Between The UFC Lines: Picking Apart Gray Maynard

Wednesday, December 29th, 2010

By  Abe Chong

UFC Betting Online: Although Gray Maynard is challenging for the lightweight title, he's emerged as the Vegas favorite in the New Year's Day championship bout. The fight between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard is scheduled for five rounds at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, NV on January 1, 2011. Fight card is set to start at 10 p.m. EST and will be televised on PPV. Bet on Maynard vs. Edgar at!

Undefeated Gray Maynard is the only man to have beaten current champion Frankie Edgar, and he's looking to do it again for the lightweight championship belt. There's no doubt that the key for Maynard in this fight is to stifle Edgar with his superior size, which is the biggest advantage that "The Bully" will have in the fight.

Maynard, like Edgar, is a decorated former wrestler -- he was a high school state champion and an All-American as a co-captain at Michigan State University. One of his teammates was none other than former light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans. Maynard's wrestling abilities have carried him to an undefeated MMA record; there's simply not many people that can withstand Gray's grinding style.

In fact, Maynard's resume is just as impressive as Edgar's. He owns victories over Kenny Florian, Jim Miller, Dennis Siver, Roger Huerta, Nate Diaz and of course, Frankie Edgar. Most of these wins were decisions, and Maynard's taken some slack for being a boring fighter. Nevertheless, he's pretty damn effective.

Except when he tries to box with opponents. Against Roger Huerta and Nate Diaz -- two very good strikers -- The Bully completely abandoned his wrestling and attempted to stand up for most of the fights. His toughness allowed him to survive but it was clear he was not as good a boxer as Huerta or Diaz. Maynard was probably lucky to score split-decision wins in both those fights, and he had to resort to his takedowns late to pull those out.

At 5'8, Gray Maynard is built like a Mack truck as a lightweight, and once he gets a hold of opponents, they usually go down. He doesn't stand a chance on the feet against the hyperactive Edgar, so he will have to press the champion into the fence and drag this fight to the ground. He's seemed to have gone back to his strengths, as shown by his wrestling-centric domination of Kenny Florian in his last fight.

Frankie Edgar has probably evolved his full game further than Maynard's, but most people -- especially handicappers -- feel that it's not enough to stop The Bully's brute wrestling attack. We'll find out on New Year's Day.

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