Edgar-Maynard rematch cuts in front of Pettis title shot

January 2, 2011

The trilogy beat out Showtime. After an outstanding match between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard ending in a draw at UFC 125, the UFC booked an immediate rematch between the two. The move contradicts the initial plans for the Edgar-Maynard winner face WEC lightweight champ, Anthony Pettis.

The move to switch course came after UFC Vice President Craig Borsari confirmed at the UFC 125 post-fight press conference that Pettis would get the next shot at the champ, Frankie Edgar.

Via MMA Junkie:

Borsari said UFC president Dana White, who did not attend the evening’s post-event press conference, informed him of the impending booking. Obviously, Maynard was dejected by the news. Maynard, who heard of the news as it was revealed to the media, immediately dropped his head and later admitted the revelation that he would not get a second crack at the belt was indeed painful.

Later that night, the UFC changed its plans. Instead of the promised title shot for Pettis, it decided that a third fight between Edgar and Maynard take place.

“We changed the plans. After Craig made the announcement, I had a lot of people talking to me, and the reality is, Gray Maynard deserves that fight. We had planned on doing Anthony Pettis next, but Gray went in there and fought his ass off and deserves another chance,” White added, “In the UFC, we do the right thing, and the right thing is to put on this rematch.” (via MMA Junkie, h/t Yahoo Sports)

Payout Perspective:

For all the planning the UFC could have done, it didn’t think that the Edgar-Maynard fight would end in a draw. Such a great fight needed a winner, and it didn’t, and Dana White and the UFC powers decided that it would be best to have a third fight before the promised fight for Anthony Pettis. Maybe White’s absence at the post-fight press conference was due to him deciding the next move for Edgar, Maynard and Pettis

This is a difficult decision and you could see arguments on both sides of the fence as to whether an immediate rematch was the correct choice. For Pettis. it stalls career momentum. Last month he was a media darling and his career was ascending. This month, he is old news. His Showtime kick will be shelved until his title shot…if he gets it. He was in attendance at the PPV and one has to wonder if the UFC planned for him to enter the Octagon to do a promo with the winner of the match. Since, it was a draw, any planned promo had to be scrapped. It’s unclear what’s next for Pettis. He joins Jon Fitch as a fighter promised a title shot only to have it pulled from him (With Chael Sonnen back, Yushin Okami will likely have this happen to him later this year).

Good news for Maynard. He gets another shot at Edgar. After the first round, the fight went back and forth and it was too close to call. It would be a shame for Maynard to put out such a great performance only to receive a draw. A third fight should get some interest and a good PPV number for fight number 3. 

There are many questions that come out of this change:

What happens if Maynard wins the third fight, or wins by just split decision? Does Edgar get a rematch since he was the champion?

When Pettis gets the shot, will the UFC bill the fight as unifying the UFC-WEC title? How long will Pettis have to wait for the shot? Will he be given a fight in the interim? Does the slight of Pettis say anything about the integration of the WEC into the UFC?

4 Responses to “Edgar-Maynard rematch cuts in front of Pettis title shot”

  1. Bill Jennings on January 3rd, 2011 4:30 AM

    Pettis had no business fighting the UFC champ. It was a gimmick that isnt necessary anymore. This benefits the UFC and Pettis as he certainly needs more development.

  2. Diego on January 3rd, 2011 1:19 PM

    None of the other WEC champs received automatic title shots when they joined the UFC. Yes, Pettis has been very impressive lately, but I don’t mind seeing him fight in a title eliminator before getting a crack at the UFC belt. You can have both fights on the same night. That would be a solid card.

  3. Brain Smasher on January 3rd, 2011 3:25 PM

    I dotn see why another rematch would be needed if Maynard won. He would be 2-0-1 vs Edgar with a near finish in the draw.. If anything Maynard would get a rematch if he loses. But to bad Edgar didnt get the win. I had it a draw. But the way Edgar come back. A win would probably have made him a big draw. This is a fight that needs to be settled. However i would tell both fighters they are fighting in 2 months no exceptions. The sad part of all fo this is this rematch will drag out for at least 4 months baring no one getting hurt. Then another 3-4 months before the Pettis fight rolls around. Thats 8 months from today on inactivity for Pettis. Thats i would rush the trilogy. They dont need lots of time they knew each other by now. No use in dragging it out. That way the Pettis fight can happen in 5-6 monts and he would have to fight and the UFC would risk losing a highly anticipated fight.

  4. Jason Cruz on January 4th, 2011 7:48 PM

    Edgar is out until at least July 1 according to the MMA Junkie report.


    This means that the Maynard rematch won’t occur until August. After that, barring any prolonged medical suspensions, Pettis won’t get his title shot until December 2011. It will be a year after his Showtime Kick that he would get his promised shot.

    Pettis will have to take a fight before his title shot. If he loses, or doesn’t look good, his shot could be taken away from him.

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