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Opening Round: UFC 136 Will Be 2011’s Best Card

If you are an avid UFC fan and you fail to find a way to watch Saturday’s UFC 136 card you are going to be kicking yourself Sunday. With two title fights, the return of Chael Sonnen and only one heavyweight bout on the lineup, the Octagon’s 2011 visit to Houston is sure to be remembered for years to come.

First off, you have Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard meeting for a third time. Need a quick refresher course on the previous two meetings? Okay…Maynard claimed a decision victory in 2008 and the two fought to a draw in quite possibly the ‘Fight of the Year’ this past January, with Maynard dropping Edgar in the first, only to see “The Answer” come roaring back to nearly finish off “The Bully.”

After having their proposed match postponed to recover from injuries, these two will be at 100% when they step foot inside Houston’s Toyota Center for their main event fight.

In the co-main event, rising superstar Jose Aldo – who many compare to UFC middleweight champion and pound-for-pound king Anderson Silva – puts his UFC featherweight crown on the line against Kenny Florian, who is trying to erase bad memories of two previous title-fight losses by competing in his fourth different weight class.

If that isn’t enough to tickle your fancy, the outspoken Sonnen faces military veteran Brian Stann in a match that should decide the next contender to Silva’s 185-pound title. Sonnen has been out of action due to a suspension since his loss to Silva last August, while Stann has won each of his previous three fights at middleweight after dropping down from light heavyweight.

Are you still asking for more? Well, UFC 136 delivers, as lightweight knockout artist Melvin Guillard tangles with submission specialist Joe Lauzon, and featherweight fireballs Leonard Garcia and Nam Phan meet for a second time. Garcia-Phan faced off once before with Garcia taking a controversial Split Decision that was so bad Dana White even paid Phan his contracted win bonus.

The Spike TV prelim special will feature two fights that are worthy of spots on most pay-per-views, as Demian Maia battles Jorge Santiago, and Anthony “Showtime” Pettis tries to regroup against veteran Jeremy Stephens. Finally, don’t forget to check out Facebook for the other prelims which will have Stipe Miocic making his debut against Joey Beltran, Zhang Tie Quan facing Darren Elkins, Aaron Simpson meeting Eric Schafer, and Steve Cantwell mixing it up with Mike Massenzio.

Top to bottom, this card is sure to deliver some of the most intense, exciting, interesting and unpredictable fights this year, not only in the UFC, but in MMA as a whole!

What do you think about the subject on today’s “Opening Round”? Tell us on our Twitter account (@mmatraining)!

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