There’s certainly no shortage of story lines behind this Saturday’s scrap between Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz, as not only will it mark the third time they’ll fight, but both men are in need of a win. Diaz is coming off consecutive losses to Benson Henderson and Josh Thomson, while Maynard was quickly taken out by TJ Grant last time out.
While it wasn’t long ago when Maynard was busy challenging Frankie Edgar for the lightweight championship, the powerful wrestler has gone 1-2-1 in his last four bouts. So is the 34 year-old looking forward to his post-fighting days? Or at making another title run?
Well, while speaking to MMA Junkie.com recently, “The Bully” relayed:
“I feel as if I have a long time in the sport,” Maynard said. “I’m still feeling great, I really am.”
That’s good news, and it’s also worth noting that his recent defeats have come against top tier opposition. Before facing Edgar at UFC 125 in 2011, Maynard was on a 11 fight undefeated streak (his TUF 5 submission loss to Diaz wasn’t an official bout).
And speaking of that loss to Diaz, here’s what Maynard had to say about it, which makes this Saturday’s fight a rubber match.
“When you beat me and it hurts like a loss, I count that,” said Maynard, who also defeated Diaz by split decision in 2010. “I’m not going to lie.”
If you’re wondering, the betting lines have Maynard as -135 to -140 favourite heading into the fight.
The TUF 18 Finale will go down at the Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas, Nevada.