For Gray Maynard, it isn’t about going to another decision when he meets Frankie Edgar for the UFC lightweight title Saturday night at UFC 136. No, “The Bully” wants to end any and all questions that have come from his bout with Edgar that ended in a draw earlier this year.
“I know it’s easy to have that quote, ‘Don’t leave it up to the judges,’ but you’re in a championship fight and you’re going up against the top in the world,” said Maynard, in an interview with the UFC’s website .
“I don’t care who you talk to, if they know the sport, with two top athletes, it’s going to be a close one,” he continued. “I wasn’t pissed off at the judges. Whatever, it happens. At that time, I felt like I wanted to do it again. Over and over. I don’t care if I had to sign a contract that I had to go up against this guy 100 times to prove to everyone that I can beat this guy 100 times then I would have done that. I want to fight him. I’m not tired of fighting him. I want to fight him. I want to prove to everyone that I can beat him.”
Maynard has never lost in his professional MMA career, and the three-time wrestling NCAA Div. I All-American at Michigan State University has only the draw with Edgar and a no contest to keep his record from being perfect. Maynard also owns a win over Edgar, which came in 2008, by decision.
“There’s a question of who can beat who and that’s what I want to prove,” Maynard said. “That’s what drives me. I want him. I want to fight him. I want to prove it.”
For Maynard, the long hours in the gym preparing to fight Edgar will be something he can look back on when he is retired. For now, it is all about winning.
“I guess when I’m an old man and I’m having a couple beers it will be cool,” said Maynard, of fighting Edgar three times. “But right now, I’m amidst a war.”
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: Maynard is right. Once this bout with Edgar is finished, people will be looking back upon this series of bouts much like they did with other high-profile wars between two fighters. The UFC is going to continue to push the lighter-weight divisions, and Edgar and Maynard are going to be two of the focal points to that push. One of them, will be the leader with the gold belt around their waist after Saturday night.