Although Xtreme Couture has guided Gray Maynard (Pictured) to two title fights, the former UFC lightweight top contender has decided to part ways with the famed Las Vegas, Nevada gym. While this may come as a shock to the rest of MMA world, Maynard has been planning his departure for quite some time.
“Leaving Xtreme Couture is something that has been going through my head for awhile,” Maynard told Heavy.com. “I know people want to assume the worst, but that isn’t the case. During my [UFC 118] camp for Kenny Florian, I started to think about everything that is out there in this sport. A month before my fight with Edgar in Houston, I made my decision.
“I informed [Xtreme Couture] that I would not be coming back. I felt it was important because win or lose, I wasn’t going to return for my training. I did things this way because I didn’t want to win the title and have people thinking I won the belt and left for something else. I made sure to tell them long before my fight on October 8th, so there wasn’t any confusion.”
Maynard emerged onto the mixed martial arts scene as a contestant on “The Ultimate Fighter 5” back in 2007. While the 32-year-old has spent the majority of his professional career fine tuning his skills at Xtreme Couture, Maynard simply felt it was time to test the waters elsewhere.
“Right now I’m up in Santa Cruz, California and things are great,” Maynard shared. “There are a few gyms I have been training at. I’ve also spent some time at AKA. They have a great gym, an awesome team and I’m enjoying my time here. At this point my focus is on broadening my horizons and wherever I feel that can be accomplished is where I will go.
“I just want to get out and train with whoever I can. There are so many other camps and so much I can learn, it became something I needed to do. If that means going down to Brazil and training with Jose Aldo, I’d be excited to go … There is so much to learn out there and I want to grow.”
Maynard owns a 10-1-1 (1 NC) pro record and was on the brink of beating reigning champ Frankie Edgar on two separate occasions to capture the 155-pound crown. Unfortunately for “The Bully,” Edgar managed to rally to retain his belt by posting a controversial draw at UFC 125 and a knockout victory at UFC 136.