An old matchup becomes new again, but this time a UFC title is on the line.
As was previously expected, UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar (13-1 MMA, 8-1 UFC) will defend his title against undefeated challenger Gray Maynard (10-0 MMA, 8-0 UFC) at UFC 125.
While not officially announced by the organization, UFC 125 is expected to take place Jan. 1 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas and air on pay-per-view.
MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) confirmed that verbal agreements are in place for the contest, which was first reported by MMAFighting.com.
Edgar and Maynard, of course, met once before, and it was the current challenger who came out on top. It was Maynard who handed Edgar his lone career defeat in an April 2008 bout at UFC Fight Night 13.
However, Edgar bounced back with a pair of decision wins over Hermes Franca and Sean Sherk, as well as a submission win over Matt Veach, and was awarded a title shot against then-champion B.J. Penn.
Despite seemingly insurmountable odds against him, Edgar defeated Penn in a hotly contested UFC 112 decision. In August, Edgar solidified the legitimacy of his title by again defeating Penn, though it came in even more dominating fashion the second time around.
Meanwhile, Maynard followed up his win over Edgar with a five-straight decision victories over a murderers’ row of opponents in Rich Clementi, Jim Miller, Roger Huerta, Nate Diaz and Kenny Florian. Despite the wins, Maynard was passed over in favor of Edgar for the first shot at the belt.
Additionally, MMAjunkie.com has learned that with the Edgar-Maynard booking, a middleweight title fight between champion Anderson Silva and challenger Vitor Belfort will likely take place at the UFC’s annual Super Bowl card.
UFC officials had targeted the matchup for Jan. 1, but the champion reportedly asked for the delay in order to fully heal the aching ribs that affected him in the days leading up to his now-legendary UFC 117 contest with Chael Sonnen.
Courtesy of MMA Junkie