Gray Maynard isn’t the type of fighter to hand pick his opponent.
It’s that attitude that explains why he doesn’t really care who he’d face if he defeats Frankie Edgar to win the UFC lightweight title at UFC 125 in January.
Currently, final WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis is in line to fight for the belt next. While Maynard admits if he was coming into the UFC for the first time he’d want a little more experience, he’s happy to accept the challenge.
“I mean, if I was them, I would want (more time) of course just because that’s a huge switch over,” Maynard told MMAWeekly Radio about the WEC champion getting a title shot for his first fight in the UFC. “Just kind of ease your way into it, that’s how I would (do it). But it ain’t up to me, whatever they do I’ll take that fight.”
Maynard’s career has been guided by one very simple principle.
“That’s all it is, who and when,” Maynard stated on his fight preferences.
Maynard admits he has yet to see Anthony Pettis’ highlight reel “Showtime kick” that everyone was talking about after his win over Ben Henderson. He’s heard all about it, however, and looks forward to seeing it soon.
“That’s great for the sport, and great for him. I’m pumped to see it,” Maynard said.
The other big rumor floating around his title fight against Frankie Edgar in just over a week is the winner could be selected to coach “The Ultimate Fighter” opposite Pettis for the 13th season of the reality show.
“(Dana) hasn’t said, ‘hey, Gray do you want to be a coach?’ so I try not to jump to conclusions,” Maynard commented.
He of course got his start in the UFC during the fifth season of “The Ultimate Fighter,” and when prompted with the question of going home again for the reality show, he sounded less than enthusiastic about ever staying in the TUF house again.
“To a (expletive) home,” Maynard joked about the TUF house. “If you coach you don’t have to do that and stay there, so it’s not that bad actually. I coached a couple years, it wasn’t that bad.”
So living in the house, no, but coaching fighters on the show, yes. Before any steps back to “The Ultimate Fighter,” Maynard will try to wrap up his first UFC championship on New Year’s Day when he tries to go 2-0 against Frankie Edgar at UFC 125.