Maynard Believes Criticism Over Decision Streak Too Harsh

By Joe Myers Sep 3, 2010
Gray Maynard, the No. 1 contender for the UFC lightweight title, has been criticized for the fact that his last seven fights have all gone the distance and he has just one finish (a knockout) among his 10 career wins.

However, Maynard feels the judgment is overly harsh, as the seven-fight run of decisions includes victories over a veritable Murderer's Row of the lightweight division in Dennis Siver, current UFC 155-pound champ Frankie Edgar, Rich Clementi, Jim Miller, Roger Huerta, Nate Diaz and Kenny Florian.

"If you go through all the guys I've faced. I don't know who else has done that," Maynard said on The Sherdog Radio Network's "Savage Dog Show" Wednesday. "Those are all top guys. I know Huerta, Miller and Edgar have never been finished and Diaz was tapped out a long time ago by Hermes Franca. Florian got tapped out in the championship rounds by B.J. Penn. That's a lot of tough guys. Of course, I'm going out there to knock people out. But if it doesn't happen, you still have to win the fight. You want to tap people out, but I don't know who's gone through those guys. Who's fighting all these guys?"

The 30-year-old Maynard, who will face Edgar in a rematch of their April 2008 bout later this year or in early 2011, said going for finishes at the cost of abandoning a pre-fight game plan would be disrespectful towards his Xtreme Couture coaches.

"If I was to say, 'Screw the plan. I'm just going to go out here and try to knock this guy out’ -- that would be a slap in the face to my team," said "The Ultimate Fighter 5” veteran. "My coaches are coming up with these great plans and it's like, 'You know, you don't know what the (expletive) you're talking about. I'm just going to make it a crazy fight and knock somebody out. If it doesn't happen, then I'm going to get knocked out.' If I did that, they'd be kicking me out of the gym real quick."

Maynard's unanimous decision win over Florian at UFC 118 was the exclamation point on a pre-fight buildup that included a bit of trash-talking, something that was a departure from the norm for Maynard. After being passed up for a title shot following an uninspiring split decision victory over Nate Diaz in January, Maynard said his callout of Florian and pre-fight talk was the result of him wanting to face the top fighters at 155 pounds.

"I called him out," said Maynard. "If that's cocky, then I guess I'm cocky. But I want to fight the best. Maybe (Florian) was mad at that. Maybe he was mad that he got called out, but I want to go up against the top guys and sometimes I have to do that. I called out Edgar and it's just been the top dudes from there on out. I was pumped to fight (Florian)."

Long known for his wrestling skills, Maynard stayed away from going for a takedown early against Florian as a part of his game plan. Later in the fight, he did take Florian down and cruised to the decision victory.

"It's poker a little bit," said Maynard. "You can't show your hand too early. We wanted him to not know where or when I'd be shooting. We had a plan for the jab and a plan for the kicks. He didn't throw the jab too much and I think I might have hit him in round one and made him think I've got some power. I just wanted to get him to where he didn't know whether I was going to shoot. I wanted to fluster him."

Now that he has a shot at Edgar's lightweight title coming, Maynard said he's going to get back to training. However, he won't be so strict when it comes to his dieting.

"I'm going to get back in the gym," said Maynard. "There are a couple of guys to help, but you also have time to slow down and learn. I'll have a chance to drink some beers, eat some food and enjoy my life. I love training, I like eating and I like drinking beer."
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