The UFC is heading to Virginia for the first time in its history on Monday, January 11th for UFC Fight Night 20 Live on Spike TV. In the main event of the card, Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz meet again in a rematch of The Ultimate Fighter Season 5 battle won by Diaz.
A former teammate of Rashad Evans on the Michigan State wrestling team, Maynard currently trains with UFC legend Randy Couture in Las Vegas. The 30-year-old with the 9-0, 1 NC record is riding one of the most impressive winning streaks in the sport, defeating an impressive array of 155-pound fighters including Frankie Edgar, Jim Miller, and, most recently, Roger Huerta this past September.
Diaz has won six of his last eight UFC fights including a win over Melvin Guillard this past September. The pride of Stockton, California and a product of the renowned Cesar Gracie Fight Team, Diaz needs a win over Maynard to continue on his path toward a shot at BJ Penn’s lightweight crown.
As we reported a couple of weeks ago, The Ultimate Fighter Season 8 winner Efrain Escudero faces fellow lightweight up and comer Evan Dunham in the co-main event of the evening.
Winner of the eighth season of The Ultimate Fighter, 23-year-old Efrain Escudero (fighting out of Tempe, Ariz.) is coming off of an impressive TKO victory over Cole Miller at UFC 103 in September. At a perfect 13-0, Escudero will look to use his superior grappling skills against another rising star in the division, Evan Dunham.
An Oregon native, Evan Dunham (fighting out of Las Vegas, Nev.) was victorious in his first two fights in the UFC, most recently earning a split decision win over Marcus Aurelio at UFC 102 in August. Now at 9-0 as a professional mixed martial artist, the 27-year-old lightweight fighter is looking for his third win in the UFC.
“The lightweight division is one of the most talent-rich in the UFC, and this card is a prime example of that,” said UFC President Dana White. “Maynard and Diaz are two top contenders with a history between them, and this is one of those fights that could be career-changing for the winner. The stakes are just as high in the Escudero-Dunham fight, as both of these guys are looking to make the jump from prospect to contender.”