Gray Maynard (10-0-1) experienced a setback in his last fight against UFC lightweight champion Frankie “The Answer” Edgar (13-1-1) when the contest was ruled a draw; at least that’s how he sees it.
The former Michigan State Spartan battered Edgar in the opening round back at UFC 125 in January, but couldn’t find a way to put Edgar away. He took the champ into the deep waters. It wasn’t enough, however, to earn the victory and more importantly the UFC lightweight title, but a lesson was learned after going through such a close fight.
Heading into this Saturday night’s trilogy at UFC 136, Maynard harkens back to his wrestling roots as a child where he learned that once you get to those championship fights that the hardest challenge lays ahead.
“I’ve been doing this from the time I was a kid and obviously at the beginning of the tournament you can have the pins and you can have it quick, but the championship matches are always going to be close,” Maynard told MMAWeekly Radio.
“It’s rarely a case where you ever have got the Anderson (Silva), that dude’s unreal. As you get closer and closer you have to be prepared so that you’re the best and again I go back and look at the tape and I adjust a couple things.”
The Xtreme Couture disciple was a three-time All-American wrestler at Michigan State and already holds a victory over Edgar. Maynard believes it’s his profound hatred of losing that drives him to succeed and will push through all obstacles in any way possible to reach his goal and become the champion.
“I hate to lose, it just kills me to even try to talk about it. I don’t care if it’s a championship, I don’t care it’s a three-rounder, I don’t care if it’s checkers, if I’m putting my name on the line, I hate losing, period. Obviously, the goal is to become a champ and be the best or I wouldn’t be doing this.
“If I didn’t have the goal to be the best, there’s no point in trying to do this. I’ll do a job to where I do want to be the best, because I hate to half-ass stuff. I want to be a champion, I want to evolve, and I want to be a part of history in the sport of MMA.”