and fast, stockholders just might get time to figure out what "plummeting domestic buyrates" means!... and well, I don't think they need to tell you what that means! (Seriously. They're not telling you. Everything is fine! Ahem.).