Rundown of post-fight news and notes from UFC 136…
— 16,164 fans filled the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas for a $2.2 million live gate.
— Frankie Edgar was awarded the Knockout of the Night bonus for finishing off Gray Maynard in the fourth round. Joe Lauzon was given the Submission of the Night bonus for choking out Melvin Guillard in under a minute. Nam Phan and Leonard Garcia picked up Fight of the Night honors for another thrilling bout. Each bonus was worth $75,000.
— Dana White made a strong push to sell Frankie Edgar as the #2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world following his come-from-behind victory over Gray Maynard in last night’s main event, telling reporters that if they don’t agree, “you’re wrong, I’m right.”
“That’s movie s–t. That doesn’t happen in real life,” White said of Edgar’s performance during the event’s postfight press conference. “There are only two guys I’ve seen do that: Arturo Gatti and [Edgar]. He has a heart the size of this room, and that’s not promoter bulls–t.
“He’s the No. 2 pound-for-pound fighter in the world, and the only thing keeps him from being No. 1 is Anderson Silva,” White asserted. “You can’t deny Frankie is No. 2. I don’t give a s–t what anybody else says. Tonight, he beat a guy who had him out of it — a guy who many people believe had his number — and he knocked him out. I’ve never seen s–t like that in my life.”
Despite the commendation, Dana actually wants to see Edgar move down to 145 and fight Jose Aldo.
“Honestly, I’d like to see [Edgar] move to 145 and fight Aldo… All these other guys that [Edgar] fights are so much bigger than him,” White said. “I think that fighting out of your weight class isn’t healthy. I don’t think it’s healthy long-term.
“I don’t think that guys that fight out of their weightclass and fight a weightclass above them and take damage can have the longevity that other fighters can have. I think when you fight with guys that are your own size, you don’t take the punishment that you take when you fight bigger guys.”
Dana conceded however that he can’t make Edgar do it, especially when he’s having so much success at lightweight. Plus, Edgar doesn’t seem too interested since he’s the lightweight champion, so don’t expect that anytime soon.
“Here I am. I’m the champion,” he said. “It’s definitely a nice option to be able to go down and possibly fight at 145 in the future, but I’m comfortable right now. I could talk some ideas over with Dana and Lorenzo [Fertitta] and see what they think, but I’m comfortable at 155. I’m the champion. I don’t see any reason to go anywhere.”
As for what we can expect, it’s looking like the Ben Henderson vs. Clay Guida winner is the most likely option for Edgar. Gilbert Melendez would be ideal if you ask me. He really wants the fight, but it sounds like talks with Showtime might prevent that from happening.
— The third time was not the charm for Kenny Florian last night. Florian came up short once again in his bid for a UFC title. When asked if he knew what was next, Kenny said he wasn’t sure.
“Not right now,” Florian answered when asked if he had planned his next move. “I haven’t really thought past this fight, so we’ll see what happens.”
“Obviously, I’m disappointed,” Florian said. “I fought very hard. I trained extremely hard. I wasn’t successful. That’s it.”
Dana White was much more complimentary following this loss than the last. It will be up to Kenny to figure out what he truly wants, but he does have other options outside of fighting if he decides he doesn’t have another run in him.
— Chad Mendes will likely be Jose Aldo’s next challenger for the UFC featherweight title.
— If you haven’t seen it yet, Chael Sonnen laid down the ultimate challenge to Anderson Silva following his dominating win over Brian Stann last night.
“Anderson Silva, you absolutely suck. Super Bowl weekend … the biggest rematch in the history of the sport. I’m calling you out, Silva, but we’re upping the stakes. I beat you, you leave the division. You beat me, I’ll leave the UFC forever.”
It was a bold move that could ultimately backfire in a big way, but Sonnen seems intent on going through with it.
“As far as Anderson goes, we’re playing for keeps this time,” Sonnen said. “I’ve had it with this guy. He’s probably had it with me, so let’s just figure this thing out once and for all. You heard what I said, and my word is good.
“I’d of … shoved that microphone up his ass if he would have said that to me. You saw what he did. He sat there, and it was a good move.”
“I’m after 12 pounds of gold, and as far as I’m concerned, that belt is worth nothing more than a piece of tin when it’s around [Silva’s] waist,” Sonnen said. “I am the true middleweight champion.”
Dana White wouldn’t commit to the rematch, but later told Ariel Helwani that he would be stupid not to book it. Dana thinks Super Bowl weekend is a great idea, but wouldn’t commit to that either. The only problem with Super Bowl weekend is that card will be in Las Vegas and Sonnen still has licensing issues to work out in Nevada. There’s no word yet on what the NSAC thinks about that, but I’m sure we’ll hear from Keith Kizer sooner rather than later.
Other venue ideas floated at the press conference for the rematch included Cowboys Stadium and the 100,000 seat stadium in Brazil. Dana acknowledged Cowboys Stadium could be a possibility, but said he was worried he wouldn’t get Sonnen out alive if he took him to Brazil.