Gray Maynard will be stepping into the Octagon Friday night for the first time with a blemish on his record. Now 10-1-1 (1 NC), Maynard has three things on his mind: Clay Guida, the 155 lb. belt, and Frankie Edgar.
"Those are three important things to me," Maynard told UFC Ultimate Insider.
Maynard partially credits Frankie Edgar, the man to deal the him his first career loss in MMA via TKO in their second title fight, and third match overall, for forcing the Michigan State collegiate wrestler to reevaluate his training and career's direction.
"Losses are always hard," Maynard shared. "You know, you work hard, you put your heart into it; your sweat, your blood and then it's hard to take. After that fight there were a lot of sleepless nights and going everything in my head-- looking at my camp and where I train and everything… So that's where I had to change everything up."
Maynard headed down to Brazil after he came up short against Edgar to help UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo prepare for his title defense against Chad Mendes. There, the "Bully" explained, seeing young impoverished Brazilians train to achieve their dreams, helped Maynard regain his passion for mixed martial arts.
"For me going down there (to Brazil) was kind of like kick starting my career again. I saw a lot of guys training, hungry, that came from nothing."
After returning to the States, Maynard made the move from Xtreme Couture in Las Vegas, NV and settled at American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California, a move that has the "Bully" admittedly "stoked again" about the sport he has now been involved in for more than six years.
Feeling reinvigorated, Maynard looks to get past Clay "The Carpenter" Guida this Friday night in his next step towards the lightweight belt, or a shot at revenge with nemesis, Frankie Edgar. Coverage for the main card of UFC on FX: Maynard vs. Guida begins at 9 PM EST from the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
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