At UFC 125, Gray Maynard (pictured) came THIS close to beating Frankie Edgar to capture the lightweight title. Fast forward exactly four years and three months and Maynard is now fighting for his UFC life.
Maynard has dropped three of his last four bouts, including three straight. All of those defeats came via some form of knockout.
Many thought Maynard should have taken that razon-thin split decision over Edgar, but two of the three judges thought differently. Unfortunately for Maynard, those were the only opinions that mattered. UFC president Dana White arranged an immediate rematch, though Edgar decided to end things far more convincingly in the sequel.
That highlight reel KO was followed by a close split decision victory over Clay Guida, then a reverse trifecta that sent his once-promising career into a tailspin. T.J. Grant, Nate Diaz and most recently Ross Pearson all easily plastered “The Bully.”
After an eight month layoff, which included thoughts of retirement, Maynard returns to action this Saturday against little-known Alexander Yakovlev, who has lost his first two fights in the UFC.
The tango will appear on the prelims. Of a freebie UFC Fight Night card. The eighth-most important contest in the lineup, according to the bout order. It’s a roster with very few significant fights and even less stars.
Remember, this is the same Gray Maynard who was unbeaten through his first 11 (1 NC) professional outings. All but his first two bouts took place under the UFC’s watch.
Now 35, with only 17 MMA fights under his never-donned-a-title belt, Maynard faces a must-win situation. Is it too late to turn things around? Will you tune in to the prelims to find out?