“Ultimate Fighter” season five alumni, Gray Maynard (11-1-1), had two chances to take the UFC’s lightweight belt from former champion Frankie Edgar, but he wasn’t able to succeed. Maynard fought Edgar to a draw when they first met inside the Octagon at UFC 125, and he suffered his first professional loss during their second encounter.
Fortunately for Maynard, Benson Henderson ended up dethroning Edgar at UFC 144. “Smooth” successfully defended his title against Edgar at UFC 150, prompting the New Jersey native to drop down to the featherweight division.
With Edgar out of the lightweight title picture, Maynard should be able to earn another title shot if he puts a few wins together. He defeated Clay Guida in his last outing, and a win against Joe Lauzon (22-7-0) in his next outing should put him back in the mix.
Gray Maynard understands how important a win against Joe Lauzon is, and he seems really focused heading into their UFC 155 encounter.
“Lauzon will come to fight and I like that,” Maynard explained. “I think we’ll have a great scrap. If he shows up like I believe he will, it will leave a lot of openings for me to end it early. I’ll take this fight wherever I need it to go in order to get the win. … He obviously feels he has a big advantage on the ground, but that doesn’t mean I won’t put him on his back. It’s a fight. Anything can happen and winning is the only thing that matters to me. I’m going to be looking to finish this fight at all times.”
Lauzon was getting close to a title shot, but a loss against Anthony Pettis knocked him out of the picture. “J-Lau” bounced right back with a submission victory against Jamie Varner, and a win against Maynard would put him back in the title mix.
Clearly, both men will be highly motivated for their UFC 155 encounter, considering how much they have to gain with a victory. Stylistically, the matchup does favor Gray Maynard, as he should be able to control where the fight takes place with his wrestling.
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David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.