UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar retained his lightweight strap after his title defense with challenger Gray Maynard ended in a draw. The judges scored the fight 48-46, 46-48 and 47-47, leaving a disappointed Maynard shaking his head after the fight at the evening’s post-fight press conference.
“I thought it was mine,” Maynard said. “I thought I had the belt.”
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.
“You’ve got the round where it could have been 10-7, I thought,” he recalled. “I dropped him like five times. He didn’t land a punch. At least a 10-8, maybe even more… It could have been easily stopped.”
“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.
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. Only judge Glenn Trowbridge scored the third round for Maynard.
“I thought I won the third, for sure,” he said. “The last round, we landed about even. I was going hard in the last, and I thought he backed up a lot. I shot, shot, shot.”
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.
Edgar and Maynard add the first hash marks in their draw column with the fight, with Edgar’s record now reading 13-1-1 and Maynard’s 10-0-1, with one No Contest.
At the evening’s post-fight press conference, UFC executive Craig Borsari 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 shortly after 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.”
Thanks to Mark Wayne for contributing to this article.