Lending credit to the unpredictable nature of Mixed Martial Arts, a sport where circumstances often change in the blink of an eye, it appears UFC lightweight champ Frank Edgar will yet again defend his belt against an opponent he’s fresh off a fight against rather than the individual he was said to be facing even at an official post-event press conference. While WEC’s 155-pound title-holder, Anthony Pettis, had been slotted to square off against the winner of this past weekend’s headlining bout at UFC 125, in the end Gray Maynard’s first-round beatdown and subsequent showing against Edgar en route to a draw was enough to earn him a rematch with “The Answer” and leave Pettis questioning his future.
News of the change was announced by Dana White hours after the conclusion of UFC 125 in a conversation with MMAFighting where the UFC President explained, “You can’t NOT give Maynard this fight. You’ve gotta give this kid the immediate rematch. You know, I’ve been thinking about it for hours, and I know I told Craig (Borsari) to go to the press conference and say Pettis is gettin’ it – Pettis isn’t getting it. Maynard is getting this rematch.”
The announcement will undoubtedly bring a great deal of relief to Maynard who was visibly emotional when speaking to media at the press conference, especially when then subject Pettis’ title-shot came up rather than a rematch. Like a number of other people watching last Saturday night, “The Bully” was clear in saying he felt he had done enough to win gold after knocking Edgar down a number of times during the fight’s opening round and earning a few more frames thereafter.
The switch should sit fine with Edgar as well, as the 13-1-1 champion spoke of his preference for a final crack at Maynard rather than a scrap with Pettis in hopes of receiving some closure from their New Year’s Day encounter (not to mention his previous loss to the XTreme Couture original).
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC