Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz will meet at Saturday’s Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale to settle a score that dates back to 2007. The two first met at The Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale as contestants, and Diaz walked away the winner with a slick submission victory. Maynard then edged Diaz on the judge's scorecards at their main event UFC Fight Night bout in January 2010.
The two will collide for the rubber match at TUF 18’s conclusion, topping a potentially action packed card. The UFC will host is most WMMArtist-heavy card in the promotion’s history, and I have a great feeling that the card will deliver some serious fireworks. On to the breakdown of Diaz vs. Maynard:
Nate Diaz is well known for his Nick Diaz style striking, he likes to use technical boxing to grind you down on the feet. Maynard certainly has the ground and pound advantage, and likely the power advantage on the feet. Diaz has a big reach advantage so expect him to pepper Maynard from the outside, but remember also that these two guys hold five combined knockouts in 27 wins.
Maynard hasn’t KO’d anyone since dropping Joe Veres in 2007, and Diaz’s latest TKO was a beasting of Rory Markham in 2010. Maynard’s striking has improved in the time since, but his chin is also a questionable factor. Also interesting is that Diaz has landed 717 career strikes, the 9th highest in currently active fighters. I’d give Diaz the nod here at 60-40
Maynard is the obvious call for this department; a three time division I wrestler out of Michigan state, he also has the low centre of gravity at 5ft 8 and stocky in build. ‘The Bully’ would do well to remember that Diaz likes to submit from any position, including from his back.
Diaz doesn’t hold much of an offensive wrestling game, and Maynard’s resume speaks for itself. We’ve seen Diaz tossed around in the past and I’m sure Gray will be doing it if he gets a hold of him. I’m giving Maynard the nod at 80-20
Diaz is by far the best submission fighter of the two, having a black belt in Caesar Gracie Jiu Jitsu and owning 11 submission wins in 16 victories. One thing that has changed since the last bout is that Maynard is a blue belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. Although not anywhere near the standard of Diaz’s ground game, Maynard may have the skills to avoid being caught.
Diaz holds 20 career submission attempts meaning, with his 11 subs, that he completes just over half of his submission attempts. As much as Diaz can be a tool, you have to respect the guy’s Jits skills. Diaz takes the nod at 70-30
The drop on this fight is that Maynard could land some solid shots if he can get close enough, and will probably be able to take Diaz down. Diaz could submit Maynard from there, or pick him apart on the feet. An interesting bout in my opinion. ED note: Maynard's first name is actually Bradley, and Diaz's middle name is Donald. Seeing as Diaz doesn't have a nick name, anyone like Nathan 'Ronald Mc' Donald Diaz?