(Pic: Las Vegas Sun)
Finally, some interesting stuff from Gray Maynard. The No. 1 contender for the UFC lightweight title – and one of the most hated-on guys in the industry — has some harsh words for on-deck championship challenger Anthony Pettis in this new interview with MMAFA.tv. Also, a bit later on it sounds suspiciously like he’s referring to light heavyweight champion Jon Jones when he remarks that people in MMA today like “shit that isn’t real.” There are some unusually probing questions here too from Jon Luther, who does a nice job going above and beyond the normal, “So, how’s training going?” of your typical MMA interview. Some choice cuts from Maynard are after the jump.
Since Maynard roomed with Rashad Evans way back when both guys wrestled at Michigan State, it makes sense to ask Maynard about MMA’s current feud of the moment, pitting Evans against former friend Jones. It’s no surprise whose side Gray is on: “Shit man,” he says. “A lot of people have Rashad wrong. He’s the most down-to-earth guy, unbelievably nice …
“The ‘problem,’ though, is that Rashad likes to tell the truth in the media. Everyone likes to go the politician-route, the motherfucker who lies. People need to realize that if it’s too good to be true, it probably isn’t true. People who are real, they don’t like that. They like Hollywood these days. They like shit that isn’t real. They get mad at him because he talks from the heart.”
Huh. We wonder who he could possibly be talking about when he says MMA fans “like Hollywood these days.” Oh wait, just to clear that up, Luther asks him a follow-up question:
JL: Some people have noticed that Jon Jones has really taken after Rashad Evans. He’s been accused of taking Rashad’s title shot, his training camp, and apparently his style. Some people think he’s taking over Rashad’s life.
GM: Well, like I said, if it’s too good to be true then it usually isn’t. I mean, I’m not going to say nothing about nobody, but Rashad is my boy and he’s a real person. I like real people. I hate fake people. Absolutely hate them.
On the topic of Pettis, who Maynard will likely fight if both guys win their next bouts, he was even less diplomatic.
“I mean, who has he fought?” Maynard says. “I’ve been in the trenches this whole time fighting the toughest guys. He throws one kick and then he’s the greatest in the world?
“Let’s look at who he’s fought. Ben Henderson is the best name. And I don’t mind fighting him; I don’t care if I win the belt and then I have to take him on. But for me, guys like (Jim) Miller, (Gilbert) Melendez and all of these guys who have been on the fucking grind, fighting the best competition for the past few years … that’s what I look at. Who have you fought? I don’t care about how good you looked when you fought a scrub. That doesn’t matter. If a guy isn’t good then you’re supposed to look good. And for me, (Pettis) has fought one good guy in Ben, and he isn’t proven yet. He’s tough as hell, but we’ll see.”
Pettis’ trainer Duke Roufus has responded via Twitter, read that here.