UFC Lightweight contender Gray Maynard has been out of the spotlight for some time now. He’s fought only once since nearly beating Frankie Edgar for the lightweight belt in October of 2011, but is set to return next month against the tough T.J. Grant. Last seen beating Clay Guida in what was deemed one of the worst fights in 2012, it was recently announced that Maynard will be fighting for a title shot at Ben Henderson.
Despite being sidelined by injuries that forced him to withdraw from a scheduled bout versus Joe Lauzon at UFC 155 last December, Maynard is feeling back to his former self. And a chance at another title shot has him motivated and ready to work. He recently spoke up to Bleacher Report about his potentially golden opportunity this May:
“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.”
Indeed, Maynard now has extra motivation to train harder and work back towards another shot at the belt. He still only holds one loss, and is without a doubt one of the strongest and hardest-hitting fighters in the 155 lb. division. ‘The Bully’ will look to implement his power striking game on T.J. Grant, another brawler who rarely declines a chance to stand and trade.
Maynard believes that his next chance is on the horizon, and is excited for the opportunity to prove he’s still near the top of the food chain. He’s been out of the title scene for too long, and now’s his chance to sink or swim. He knows that Grant is a worthy foe, but is keeping his eyes on the prize. He closed out:
“I’m hungry, man. It’s been a long layoff. These past two years have been off and on, but I have been traveling and in the gym learning new things. I’m coming back hungry to get back to the top of this division and go after that title. Grant is a tough opponent and I’m training hard for him. I’m hungry and people are going to see that next month in Las Vegas.”