UFC lightweight Gray Maynard (11-1-1, 1 NC, MMA), who’s now officially number ranked number three with the UFC, will face T.J. Grant (20-5, MMA) who has been stringing W’s together in the lightweight division. By the time Gray gets into face Grant, it’ll have been nearly a year since he last fought.
Maynard is well known for the three battles against Frankie Edgar that have resonated with every MMA fan as some of the best wars inside the Octagon. In their last confrontation, Edgar vs. Maynard III, a battle for the lightweight belt at UFC 136, Maynard was finished via KO in the 4th round.
With so many fighters switching weight classes as of late, Maynard told MMA Fight Corner in an interview that when he tweeted something about dropping to the 145-pound division, he wasn’t entirely serious. However, one fight seemed to interest Gray enough to make the drop to featherweight.
“If there was a bout that was really awesome, like Edgar, that would be great. I would try to do it. I don’t know if I could [make 145],” Maynard said. “The Edgar bout is kind of off as of now. Dana kind of wants him to not get hurt I think.”
Back in December, Maynard was set to compete against Joe Lauzon at UFC 155, but a knee injury kept him out of the fight. With the past year to rehabilitate himself, Maynard feels ready to go against anyone in UFC.
“The Bully” is scheduled to fight at UFC 160 on May 25, and will return to Las Vegas to take on T.J. Grant who’s on a streak of four consecutive wins since dropping to lightweight. Grant has put on grizzly battles against each opponent he’s faced and proved he’s capable of finishing his opponents via submission, or knockout. He holds signature wins over Matt Wiman and Evan Dunham that have propelled his name in the rankings.
“I think he’s a top guy. Not the top guy, but he’s a top guy. I asked for the Pettis bout and they gave me one harder. So I was jumping up for joy,” Maynard said of Grant.
Maynard explained he wanted to square off against Pettis since stylistically he thought it would make a competitive fight. But, Gray added the challenge that Grant presents excites him even more so than Pettis.
“Styles, [Pettis] is a good one for me. It’s great name. He likes to have that space and I don’t do that. I asked for him and that didn’t happen, he dropped down. I got TJ Grant who’s on a tear. It’s the type that I get kind of hyped up about.”