In what will surely come to be known as one of the best title fights in UFC history, UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar retained his lightweight strap after five rounds of intense, back and forth battling when the fight was ruled a draw.
Maynard, who owns a previous victory over Edgar, absolutely dominated the first frame of the bout, mopping the Octagon canvas with Edgar by landing several well-placed left hooks. Though his legs were wobbly and his nose bloodied, Edgar managed to survive the round somehow and came out in the second looking for revenge. “The Answer” turned the tide in the second frame, pasting Maynard with solid right hands, avoiding “The Bully’s” takedown attempts and scoring a solid double leg of his own.
“I got hit with a big shot,” said Edgar at the evening’s post fight press conference. “He came out strong; did a good job. I bounced back and I felt I won the last four rounds. “
Maynard started to recover from his first round onslaught by the time the third frame rolled around, but neither man was unable to establish a clear advantage over the other, despite constant action. Though it is arguable, it seemed as though Edgar controlled the cage more thoroughly and landed the cleaner shots ( not to mention the number of takedowns he ended up completing on Maynard, especially in the fourth round) throughout the fourth and fifth rounds. The judges scored the fight a draw however, preventing Edgar from scoring what would have been a storybook comeback tale.
“It obviously doesn’t feel good,” said Maynard at the post-fight presser. “I thought it was my fight. I thought I had the belt. I worked my ass off for this. I don’t know. I guess it kind of hurts.”
At the evening’s post-fight press conference, it was announced that Anthony Pettis would get the next shot at Edgar, as was planned. However, UFC President Dana White apparently had a change of heart, telling Yahoo! Sports that Maynard would get a rematch against Edgar.
“I hate to talk about what we’re going to do with future fights at a press conference when a card has just ended,” said White, who incidentally also scored the bout a draw. “I had the whole Pettis thing with the belt on my mind and so I said, ‘Yeah, Pettis gets the next shot.’ But then when I thought about it more, how can I in good conscience not give that shot to Gray Maynard? It’s a no-brainer. He came in there and he fought his ass off and he deserves that rematch. That was a great fight and they deserve to do it again.”