Maynard, Diaz Cleared for UFC Fight Night

Jan 10, 2010
Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz, two men spawned by “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series, cleared the final hurdle standing between them and their main event showdown.

The unbeaten and world-ranked Maynard clocked in at 155 pounds for his UFC Fight Night 20 headliner against Diaz (155) this Monday at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. None of the other 20 men on the 11-bout card -- co-headliners Efrain Escudero (155) and Evan Dunham (155) included -- had issues meeting their contracted weights at Sunday’s official weigh-in.

Maynard and Diaz know one another well. They met in the semi-finals on Season 5 of “The Ultimate Fighter” in 2007, as a bloodied Diaz tapped out Maynard with a guillotine choke.

A Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt under Cesar Gracie, Diaz halted a two-fight losing streak when he submitted Melvin Guillard with a modified guillotine choke at UFC Fight Night 19 in September. The 24-year-old has not been finished in more than three years and holds notable victories against Josh Neer and Kurt Pellegrino. Eight of his 11 career victories have come by submission.

Believed to be on the precipice of title contention, Maynard last appeared in September, when he outpointed Roger Huerta in Oklahoma City. The 30-year-old, anchored at Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts in Las Vegas, has won his last five fights by decision. A three-time All-American wrestler at Michigan State University, Maynard already owns wins against the world-ranked Frankie Edgar and the highly regarded Jim Miller.

The co-feature carries implications of its own.

Perfect through 12 fights as a professional, Escudero last competed at UFC 103 in September, when he showcased his hands and stopped American Top Team standout Cole Miller on first-round strikes. The undefeated Dunham, another Xtreme Couture product, has not fought since he notched a split decision against Marcus Aurelio at UFC 102 five months ago.

UFC Fight Night 20
Monday, Jan. 11
Patriot Center
Fairfax, Va.

Gray Maynard (155) vs. Nate Diaz (155)
Efrain Escudero (155) vs. Evan Dunham (155)
Aaron Simpson (185) vs. Tom Lawlor (185)
Amir Sadollah (170) vs. Brad Blackburn (170)
Chris Leben (185) vs. Jay Silva (185)
Rick Story (170) vs. Jesse Lennox (170)
Thiago Tavares (155) vs. Nik Lentz (155)
Rory MacDonald (170) vs. Michael Guymon (170)
Kyle Bradley (155) vs. Rafael dos Anjos (155)
Gerald Harris (185) vs. John Salter (185)
Nick Catone (185) vs. Jesse Forbes (185)
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