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Gray Maynard Facing His Last UFC Championship Chance (Editorial)

Gray Maynard has an impressive MMA record of 12-1-1.

He’s earned two UFC lightweight title shots, and could garner a third with a victory over TJ Grant later this month at UFC 160: Velasquez vs. Silva II.

Should “The Bully” fail to deliver vs. either Grant or in the title match, though, he could be looking at ending his career without ever being recognized as a champion in the UFC.

Maynard’s style is relentless and powerful, and his training regiment has taken away months – if not years – of his career. Heck, he’s been on the sidelines since a win last June over Clay Guida due to tearing his knee in the gym.

While Maynard’s career isn’t hanging in the balance in the coming months, he’ll turn 34 in a number of days and that isn’t a young age in the world of MMA anymore.

The former Michigan State University wrestling standout can go with the best of them, but the lightweight division is quickly becoming deeper by the day with talented contenders. Gilbert Melendez, Pat Healy, Josh Thomson and Jorge Masvidal have all entered from Strikeforce, joining the crew of ex-WEC standouts like Donald Cerrone and division kingpin Benson Henderson.

Plus, Anthony Pettis will be returning soon, and Jose Aldo could be moving up to 155 in a matter of months, as well.

For Maynard, the time is now. His power could give Henderson fits, and he’s got championship experience thanks to two fights with Frankie Edgar. If nothing else, maybe we’ll get that next Maynard-Edgar epic battle before both hang it up for good.