Posts Tagged ‘Frankie Edgar’

The highly anticipated lightweight title fight between UFC champion Frankie Edgar  and No. 1 contender Gray Maynard is officially off, as both fighters suffered injuries during training camp.

“Frankie Edgar is injured and oddly enough, Gray Maynard is hurt, too,” said UFC president Dana White. “Frankie hurt his back and his ribs. Maynard hurt his knee.”

The matchup, which was scheduled to headline the UFC 130 event on May 28 in Las Vegas, was to be the third meeting between Edgar and Maynard. They fought to a split draw in the main event at UFC 125 on Jan. 1. Maynard defeated Edgar by unanimous decision at a UFC Fight Night event in April 2008.

It is currently unknown how long each fighter will remain out of action.

Edgar’s boxing coach Mark Henry said the champion was enjoying a terrific camp alongside Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez
when the injury occurred.

“[Edgar] was looking phenomenal,” Henry said. “We probably had the best [training] we ever had and his back blew out. About two weeks ago his back blew out and we didn’t train for a week. He felt a little better the next week but the back was still messing up.

“Then he sparred with Eddie Alvarez and his rib was killing him. In the first round with Eddie, his back went out again. When his back went we told him he shouldn’t fight that way. Then his rib went and he had two things to deal with.  What are you going to do with a broken rib?”

According to Maynard’s camp, the challenger’s knee began bothering him several weeks ago, at which point he contacted and visited UFC physicians. At that time, Maynard, who’s dealt with nagging knee injuries in the past, decided to proceed with the fight.

About 10 days ago, Maynard suffered a facial cut during practice. Again, he refused to withdraw from the fight.

“We were not going to pull out,” said Gil Martinez, Maynard’s boxing coach. “We wanted the title fight. To have it called off is devastating. The UFC knew weeks ago that Gray’s knee was bothering him but we did not want to push this title fight back. We already had to wait after the [January] fight because Frankie needed time to recover. Gray wants this fight more than anything.”

Martinez says the fight will now likely be pushed back as far as September, as the UFC’s schedule is already full regarding main events through that date.

The UFC also confirmed a light heavyweight bout between Quinton Jackson and Matt Hamill will now headline the May event. In addition, a welterweight fight between Thiago Alves and Rick Story will fill out the night’s pay-per-view card.

Brett Okamoto covers MMA for ESPN.com.

He’s nicknamed is “The Bully” but he’s really a pussycat outside of the cage. For that reason, even Gray Maynard knows he’s probably screwed when it comes to getting the first shot at Frank Edgar’s UFC lightweight title. B.J. Penn released a video Tuesday saying the promotion had already called to say they were working on a rematch. Meanwhile fans are scratching their heads saying, “Wait, Penn just lost, Maynard is unbeaten with a win over Edgar, why isn’t he getting the shot?” Maynard knows why.

“I came from [wrestling] where it was a tournament, everytime you win you go ahead,” said Maynard, who wrestled collegiately at Michigan State. “There’s no talking involved. So I didn’t really understand that deal.”

Maynard said it started to dawn on him at the start of 2010 as a potential Penn title fight developed on the horizon. That shot was between himself and Edgar. Maynard now says he needed to be a lot more aggressive with the media andthe promotion before his fight against Nate Diaz. But Maynard didn’t want to look ahead and didn’t want to get down on his knees and beg for his shot.

“I needed to be out there saying, ‘I want Penn, I want Penn, I want Penn,” admits Maynard.

Maynard won a decision but in the postfight, he and his mentor Randy Couture chose to take a grounded approach toward a Penn fight and didn’t want to call him out. Dana White responded a few days later saying he wasn’t sold on Maynard and Edgar would get the next crack.

Maynard did step it up a bit this week immediately doing several interviews after UFC 112, texting UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and going on Twitter but Maynard said he hadn’t really laid the groundwork the last few years to grab that title shot. A more aggressive approach right after his win against Diaz in January at Ultimate Fight Night 20 could’ve paid dividends this week. It was surprising to hear Maynard and mentor Couture take a laid back approach.

It’s lesson learned for both of Xtreme Couture’s top level lightweights, Maynard and Tyson Griffin. You may not like or be comfortable with what guys like Chael Sonnen, Dan Hardy, Josh Koscheck and the Diaz Brothers do as far as calling out opponents and dishing some dirt, but it’s a necessary evil to push yourself forward. It is the fight business and sometimes matching up two nice guys is bad for business.

He’s nicknamed is “The Bully” but he’s really a pussycat outside of the cage. For that reason, even Gray Maynard knows he’s probably screwed when it comes to getting the first shot at Frank Edgar’s UFC lightweight title. B.J. Penn released a video Tuesday saying the promotion had already called to say they were working on a rematch. Meanwhile fans are scratching their heads saying, “Wait, Penn just lost, Maynard is unbeaten with a win over Edgar, why isn’t he getting the shot?” Maynard knows why.

“I came from [wrestling] where it was a tournament, everytime you win you go ahead,” said Maynard, who wrestled collegiately at Michigan State. “There’s no talking involved. So I didn’t really understand that deal.”

Maynard said it started to dawn on him at the start of 2010 as a potential Penn title fight developed on the horizon. That shot was between himself and Edgar. Maynard now says he needed to be a lot more aggressive with the media and the promotion before his fight against Nate Diaz. But Maynard didn’t want to look ahead and didn’t want to get down on his knees and beg for his shot.

“I needed to be out there saying, ‘I want Penn, I want Penn, I want Penn,” admits Maynard.

Maynard won a decision but in the postfight, he and his mentor Randy Couture chose to take a grounded approach toward a Penn fight and didn’t want to call him out. Dana White responded a few days later saying he wasn’t sold on Maynard and Edgar would get the next crack.

Maynard did step it up a bit this week immediately doing several interviews after UFC 112, texting UFC matchmaker Joe Silva and going on Twitter but Maynard said he hadn’t really laid the groundwork the last few years to grab that title shot. A more aggressive approach right after his win against Diaz in January at Ultimate Fight Night 20 could’ve paid dividends this week. It was surprising to hear Maynard and mentor Couture take a laid back approach.

It’s lesson learned for both of Xtreme Couture’s top level lightweights, Maynard and Tyson Griffin. You may not like or be comfortable with what guys like Chael Sonnen, Dan Hardy, Josh Koscheck and the Diaz Brothers do as far as calling out opponents and dishing some dirt, but it’s a necessary evil to push yourself forward. It is the fight business and sometimes matching up two nice guys is bad for business.