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Tag: Gray Maynard

The Winner of Gray Maynard vs. TJ Grant at UFC 160 Next in Line for Lightweight Title Shot


If you think Gilbert Melendez deserves an immediate rematch, don’t bother reading the article. Just stare at this GIF for five seconds and go directly to the comments section.

If you watched UFC on Fox 7′s main event between UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson and former Strikeforce champion Gilbert Melendez, you saw an extremely close fight. In the end, Henderson walked away with a split decision victory that many fans felt should have went to Melendez. While the debate over who won the fight continues to rage on [Author Note: For what it's worth, Fight Metric stats seem to confirm that Henderson won.], the talks of an immediate rematch have already been squashed.

By the end of the post-event press conference, Dana White confirmed that the winner of the upcoming bout between Gray Maynard and TJ Grant at UFC 160 – which takes place on May 25 – is next in line for a shot at the lightweight title. At this time, there is no target date for Henderson’s next title defense. In White’s own words:

Gray Maynard is ranked number three. TJ Grant is ranked number seven. Those guys are gonna fight at UFC 160 on May 25. The winner of that fight is gonna fight Ben Henderson next.

So, we’re now pretending that those “official UFC rankings” are influencing how fighters earn title shots? I’m sure Chad Mendes, Ricardo Lamas and Chan Sung Jung will be thrilled by this recent development.

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Gray Maynard Returns at UFC 160, Faces Ever-Rising Prospect T.J. Grant


(I tell you what, if Maynard is able to catch Grant in his patented Indian rug burn, this shit is gonna be all over.) 

Figuratively speaking, Gray Maynard has not been involved in a UFC fight since he came up short against Frankie Edgar at UFC 136 in October of 2011. Sure, he did his best to nullify the “offense” of Clay Guida at UFC on FX 4 last June, but that exercise in tedium was less a fight and more like watching your cataract-stricken friend try to wrangle up all the cuccos in Kakariko Village on The Legend of Zelda. Although ”The Bully” was expected to face Joe Lauzon at UFC 155 last December, he was forced out of the bout with a knee injury that has sidelined him ever since.

But if the above gif is any indication, Maynard has been staying quite active on the sidelines and will be more than ready for his return to the octagon on May 25th at UFC 160, where he will face the streaking veteran T.J. Grant in a battle of top contenders. Grant has been on something resembling a killing spree lately, collecting four straight wins including a first round annihilation of Matt Wiman at UFC on Fox 6 last month. The far-and-away most impressive aspect of Grant’s recent wins has been the drastic improvement to his stand up game, an attribute he credits to the time he spent training in Thailand.

In a way, this fight is kind of a lose-lose for Maynard, at least by Ed Soares’ concept of the term.

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[VIDEOS] Frankie Edgar, Gray Maynard, Donald Cerrone, + More Make Their Picks for Ben Henderson vs. Nate Diaz

Can you guys imagine what the MMA landscape will be like if Nate Diaz is able to defeat Ben Henderson on Saturday, thus becoming the lightweight champion? For starters, this article will be the first and last time you ever see the word “thus” in a sentence where the subject is a Diaz, but on the grander scale, just try and imagine the ways a Diaz with a belt will throw a wrench into the UFC’s plans. Interviews snippets will be so short and incoherent that MMA writers will be forced to resort to rambling, ludicrous conspiracy theories just to pass the time. And as for the brand-promoting public appearances that have become the standard for a champion? You can forget about those; we’re talking about a man who once tried to fight a fictional Brazilian character at a Jiu-Jitsu expo for Christ’s sake. If one fan even mentions the Maynard fight around Diaz in public, the UFC will probably have a full-scale riot on their hands.

If you would, just picture Nate Diaz at an anti-bullying seminar for a moment. After showing up 3 hours late and being reluctantly called to the stage, Diaz will deliver a one minute diatribe aimed at America’s “faggoty yoots“ who should “just like, yeah, I dunno” before calling out “that bitch Georges,” his eyes never lifting from the linoleum floor. When he is informed that he is in fact the lightweight champion and can’t fight GSP right now, Diaz will declare that he’s “done with this shit” before slapping that stupid ass hat off the school’s gym teacher on his way out the door. Simply put, it will be glorious.

Anyway, MMAInterviews recently asked a bevy of pros including Frankie Edgar, Randy Couture, Gray Maynard, and Donald Cerrone to determine the likelihood of a world in which a Diaz is champion, and believe it or not, the overwhelming majority of them believe it’s something we should start preparing ourselves for.

Part 1 is above and part 2 is after the jump.

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Shane Carwin, Gray Maynard Both Pull Out of December Fights Due to Knee Injuries


(In a related story, Roy Nelson was recently diagnosed with advanced dickdo disease.)

Well, we saw this one coming a mile away. After suffering a “minor knee injury” back in September, Shane Carwin has now pulled out of his scheduled fight against Roy Nelson at the TUF 16 Finale on December 15th, due to a knee injury that may or may not be related to the last one. UFC president Dana White confirmed the bad news last night, and said that the promotion is looking for a new opponent for Nelson.

It’s a terrible setback for Carwin, who hasn’t competed snce June 2011 due to a series of neck and back surgeries, and was already forced to drop out of a fight with Nelson at UFC 125. Carwin hasn’t won a fight since his knockout of Frank Mir in March 2010, and at age 37, his competitive days are running out. There’s no word yet on the severity of Shane’s injury, or when he might return to action.

And by the way, this means that five of the last seven U.S. seasons of TUF10, 11, 13, 15, and now 16 — as well as one of the two international seasons (TUF Brazil), have ended with the coaches’ fight being canceled or delayed. Spooky. We’ll let you know when Roy Nelson picks up his replacement opponent. Our suggestion: How about Pat Barry, who’s already booked on the card against Shane Del Rosario?

And hey, speaking of UFC stars who have to pull out of fights next month due to knee injuries…

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*Fingers Crossed* Guida vs. Hioki, Grant vs. Wiman, + More Added to Stacked UFC on FOX 6 Card


(We know, Clay, we had a hard time watching your last fight too.) 

It’s looking like the crippling power of this year’s injury curse is going to be tested early come 2013, because the UFC’s first major network event of the year is currently stacked with more budding talent than a Miss Teen USA pageant. Aside from the Cerrone/Pettis, Jackson/Teixeira, and Dodson/Johnson fights that were announced earlier this week, the UFC has recently announced that Clay Guida will be making his featherweight debut against Hatsu Hioki at the same event as well.

Guida’s last performance saw him channel Steve Prefontaine for the majority of five rounds against Gray Maynard at UFC on FX 4, earning him his second straight loss at lightweight following his much more exciting loss to current champion Benson Henderson at the inaugural UFC on FOX event.

Despite the fact that he is coming off a close decision loss to Ricardo Lamas at the same event, there’s no denying that Hioki is still considered to be one of the top contenders at 145, so a win over Hatsu is not only essential for Guida — he has never dropped three straight in his MMA career — but would easily launch him up the list of potential contenders to boot. Let’s just hope he brings a more aggressive strategy against Hioki or we could be in for a long three rounds.

Also booked for UFC on FOX 6…

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Clay Guida to Drop to Featherweight, Expects Early 2013 Return

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(Careful Clay, all those fruity, sugary, woman drinks ironically go right to the hips.)

On the heels of a razor thin split decision loss to Gray Maynard at UFC on FX 4, his second loss to top tier competition in as many fights, it appears that everybody’s favorite energizer bunny/alcoholic, Clay Guida, will be dropping to featherweight for his next fight. Although no debut date or opponent have been decided as of this write up, Guida told MMAJunkie that he expects to make his featherweight debut sometime in early 2013.

Prior to his current two fight skid, Guida racked up four straight wins over such names as former PRIDE lightweight kingpin Takanori Gomi and former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis among others, pulling in two Submission of the Night awards in the process and bringing his total award count to 7.

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[Exclusive] Joe Lauzon Says he Asked For Maynard Fight

By Elias Cepeda

Being proactive paid off for Joe Lauzon last week. The UFC lightweight contender signed on to fight Gray Maynard and says he was the one pushing for the tough match up.

“I saw Gray say in an interview that he wanted to coach the next season of TUF against Nate Diaz,” Joe explains.

“He’s banking on Diaz beating [Ben] Henderson [when the two face off for Henderson’s title] and wants that title shot and, I guess, a third fight between him and Nate. So I contacted [UFC matchmaker] Joe Silva and said that I thought Gray and I could be a cool angle as coaches of TUF. They didn’t do that but later I got a call asking if I wanted to fight Gray on December 29th. Its on the main card of a huge card.”

Lauzon is coming off of a record-setting submission of the night and fight of the night performance in beating Jamie Varner earlier this month. Maynard is coming off of a controversially-close split decision win over Clay Guida. Before that, Maynard fought then-champion Frankie Edgar twice in a row, first drawing with him and then losing via TKO.

Lauzon doesn’t know if a win over Maynard would put him in the #1 contender’s spot for the lightweight title for certain, but he says it would be a “step in the right direction.” “Gray is a monster. He’s only lost to Frankie. He’s super tough. Me beating Gray would make a big statement because he’s smashed everyone except for the champ at the time. Even in those fights he had the champ hurt badly at times,” Lauzon says.

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Barnburner Alert: Joe Lauzon vs. Gray Maynard Booked for UFC 155


(Jesus Christ, Joe, are you playing for the other team?! You don’t snipe in Carentan, saboteur!)  

Of all the seasons of The Ultimate Fighter to have produced upper-echelon fighters and title challengers at 155 lbs., who would’ve guessed that the season that coined the phrase “Wang and Bang” would one day rule them all? Not only is Nate Diaz next in line for a shot at Ben Henderson, but former title challenger Gray Maynard has just been booked to take on perennial contender Joe Lauzon in a battle that will easily launch the victor onto the short list of contenders at lightweight.

Then again, Sir Isaac Newton did state that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, which might explain why Gabe Ruediger is getting his ass kicked by skateboarders these days.

After spending the entirety of 2011 feuding with former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, which ended in his first career defeat, Maynard recently bounced back into the win column with a controversial split decision win over Clay Guida in the main event of UFC on FX 4. Although Maynard was thoroughly out-hustled for the majority of the fight, the significance of his offense in the latter rounds combined with Guida’s lack thereof was enough to earn him the nod.

Maynard will be facing the always entertaining Lauzon, who is currently 3-2 in his past five and most recently scored a third round triangle submission victory against former WEC champion Jamie Varner in their classic scrap at UFC on FOX 4. Lauzon has struggled in the past when facing top contenders, having dropped fights to Kenny Florian and Anthony Pettis in the past, but has also finished his opponents in all 22 of his victories. And although his cardio looked the best against Varner that it arguably ever has, there is no doubt that Maynard’s experience in the championship rounds will pay huge dividends if Lauzon isn’t able to put him away earlier.

After the jump: An update on Matt Hamill’s return to the octagon. Spoiler: His opponent just got a lot tougher.

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Frankie Edgar’s Coach Says He Should Drop to 135 Pounds


(Frankie Edgar vs. Dominick Cruz for the UFC bantamweight title, with special guest referee Michael Vick. Dare we dream? | Photo via the best communications director in MMA)

For years, everyone from UFC President Dana White to fans of former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar have called for “The Answer” to drop down to a more natural competition weight of 145 pounds because he’s so much smaller than just about everyone he’s faced in the Octagon. To this point, Edgar has only seemed to be annoyed at the suggestion — after all, he clearly has no problem competing with the relative behemoths at lightweight — but now even his team seems to be saying he should drop down…to bantamweight.

You read that correctly (or maybe you didn’t, we really can’t vouch for either your vision or literacy, so get off our back, ok?): Edgar’s boxing coach and The World’s Strongest Man Mark Henry says that he’d like to see Edgar, who he says walks around at just 157-159 pounds, instead campaign at 135 pounds:

Me personally, I’d like to see Frankie for like a year to take a rest on his back and his body to fight people at 135 to do what everybody in the whole MMA community is [doing] and suck him down to nothing, looking like their death the day of the weigh-in and fight people that weigh as much as him,” Henry said while a guest on the SiriusXM Fight Club radio show Monday.

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UFC 150: Edgar vs. Henderson – Main Event Breakdown and Prediction

By George Shunick

When predicting a rematch in MMA – or, frankly, any sport – it’s only logical to look at the previous encounter and attempt to discern what advantages a certain participant had, whether their opponent is capable of adjusting and overcoming them, and whether the rematch will follow the overall narrative of the previous encounter. Our knowledge, or anticipated knowledge, of these factors determines how much we anticipate a rematch. For instance, no one really cared about the third fight between Tito Ortiz and Ken Shamrock – we all knew how lopsided that fight would be. Conversely, Frankie Edgar’s third match against Gray Maynard was appealing because there was a strong narrative coming out of their second fight, a sense of uncertainty as to which fighter would make the necessary adjustments to overcome the other.

The rematch between Edgar and Ben Henderson falls into the latter category because it possesses that same degree of uncertainty. We don’t know what will happen in this fight, other than it promises to be one of the best fights of the year. It’s a rematch between the two best fighters in the strongest division in MMA, after a fight that each fighter thought he won. Both will be at the top of their game, attempting to ensure that this match will leave no doubt who is the better man.

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