Tomorrow night live from the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey, and broadcast LIVE on FX, elite lightweight Gray ‘the Bully’ Maynard and Clay ‘the Carpenter’ Guida will throw down in a five-round main event which will reshape the 155lbs division.
Maynard came within a single punch of ending Frankie Edgar’s title reign not once but in two classic fights last year, only to round out his trilogy with the now former champion 1-1-1. He is desperate to get another crack at the UFC 155lbs belt – but Guida has ambitions of his own and has vowed to knock out ‘the Bully’ to stake his own claim to be the next man in line for the winner of September’s Ben Henderson vs Frankie Edgar UFC title rematch.
Also on the FX broadcast, which starts 6pm/9pm ET/PT, is the rubber match between exciting lightweight strikers Sam Stout and Spencer Fisher. The pair are one win apiece in the trilogy which started in 2006.
Here are what the main and co-main eventers said before weighing in.
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Gray ‘the Bully’ Maynard, UFC lightweight
“My girl is pregnant and that changes your outlook in life. I don’t just want that belt for myself now, but to secure the future for my kid who’s about to come into the world. Being a world champion and having big fights secures my kid’s future.
“I’ve knocked the UFC world champion down five times and probably been as close to the title as you can get without actually holding it. I want to go one punch, one second, better next time. It was very frustrating not being able to get the win despite beating Edgar up, and it took a long time getting over it. But I’m back and I know I’m able to beat anyone in the division.
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“There’s a big traffic jam at the top of the lightweight division, you’ve got Clay up there, Nate Diaz has been looked great, and there’s Anthony Pettis plus Frankie is rematching with Ben Henderson in September. There’s a big traffic jam in the division now – and now it isn’t me causing it I think it sucks!
“Winning on Friday night against Guida isn’t good enough. I know I’ve got to knock him out, make a statement, to make my case for a title shot. I know it’s not likely I get another fight with Frankie so soon, but if Ben keeps the belt I think I make sense as No1 contender. I’ve already beat Diaz, but he’s earned his spot at the top of the division, and I’d be happy to fight him for No1 spot anytime.
“With the ‘hairgate’ stuff (the Maynard camp requested Guida’s long hair be braided during the fight) that was someone in my camp who requested that to the New Jersey Commission. It’s a fight – the hair don’t bother me but it is my camp’s jobs to worry about that stuff I guess.”
Clay ‘the Carpenter’ Guida, UFC lightweight
“The lightweight division is so stacked right now, I think it is safe to say I’ve got to knock Gray out to get a title shot. There’s five or six guys right now at 155lbs who are all one big punch or one big kick from being the No1 contender. Winning isn’t enough for any of us. Joe Silva and Dana White have a very tough job here – and I want to make their jobs easier for them by not only winning this fight but also winning in a way the fans want me to get the winner of the Henderson vs Edgar rematch.
“Gray is the most decorated college wrestler I’ve ever faced but this isn’t college wrestling. I wasn’t a technical wrestler but for MMA wrestling my sporadic movement and my tenacity – I will not let go of your leg or waist until I get you down – makes me the better wrestler in MMA. I think that will be the difference here but this guys is a monster and it will be a war.”
Sam Stout, UFC lightweight
“I’m very excited about this fight. It seems crazy it was 2006 when we first fought, just seems like yesterday but we’ve had so many fighters between then and now. I like the fact there’s someone in my career that fans will look back and say ‘those Stout v Fisher fights were awesome’. Obviously, I want to be the winner of the trilogy.
“Fighting on FX in the US is a great chance to fight in front of a large audience, and if this fight is as good as the first two then I think the win takes me up the rankings quite a bit.”
Spencer Fisher, UFC lightweight
“Whenever me and Sam Stout fight, the fans will get to see something a little special. We’ve just got two styles that make for great fights, it’s a little bit of magic, two very technical strikers who came to have a war.
“I’m 36 and people keep bringing that up but I feel great. I’m getting better with my weight all the time and that’s making me feel younger, not older.”