Welcome to your New Role: Gray Maynard

| October 11, 2011 | 10:24 am | Reply

After Saturday Night’s TKO loss to UFC Lightweight Champion Frankie Edgar, the book has been written on the trilogy known as Edgar v. Maynard.

The road was long and tough for Gray Maynard to get his deserved title shot in January 2011. Being only the second man in UFC history to win eight straight fights before getting his first title shot. The 4th ranked lightweight battled uphill against top contenders in Jim Miller, Roger Huerta, Nate Diaz and Kenny Florian. A resume like that normally gets you a title shot pronto.

But after those eight fights, a draw in January and the recent stoppage loss against Frankie Edgar leaves Gray Maynard out in the cold, and soon he will start forming a habit in the UFC known as the “Jon Fitch treatment.”

Gray Maynard and Jon Fitch both have a lot in common, both are grinder wrestlers, both are not heavily pushed by the UFC, both do not stand out as “great personalities” , both had to fight and win in eight straight fights to earn a title shot and finally neither one of them finish fights.

All of those traits that Gray Maynard possesses, alongside a TKO loss to the champion leaves Gray Maynard in a role only few men such as Jon Fitch, Jim Miller and Clay Guida (to name a few) have taken on in stride and that is the role of the Gate Keeper for the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

For those who do not know what this term means in fighting here it is in my own words:

“A GateKeeper in MMA or Boxing is a fighter who faces all adversaries, but yet never finds the main role in the organization(s) that he or she fight for. Also, a Gate Keeper seems to be the main name for a potential breakthrough fighter to gain fame/money/career improvement . New athletes/fighters are looking for names like these to propel themselves into the top-tier of fighting.”

Gray Maynard had to win eight straight (as I keep mentioning) to get his first crack at the title. With one draw and one loss, how many more fights would Gray have to win if Frankie Edgar were to remain champion to garnish another title shot?

Should Gray Maynard look at the option of either jumping up a weight class to the Welterweight Division, or potentially cutting more weight and dropping down to fight at Featherweight?

After this loss on Saturday, Gray Maynard has fallen back into the middle of the deck of the lightweight division. I don’t expect him to be a main eventing a UFC PPV or an Ultimate Fight Night card. I don’t expect him to see tough opponents like Gilbert Melendez, Anthony Pettis or Donald Cerrone right off the bat. I don’t see him fighting a one loss opponent like Melvin Guillard or Jim Miller (again) because that would set back all three fighters moving in the division.

So now that it is all said and done, Gray Maynard is a man who once again has to go fighting for scraps and having to be the opening fighter on a PPV or FX prelim main event, so Gray Maynard welcome to your new role as “The Gate Keeper.”

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Category: Exclusive, MMA, Opinion, UFC

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