UFC lightweight Gray Maynard knows what it’s like to come close to winning a title only to suffer a disappointing result in the end. Maynard’s 2011 tilts with then-champion Frankie Edgar were both classics, as each featured “The Bully” blasting Edgar early only to see his adversary weather the storm and ultimately avoid defeat as a result.
Maynard will have an opportunity to find out if the third time is indeed a charm as long as he gets by T.J. Grant next month at UFC 160 thanks to a recent announcement from UFC President Dana White concerning the clash serving as a means of determining the division’s next top contender. Though the 11-1-1 Ultimate Fighter alumnus was already motivated for the match-up, hearing he could get another crack at gold as added even more fuel to the fire burning in Maynard’s gut as he recently relayed to Bleacher Report…
“Hearing about the chance to get the title shot fired me up. I’m right at that point in my camp where the work is the hardest and the fight still seems so far away. But hearing that I can earn a title shot by beating Grant provides that extra bit of kick and I’m pumped up about it. I was looking forward to fighting T.J. already but now the fight means just a little bit more. It’s perfect timing, man. It’s a great opportunity and I’m hungry to get back to that belt.”
“I think Grant really believes he has good stand-up. He’s good on the ground, but he likes to stand and strike. He believes in that aspect of his game and that’s OK. Training at AKA has added a few more tools to my game, but I truly believe I’m one of the hardest hitters—if not the hardest—in the lightweight division. I like to go everywhere in a fight, but if he wants to scrap it out on the feet, I don’t have a problem with that.”
SOURCE: Bleacher Report
PHOTO CREDIT: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports