It’s almost been two years now since former UFC lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard has had his hand raised inside the Octagon and after some time away following the worst year of his life “The Bully” appears to be ready to get back fighting:
“After the Nate [Diaz] bout, I took some time off and I did some testing on my head, obviously, just to check that everything was alright,” Maynard told MMAFighting. “To be honest, the day after and even a couple of days after, I didn’t have headaches, I wasn’t hurting. Just a couple of scrapes. But then people who were close to me, Dana [White], the Fertittas, they wanted me to get checked out.
It’s just kind of weird, the last two bouts I just kind of got clipped. I can’t explain it. My head wasn’t all the way there, and that’s a big part of it. I was concentrating on a game plan, and trying to do all this stuff, and it’s just not how I compete. The punch that you aren’t prepared for, the one that you don’t see, is the one that clips you. They wanted me to get checked out, so I flew out to South Dakota where they perform impact brain tests.”
The brain checks were taken following two consecutive losses last year where he was knocked out by both T.J. Grant and Nate Diaz. Maynard had a neurocognitive test done at Sanford USD Medical Center in Sioux Falls just to be on the safe side.
“It all came back great,” he says. “But I still took off some time just to make sure. You hear all kinds of horror stories with boxers, horror stories about whomever. I just think the last couple of fights it was more of a lapse in judgment and not being prepared to compete.”
His recent bad spell isn’t to shocking, considering the level of competition which the 34-year old has faced, but the way in which his losses have come about have surprised most fans. Maynard has been knocked out twice while engaging in brawls with his opponents and this has caused many fans to wonder why the All-American has abandoned his wrestling roots.
But according to Maynard that’s not the case at all:
“The thing is, though, I feel that I’ve really gotten clipped engaging that takedown, looking for that takedown. Watch the one where I got TKO’d against Edgar and it was coming out of that takedown that wasn’t there. He caught me on the uppercut. With T.J. Grant, I switched stance for the purpose of taking it down when I got hit. Nate Diaz, I took him down, going in for the other takedown, got clipped on the left.”
However, Maynard now looks ready to put his past behind him and concentrate on his future. He hopes to fight again around July but he’s just happy to have put 2013 behind him.
“Last year was the worst year of my life,” he said. “Just a crazy year, so it was good to get it done with and start a new year.”