Gray Maynard: I’m hungry for another shot at the belt


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.”

  • Mkay . . . well, you better go hit the drive thru cause that aint happening anytime soon.

    • If he beats Grant he will get the shot.

  • Good for Maynard…

  • Man crazy to think about alternate Universe scenarios. If Maynard took the decision against Edgar in their first fight it is unlikely Frankie would have gotten an immediate rematch. Gray probably would have beaten Pettis by taking him down repeatedly, and then fought Ben.

    Crazy, crazy, crazy

    • was thinking about the same thing; Even with the 2nd bout against Edgar, he was just an early stoppage away from getting the tko win.
      I really do hope Gray gets the title shot – this will be a good test on whether the injury affected him and at least we all get to see how TJ grant looks like

  • Benson and Gray would be a fun fight,… but it is a Stacked division,..him and the guy who just beat Daiz… Thompson would be a good fight

    • I think Thompson would beat Bendo. After seeing how Benson barely got past a somewhat rusty Melendez and how Josh has dealt with a fresh Melendez as well as how the two dealt with Diaz My pick is definitely Josh Thompson. Maynard on the other hand; I think Benson straight up molests that dude.

  • I honestly think with no Frankie Edgar in the division, Gray Maynard is going to be champ sooner or later.
    Someone like Pettis could potentially take it off him but I think people forget how great Gray actually is – he was widely considered a borderline top 10 P4P fighter during the Edgar trilogy.

    If he gets past Grant and looks good doing it, I think he beats Benson.

  • If Gray gets a title shot theirs no way hes gonna beat Bendo because IMO Bendo is the next GSP lol even though i do not like saying that since I've been a fan since wec hes turning out just like GSP, ranking up decision after decision but only difference is GSP usually dominates his opponents while Bendo has been barely getting by with the exception of the destruction of Nate Diaz