Winner of Gray Maynard vs. TJ Grant at UFC 160 Gets Next Shot at Benson Henderson

April 21, 2013
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Gray Maynard vs TJ GrantFinal Strikeforce lightweight champion Gilbert Melendez took UFC titleholder Benson Henderson to the wire at UFC on Fox 7 on Saturday night in San Jose, Calif., losing to him via a split decision. But for people arguing that Melendez should have gotten the nod and at least deserves an immediate rematch, that’s not going to happen.

UFC president Dana White, closing out the UFC on Fox 7 post-fight press conference, quelled any speculation about a rematch by announcing that another pair of contenders would determine who gets the next shot at Henderson.

Gray Maynard is ranked number three (in the official UFC Rankings). TJ Grant is ranked number seven,” said White. “Those guys are gonna fight at UFC 160 on May 25. The winner of that fight is gonna fight Ben Henderson next.”

Maynard (11-1-1) has twice before fought for the UFC lightweight championship, both times against the same man, Frankie Edgar. The first time they fought to a draw, setting up an immediate rematch. Edgar knocked Maynard out in the second fight, sending him back to the drawing board.

He bounced back with a win over Clay Guida in the UFC on FX 4 headliner last summer.

Now he’s just one fight removed from returning to the title picture.

Grant (20-5) never fought for a UFC belt, but has been tearing through the lightweight division since making his 155-pound debut at the final UFC on Versus event in October of 2011.

He has reeled off consecutive victories over Shane Roller, Carlo Prater, Evan Dunham, and Matt Wiman.

White gave no details on when he expects the winner of that fight to challenge Benson Henderson, only that the winner would be the number one contender.

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  • Glad to know Maynard is not only in the mix but fighting for the title shot against Henderson. Almeida, Hendricks and Kim all beat TJ Grant so I don’t see Maynard losing this. And as far as Maynard/Henderson goes Gray just needs to use his wrestling to get the take down and control him the entire fight on the ground. I can see Henderson possibly winning by TKO with the way he mixes it up and those kicks though.

    • shakejunt

      i don’t think you’re giving grant enough credit. he has double gray’s experience and gray is coming off a long layoff after a fight that he barely got to show anything in. grant just dismantled wiman so gray better be ready for the exits off the clinch.

      and really, henderson by tko? dude hasn’t won by tko in 4 years. it really seems like you’re making these predictions based solely on how they’ve lost in the past.

      • I’m not looking past Grant and your right I’am going on how we lost in the past. Gray is up there with the guys who beat him though when it comes to grappling so that’s why I’m giving him the edge in this fight. Only my opinion I have nothing against Grant. And Henderson by tko possibly if he keeps the pressure on and doesn’t get taken down. I really like the way he fights. I’m not saying he will for sure win that way but I could see it. How would you see Grant/Henderson playing out if they fight?

        • shakejunt

          i could see grant going after a couple sub attempts and burning himself out leading to ben working a sub himself, but most likely a clear decision.

          • Seems more then likely. Let’s see how he handles Maynard first.

    • Madmmax

      I don’t believe either of these guys should get a tittle shot. Maynard is always tough, but I dont believe a split decision over Guida is enough to get him another shot. Grant is on a 4 fight win streak, those aren’t big enough names to get him a shot. If he beats Maynard decisively, I’d understand if he got it.
      Most common sense to me is to give it to Josh Thompson. What he just did to Nate Diaz was brilliant. Otherwise, I’d say Petis, but he decided to go down in weight.

      • Thompson for sure deserves to be next in line or at least in a fight for #1 contender I can’t argue with that. Who else can you think of to fight Henderson? TJ hasn’t had any big names but he looked good in those fights and Gray has been around a while now and is still a contender so I just think it’s what the UFC came up with.

    • Mark McDowall

      I’ve never been a Maynard fan but I think he wins against Grant, BUT if it is another one of his lay and prey victories then the shot goes to Thompson. Maynard has finished 1 of his 12 fights in the UFC, and with the exception of his fights with Frankie Edgar, they have all been boring.

      • I wouldn’t mind it being Thompson vs the winner of this fight.

      • Lucas Freire

        I’m not happy to agree with you,Gray’s advantage is stylistical,TJ Grant showed a HUGE evolution on a small window of time…I wanted to see him being able to get a title shot.

      • shakejunt

        don’t forget he finished himself

        • Mark McDowall

          This is true…and the best part of that fight is when he was arguing with the ref saying he was fine as he fell on his face!!

    • Sir_Roy

      Honestly, Henderson’s TDD seems stronger by the day. He might score a take down or two, but I don’t think Gray will keep Ben down long. I see Henderson winning that fight on the feet.

      • I think his kickboxing would be the key victory. Gray has great boxing and has been working with AKA but Bendo has been doing martial arts a long time and has more experience with kickboxing. Could be a good fight though, let’s see how Gray performs against Grant who’s an up and coming tough guy.

  • What the hell happen with Showtime Pettis…. Just because he didn’t want to wait again and chose to call out Aldo…. He already beat Smooth Henderson… UFC is the best of the best right. I want to see the best vs the best…

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      • Maddawgmar

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    • Maddawgmar

      Pettis asked for a fight against Jose Aldo. And if that fight happens then Pettis may never get a shot at 155. I see Aldo winning that fight.