Frankie Edgar to fight Gray Maynard

Updated: July 15, 2011, 8:22 PM ET
By Brett Okamoto | ESPN.com

A highly anticipated third meeting between UFC lightweight champion Frankie Edgar and No. 1 contender Gray Maynard will headline UFC 136 in October.

UFC officials on Friday confirmed the expected matchup, which takes place Oct. 8 at the Toyota Center in Houston. MMAfighting.com first reported that both sides verbally agreed to the date.

A featherweight title fight between defending champion Jose Aldo and top contender Kenny Florian will be added as the co-main event, the promotion confirmed later Friday.

Edgar (13-1-1) retained his 155-pound title against Maynard (10-0-1) at UFC 125 in January by way of a draw. In what is widely considered one of the best fights of the year, Maynard dominated the opening round in Las Vegas before Edgar rallied to even the score after five rounds.

It was the second time the two had fought in the Octagon. They met for the first time on a UFC Fight Night card in April 2008, with Maynard taking a unanimous decision.

A third fight had been scheduled as the main event at UFC 130 in May, but Edgar was forced off the card because of a back injury. Immediately after Edgar's injury was reported, Maynard revealed he had been working through knee and elbow injuries.

At last, it appears both fighters have recovered and will be ready to meet in October. Earlier in the week, Maynard confirmed to ESPN.com in a text that he had been cleared and was anticipating a date to be set.

"Doing good," Maynard wrote. "I heard (Edgar's) been in the gym, too. (Houston) makes sense. Nothing for sure until I sign on the dotted line though."

UFC 136 will be Aldo's second defense of his belt and fourth overall, going back to his days as WEC champion. The Brazilian featherweight was last seen in a unanimous decision win over Mark Hominick at UFC 129.

Aldo (19-1) was then immediately scheduled to fight Chad Mendes at UFC 133 in August, but injury postponed the 24-year-old's return until October.

Florian (14-5) earned his shot at the title by defeating Aldo's teammate Diego Nunes by unanimous decision at UFC 131 in June. It was Florian's first fight at 145 pounds.

"I consider Aldo the biggest and most dangerous opponent of my career," Florian told ESPN.com. "I'm honored to be fighting for the UFC featherweight title."

The longtime UFC veteran is the first in the organization's history to compete in four different weight classes. Since dropping to lightweight in 2006, Florian is 10-1 in non-title bouts but 0-2 when a belt is on the line.

Mendes, Aldo's original opponent at UFC 133, chose to remain on the card when the fight fell through. He faces Rani Yahya on Aug. 6 in Philadelphia.

Brett Okamoto covers mixed martial arts for ESPN.com. Franklin McNeil contributed to this report.