MMA UK Interviews, Gray “The Bully” Maynard

If you’ve been following MMA UK since the beginning then you’ll know that one of our first HUGE interviews was with Gray Maynard.

The last time we spoke, Gray was going into his fight with Kenny Florian, a fight which would determine the next person to face Frankie Edgar. Maynard came out on top that night, convincingly beating Florian for three rounds using his crisp boxing and vicious ground and pound.

 

Maynard now faces Frankie “The Answer” Edgar, the man who beat BJ Penn twice, UFC 125. Maynard already has a win over Frankie, but both fighters have improved significantly since their last fight and this looks as if it will be an all out war between two of the worlds top lightweight fighters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations on your last win against Kenny Florian, what was the game plan going into that fight?

He’s a good southpaw, counter puncher with good top game jiu-jitsu, so I didn’t want to rush in or chase him. I wanted to control him on the ground and not give him a chance to get on top where he is strong.

 

 

Knowing that Florian has some of the best strikes in the lightweight division, many people were impressed with the fact that you stood up with for long periods of the fight.  Were you intimidated by his Muay Thai at all

No, not all. He’s the 5th southpaw that I’ve fought in a row. I think he gets away with basic things that a southpaw does cause many of the guys he goes against don’t know what to do when fighting a southpaw. I spar with a lot of high level boxers, so I’m confident in my stand up game.

 

Florian struggled with fighting against you from his back. Was it as easy as it seemed on TV or was he as difficult as you assumed he would be?

Like I said before, his top game seemed to be better than his bottom game from the tapes I watched. But, was crafty on bottom and threw some short elbows that were surprisingly effective. It’s never easy, but when you’re prepared there shouldn’t be too many problems.

 

You and Frankie have both grown as fighters since you last fought. After seeing his last two fights against BJ Penn, what would you say are his weaknesses as you seemed to be the only fighter in the Lightweight division who has the key to beating Edgar?

I think he’s a great fighter. I just believe I’m better.

 

 

What type of fighters have you used in your training camp to try and mimic the style of Edgar?

I live in the fight capitol of the world, so it’s not hard to get guys to train with that have similar styles. I did bring in Jamill Kelly, he was a 2004 Olympic Silver medalist in wrestling. He’s been a great asset in keep my wrestling skills top notch.

 

 

Considering wrestling has once again entered an era of dominance on the MMA scene not seen since the old days of Hughes, Ortiz and Kerr, how does you see the sport evolving next?

I see the gaps closing between all the fighters. So the little details are going to matter the most in all areas of the fight.

 

Obviously the UFC-WEC merger was big news this year and was probably even bigger news for you. The lightweight division is incredibly stacked now. As a competitor, how exciting was it to know that more fighters were coming in?

I love to compete against the top competition, so it works out perfectly for me!

 

 

With the winner of Pettis and Henderson set to face the winner of you and Edgar, which of the two WEC fighters do you think you match up well against?

I just let that play out however it goes and focus on beating Edgar. I don’t look at any fight, but the one I have in front of me.

 

After Nick Diaz’s last win, he mentioned you and some other lightweights in his discussion with Joe Rogan and that he’d like to fight you again. How do you feel about that, considering the last round of you two fighting was a straight-up brawl. Some would assume that you two don’t like each other much?

I can’t speak for Nate, but I just look at it as business. I really don’t think about it, again right now all my attention is on Frank Edgar.

 

 

Any predictions for your fight against Edgar?

Me being 110% Jan 1st, getting a great win and a UFC belt

 

 

Thanks for your time Gray, anyone you’d like to thank?

Dethrone, HiTech Pharmaceuticals, Xtreme Couture, Xcap, my family, friends, and fans! Also check out http://www.graymaynard.com the only place to buy the new “Bully Brand” T shirt!

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