Edgar retains title, exacts revenge

UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar retained his title Saturday in Houston with a TKO of Gray Maynard at 3:54 of the fourth round.

The fight started much like their battle in January, when Maynard dropped Edgar three times in the first round. He would drop Edgar twice in the opening round Saturday night.

"That last fight, he had me hurt in the first round," Edgar said. "Maybe I wanted to make it exciting.

"I hit him with a right hand in transition. I knew he was hurt and I finished it out."

A right uppercut initially staggered Edgar. About 30 seconds later, Maynard would land a straight right to send Edgar to the floor. Edgar tasted the canvas a second time in the round, courtesy of a Maynard right knee.

But just like in their previous fight, Edgar rebounded to win the second round using his superior speed, defensive elusiveness and counterpunching skills.

Edgar (14-1-1) would continue making Maynard miss and even attempted a few takedowns, but he was unsuccessful. Heading into Round 4, ESPN.com had the fight even.

Edgar began landing kicks and left-right combinations, while Maynard was unable to connect cleanly with right hands.

Then Edgar threw a right hook that caught Maynard on the chin. Maynard (10-1-1, 1 no contest) hit the canvas. When he got to his feet, Edgar quickly landed another right.

Maynard stumbled against the cage, and Edgar delivered right hand after right hand. The challenger would fall face first to the canvas as Edgar hit him twice more before referee Josh Rosenthal stepped in to stop the fight.

Edgar and Maynard have fought three times. Edgar lost their first meeting by unanimous decision in April 2008. The second bout ended in a split draw.

Florian fails to take Aldo's crown

UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo retained his title with a unanimous decision over Kenny Florian.

All the judges scored the fight 49-46. ESPN.com scored it 48-47 for Aldo.

Aldo has successfully defended his title four times, twice each in the UFC and WEC.

He won the fight by landing the more effective strikes and preventing Florian from taking him to the ground. When the action did hit the canvas, it was Florian fighting off his back.

Florian's desire to get the fight on the ground forced Aldo to limit his striking attack.

"It played out great," said Aldo, after improving his pro record to 20-1. "He's a smart and experienced fighter. Next time I will put on a more exciting fight."

Florian (14-6) failed to win a UFC title for the third time. His previous two attempts came as a lightweight.

At 35 years old, it is unlikely that Florian will get another title shot.

Sonnen submits Stann in second round

Middleweight contender Chael Sonnen kept his hopes of a rematch with titleholder Anderson Silva intact with a second-round submission of Brian Stann.

Sonnen controlled the action early by taking Stann to the ground in the opening round. Stann spend almost every minute of the round on his back.

With Stann struggling to get up, Sonnen punished him with punches and elbows.

Sonnen continued his ground pressure in the second round, before maneuvering for position and getting the arm triangle at the 3:51 mark.

After picking up his 26th pro win against 11 losses and one draw, Sonnen turned his attention to Silva.

"Anderson Silva, you absolutely suck," Sonnen said. "I'm calling you out, Silva, but I'm upping the stakes.

"I beat you and you leave the division. You beat me and I will leave the UFC forever."

In their first match, on Aug. 7, 2010, Sonnen punished Silva for much of the bout before being submitted at 3:10 of the fifth round.

Stann, the former WEC light heavyweight champion, suffered his first loss at middleweight. He had won his three previous fights at 185 pounds. Stann is 11-4 as a professional.

Phan beats Garcia in rematch

Nam Phan landed sharper, more accurate punches to exact revenge on Leonard Garcia in a featherweight bout.

All three judges scored the fight 29-28. ESPN.com also scored it 29-28 for Phan.

Garcia won the first battle in December 2010 by split decision. Many observers took issue with the outcome of that fight, leading to the rematch.

There would be no disputing the result of their rematch. Phan (17-9) connected with several short left hooks to the body. Garcia was visibly hurt by a number of those hooks.

But Garcia (15-8-1) continued to push forward. He would land a left of his own in the third round that sent Phan to the canvas.

Phan would quickly get to his feet and land punches of his own, and secured the win.

Lauzon submits Guillard in 47 seconds

Lightweight Joe Lauzon landed a left hook that wobbled Melvin Guillard. Shortly thereafter, Lauzon was able to get Guillard's back and apply a rear-naked choke. Guillard could not escape and tapped at the 47-second mark of the first round.

Entering the fight, Guillard had won five in a row and was often mentioned as the next likely lightweight to land a title shot.

Lauzon wasn't expected to put up much resistance against the hard-hitting former Houston resident. But Lauzon was unfazed by Guillard's aggression.

He stepped back and landed a solid left hook that caught Guillard squarely on the chin. When Guillard fell to his knee, Lauzon pounced and applied the finishing touch.

"We were really worried about Melvin's standup," Lauzon said after improving to 21-6. "But we trained really hard. It worked out."

Guillard fell to 29-9-2 with one no contest. He suffers his first loss under trainer Greg Jackson.

Maia hands Santiago his second straight loss

Demian Maia kept his middleweight bout against Jorge Santiago on the ground to earn a unanimous decision.

All three judges scored it 30-27 for Maia, as did ESPN.com.

Each fighter entered the Octagon having lost his previous battle. Maia (15-3) was on the short end of a unanimous decision to Mark Munoz in June while Santiago (25-10) suffered a second-round knockout to Brian Stann in May. He has lost two fights in a row.

Maia continued to show improvement in his standup, but he ate several punches and kicks from Santiago.

Unable to win the standup battle, Maia repeatedly took Santiago to the ground, where he landed punches, hammer fists and elbows. But Maia could not submit Santiago, who displayed solid jiu-jitsu defense.

Pettis edges Stephens by split decision

Anthony Pettis earned his first win in UFC with a split decision over Jeremy Stephens.

Two judges scored the fight 29-28 for Pettis, but the third saw it in favor of Stephens 29-28. ESPN.com had Pettis winning the bout 29-28.

The former WEC 155-pound champion was in line to fight for the UFC belt, but his hopes were dashed when Edgar and Maynard fought to a draw on Jan. 1.

The result of that title bout forced Pettis to look elsewhere for a fight. He was paired with Clay Guida, but lost a unanimous decision June 4 after being controlled on the ground.

Pettis (14-2) showed improved wrestling skills against Stephens. He took Stephens down regularly and even attempted a few submissions.

Stephens, who entered this fight on a two-bout win streak, is 20-7.

Miocic wins debut inside Octagon

Stipe Miocic was able to win the stand-up battle with fellow heavyweight Joey Beltran and earn a unanimous decision in his UFC debut.

The fight was scored 29-28, 30-27 and 29-28. ESPN.com scored the fight 30-27 for Miocic.

Though outclassed on his feet, Beltran continued to push forward. Beltran's nonstop approach forced Miocic to attempt several takedowns.

He succeeded most of the time getting Beltran on the ground. When they were standing, Miocic connected often with right hands and kicks, but couldn't seriously hurt Beltran.

"He's got a good head," Miocic said. "It's hard to take him down."

Miocic remained unbeaten, improving to 7-0. Beltran has lost three of his past four fights, slipping to 13-6 overall.

Elkins overpowers Zhang

Darren Elkins dominated Tiequan Zhang on the ground en route to a unanimous decision in this featherweight bout.

The judges scored the fight 30-27, 30-26 and 30-27 for Elkins, who is 13-2 overall and 3-1 inside the Octagon.

Elkins is 2-0 since moving to the featherweight division.

Zhang's also offense was a couple of guillotine attempts, but Elkins escaped each time to gain the dominant position on the ground. He fell to 15-2 overall and 2-2 under the Zuffa banner.

Simpson punishes Schafer with right hands

Aaron Simpson used his superior footwork to keep his middleweight bout standing for all three rounds and delivered right hands repeatedly to punish Eric Schafer en route to a unanimous decision.

All three judges scored the fight for Simpson, 30-27. ESPN.com also had Simpson (11-2) winning every round for a 30-27 result.

The win was Simpson's third in a row. Schafer (12-6-2) has lost three of his past four fights.

Massenzio finishes strong, earns nod

Mike Massenzio came on strong in the second and third rounds to earn a unanimous decision over Steve Cantell in a middleweight bout.

The judges scored the fight 29-28, 30-27 and 29-28. ESPN.com scored the fight 29-28 for Massenzio, who improved to 13-5.

"I knew I had to come out full blast," Massenzio said. "I knew he was tough standing. But this was my fight. Wherever it was going to go I was ready."

The win was the second inside the Octagon for Massenzio. He has three losses in UFC.

Cantwell, who was making his middleweight debut, fell to 7-5. He has lost four fights in a row.

Franklin McNeil covers mixed martial arts and boxing for ESPN.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/Franklin_McNeil.