NEWS
10/05/2011 01:10 EDT | Updated 12/05/2011 05:12 EST

Lightweight champion, challenger stare daggers at each other ahead of UFC 136

HOUSTON - UFC lightweight champion Frankie (The Answer) Edgar and challenger Gray (The Bully) Maynard got in each other's face at the pre-UFC 136 news conference Wednesday.

The two fighters posed, their chests almost touching, with stone-like faces. They did not shake hands after the photo op.

They meet for the third time on Saturday night at the Toyota Center. Their last meeting, at UFC 125 in January, was declared a draw with Edgar (13-1-1) retaining the title.

Maynard battered Edgar in the first round, only to see the champion survive and stage a courageous rally.

"He's a tough kid," said Maynard. "He came back off that (first round). Even I was amazed."

Both men thought they had done enough to win the fight.

Maynard (11-0-1 with one no contest) won their first non-title meeting, in April 2008.

Edgar's record is perfect other than Maynard but the champion dismissed the suggestion that the challenger has the upper hand.

"I don't think he has my number, I think the last fight showed that," Edgar said. "If he'd won last time, yeah then I'd say he had my number. I've just got to win. I go in there win this fight, I put that to rest."

Maynard has had to wait for the title rematch. A May date was postponed when both fighters had injuries.

"Everything is all done," Maynard said of his training. "It's about time to have fun."

UFC president Dana White said he hates draws, because they delay other possible title matchups.

"It's finally here, we can get this fight behind us and get some of these fights going on in the 155-pound division. It's stacked. There's tons of talent waiting got a title shot with more talent coming."

Asked what would happen in the case of another draw, White said he would just move on with other matchups so the division doesn't get mired in title gridlock again.

Saturday's card also see Brazilian Jose Aldo (19-1) defends his 145-pound featherweight title against Kenny Florian (16-5).

"It's going to be a tough fight. Aldo's dangerous," said Florian. "I expect it's going to be a bloody fight. I'll leave there bloody but I'll leave there with the (championship) belt."

Florian dropped down to featherweight after losing two shots at the lightweight title. He also lost another shot at the 155-pound belt, beaten by Maynard in a title eliminator.

Those losses drew an accusation from White that Florian chokes in big fights.

"Everybody knows what I've said about Kenny in title fights," White said Tuesday. "I want to see Kenny prove me wrong on this one."

Aldo, meanwhile, said he has enjoyed an easier weight cut than he did before UFC 129 in Toronto in April when he defeated Canadian Mark (The Machine) Hominick but took some punishment in the final round in doing so.

Another marquee matchup sees middleweight Chael Sonnen (26-10-1) return from drug suspension to fight Brian (All American) Stann (11-3).

The normally combative Sonnen had little but good to say about his opponent, a decorated and respected ex-marine who has won five of his last six fights.

"Brian's not going to get called out by anybody and I'm no exception to that," said Sonnen.

Sonnen did, however, fire a few shots across the bows of middleweight champion Anderson Silva, who needed a fifth-round submission to defeat him at UFC 117 in August 2010.

"The bottom line is I'm sticking my finger in his chest, I'm picking a fight and I'm not going to quit," he said of the Brazilian star.

Sonnen has not fought since losing to Silva.

"I think ring rust is a real thing," he conceded. "I've accepted it and I'll have to deal with it."

Said Stann: "I don't expect ring rust to be a factor. I expect Chael to go there and do what Chael does. And it's my job to go out there and negate that and come out with a win."