UFC 118: 10 Things Learned

Maynard Earns Title Shot, Rematch

Gray Maynard might have deserved a title shot back in April. After manhandling Kenny Florian Saturday night, the Xtreme Couture product earned his opportunity to fight for the title next. It also set up a highly-anticipated rematch with champion Frankie Edgar.

“The Bully” lived up to his nickname, using his stellar wrestling to put Florian on his back repeatedly and grind out a typical Gray Maynard decision win. Some will call it boring and lacking entertainment value, but the gameplan is smart and no different than stand-up guys who try to keep fights standing against wrestlers.

More interesting than the action in the cage is the bout Maynard’s victory sets up, a title bout with Frankie Edgar, a man he’s already beaten handily in the past. While Edgar has proven to be Penn’s kryptonite, the same could be argued about Maynard in regards to the champion; he’s the only man to beat him and it wasn’t even close.

Whenever it goes down – early 2011 – it will be worth the price tag, no matter what other bouts surround it.

Nathan Diaz Impressive Again

For any fighter who has scar tissue issues, the blood and cuts displayed by Davis should be all the motivation you need to pull a Wanderlei Silva (or Nick Diaz for that matter) to have some clean-up surgery done. YIKES!

With that out of the way, Nathan Diaz has looked terrific in two fights at welterweight and continues to grow into a better fighter, much like his brother. After going 1-3 in his last four fights as a lightweight, Diaz has dominated two tough veterans at 170, knocking out Rory Markham and choking out Davis Saturday night in front of his friends and family.

The skill set has always been there, while the trash talking, cocky bravado and TUF win will always make him highly-marketable, but now the younger Diaz seems to be putting it all together into an impressive package. While he’s not quite at the Top 3 contender stage he asked for following the event, he’s climbing the ladder at 170 and could be trouble thanks to his length and well-rounded abilities.

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