Former two-time UFC lightweight championship challenger, Gray ‘The Bully’ Maynard has revealed that once he learned of former lightweight contender, Spencer ‘The King’ Fisher’s battle with dementia — it proved to be a “turning point” for him — ultimately encouraging him to inform others about the potential dangers of mixed martial arts.
In a recent, touching interview with MMA Fighting, former UFC 155-pound contender, Fisher detailed how he has been battling with dementia for some time. A seventeen-fight Octagon veteran, the 44-year-old last competed professionally back in June 2012, drawing an end to a thirty-three fight, ten-year professional career.
Reminisicing on an encounter with Fisher at the Luo Ruvo Centre for Brain Health, Maynard detailed how he had learned about Fisher’s battle with dementia, and how it immediately knocked him back and forced him to take things into consideration — having lost his own uncle to the diesese.
“He (Spencer Fisher) told me he had the beginning stages of dementia, and I remember just, like, getting hit hard,” Maynard said in a recent appearance on The Bo & Gio MMA Show. “Because that (dementia) really doesn’t get better. I mean, I had an uncle die of dementia. So I remember giving him a hug and like, ‘Hey, man, anything you need, I’m here for ya.’ And then just going in my car, and I started my car and was about to drive away, and I just started crying. Just put it in park and I was just crying, like, ‘Holy sh*t.’ He’s got kids. There’s just a ton of emotions that are going through you because you know what he’s dealing with. It was hard. Just kind of seeing him, you know, want to get his life going and want to keep going, but it’s hard. It’s hard with dementia. It’s a gnarly diesese.“
Upon learning of Spencer’s diesese and battle with dementia, Maynard detailed how it almost acted as the catalyst for him to start warning others about the potential risks and dangers that may come with mixed martial arts.
“(Fisher said) like, ‘Dude, I don’t care not being known and I don’t want to be in the spotlight. And I could relate to him,” Maynard said. “I’m like, ‘Dude, I hear ya. I’m with ya. But it’s not about us, it’s about all these other guys and girls. You have to get this story out and you have to tell them what’s going on in this sport and what’s going on in this world.’ It definitely was hard on him. We’ve talked a couple of times, but I really feel like he went through with it because of that. Because he definitely didn’t want to get his story out. That’s not the point of why he did it. ‘Oh, I want people to know what I’m going through.’ No. I want people to know what I’m going through because other people are going to go through this. And it’s going to happen a lot. It’s already happened’ He’s just the person that got the story out. There’s a lot of scared people out there, man.” (BJPENN.com)
For Arizona veteran, Maynard, the former top lightweight contender seen his time undee the UFC banner come to an end back in October of 2018, after he dropped a unanimous decision defeat to the recently retired, Nik Lentz at UFC 229. The Xtreme Couture mainstay had spent the majority of his professional career under the UFC’s scrutiny, making the Octagon walk twenty separate times — scoring notable wins over former lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar, as well as Nate Diaz, Jim Miller, Roger Huerta, Kenny Florian, Dennis Siver, and Clay Guida.