Maynard: ‘I Thought the Belt was Mine’

By Mike Whitman Jan 2, 2011
Gray Maynard file photo |

Gray Maynard is not a happy man.

After five grueling rounds that saw Maynard attempt to capture Frankie Edgar’s lightweight title in the main event of UFC 125 on Saturday night, the fight was ruled a split draw, much to the dismay of both the fighters and the crowd at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas.

At the post-fight news conference, Maynard was asked if perhaps a loss on his record might have been easier to tolerate than the grossly unsatisfying result of a draw. The challenger, curt in his reply, set the record straight.

“F--k no, I don’t want a loss. I want the belt. I thought I had it,” said Maynard. “I thought the belt was mine.”

“The Bully” looked to have the win in the bag in the early going, as he floored the champion with a left hand and didn’t let up, chasing Edgar across the cage and dropping heavy blows on him both standing and on the ground. Somehow, the champion survived the onslaught.

“It could have been stopped easily, I thought. He was all over the place,” said Maynard. “I think it was a left hook. I caught him. It was a clean one. I tried to put him away.”

Considering how he dominated the first round, Maynard believes the judges’ scores to be questionable.

“I dropped many times? Five? He didn't land a punch,” said Maynard. “[That round was] at least a 10-8. Maybe even a 10-7.”

The challenger expended considerable energy trying to put the champ away in that first frame, and that fatigue was most apparent in second round. Though Maynard never regained his first-round form, the former Michigan State University wrestling standout did manage to catch his second wind as the fight wore on.

“Yeah, I was swinging for the fences [in the first period]. I was trying to knock him out that whole round. That's a lot of work. That's like a sprint,” he said. “I felt a little tired, and I had to ease back a bit. Then I got going again in round three. He’s a tough kid, but I thought that was my fight.”

Maynard feels he won the first, third and fifth rounds of the fight. Though Edgar's work rate and movement were on full display after the scare in round one, Maynard says he was the one pressing the action.

“I thought I won the third for sure,” he said. “The last round, we landed about even. I was going hard to the last, and I thought he backed up a lot.”

Now, Maynard's future is uncertain, as it is unclear if he will get an immediate rematch. When asked how it felt knowing he may again wait in line for a title shot, Maynard replied honestly.

“Obviously it doesn't feel good. I thought that was my fight. I thought I had the belt. I worked my ass off for this. I don't know. I guess it kind of hurts.”
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