Florian vs. Maynard

One of the featured bouts of Saturday’s UFC 118: Edgar vs. Penn 2 pay per-view is a lightweight contest between Kenny Florian and Gray Maynard.

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The winner of this contest will be the next in line to get a shot for the UFC Lightweight Championship and Florian is the favorite to win with a line of -170 while Maynard has a line of +140 according to online sports book SPORTSBETTING.com. Here is a closer look at both fighters heading into this bout, which will take place from the TD Garden in Boston, Massachusetts at 10PM ET on Pay Per-View.
Kenny Florian (13-4):
Strengths
: Florian is a very agile and intelligent fighter. He has good muay thai striking with elbows and kicks while also improving upon his boxing. He is a submission specialist as he has nine wins by submission in his career. His last three wins have come by rear-naked choke. Despite not looking real intimidating, Florian is a beast in the cage and very difficult to defeat.
Weaknesses: Florian is clearly one of the best in the world in his weight class, but he hasn’t been able to win the big one. He was too small to beat Sean Sherk and too slow to beat B.J. Penn in previous title fights. Where Maynard may have an edge in this fight is his size. He is a bigger fighter that may be able to get Florian down and control him.
Last Five Fights:
Third round submission win over Takanori Gomi at UFC Fight Night 21 on March 31, 2010

Second round submission win over Clay Guida at UFC 107 on Dec. 12, 2009

Fourth round submission loss to B.J. Penn at UFC 101 on Aug. 8, 2009

First round submission win over Joe Stevenson at UFC 91 on Nov. 15, 2008

Unanimous decision win over Roger Huerta at UFC 87 on Aug. 9, 2008
 
Gray Maynard (9-0):
Strengths: Maynard is a big, strong lightweight that dominates his opponents with his wrestling. While improving in his boxing, his power and strength is in wrestling. He has had a lot of success getting opponents to the ground in his UFC career and as he develops his boxing, his wrestling will always be his go-to move.
Weaknesses: Maynard has only finished one fighter in his UFC career and his last two wins were split decisions. Maynard doesn’t have an appealing fighting style, but it has been effective. Maynard also has never been in a fight of this stature against an opponent of this level. He does own a win over champion Frankie Edgar, but both are different fighters now. Maynard will need his best showing to date to beat Florian.
Last Five Fights:
Split decision win over Nate Diaz at UFC Fight Night 20 on Jan. 11, 2010

Split decision win over Roger Huerta at UFC Fight Night 29 on Sept. 26, 2009

Unanimous decision win over Jim Miller at UFC 96 on Mar. 7, 2009

Unanimous decision win over Rich Clementi at UFC 90 on Oct. 25, 2008

Unanimous decision win over Frankie Edgar at UFC Fight Night 13 on April 2, 2008


Who will win: This will be a tough fight where each guy will have the upper hand at one point or another, but look for Florian to use his experience and intelligence to out-class Maynard and either win by submission or decision. Florian will stick-and-move throughout the fight and when the fight goes to the ground, he will be more active and gain more advantageous positions.
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Posted: 8/27/10 6:00PM ET

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