Gray Maynard hopes to beat Joe Lauzon before fighting Nate Diaz for UFC lightweight title

Jun 22, 2012; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; Gray Maynard before fighting Clay Guida in a lightweight bout during UFC on FX at Revel Resort and Casino. Gray Maynard won the fight by split decision in the fifth round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE

December is a busy month for the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and its lightweight division. At UFC on Fox 5 on Dec. 8 in Seattle, division champion Ben Henderson will defend his title against number one contender Nate Diaz.

Then at UFC 155 on Dec. 29 in Las Vegas, Gray Maynard will return to the cage to battle Joe Lauzon, fresh on the heels of his incredible "Fight of the Night" and "Submission of the Night" winning performance against Jamie Varner.

If Maynard has his way, Diaz will take the title Henderson and he'll defeat Lauzon to set up a clash between the two.

In a recent interview with MMAInterviews.TV, "The Bully" talked about the match-up:

"Yeah, he's been doing good. The last one, he did a good job. He came back, tough scrap, looked good. That was probably the best that he's looked. He didn't gas out, he didn't try all kinds of jumping moves or choke holds or heel hooks in the first round to gas out. He looked good. I think it should be a good fight. He got dropped a couple times but he came back. I feel like I hit harder than a lot of people."

A victory would give Maynard his second straight including his split decision win over Clay Guida back at UFC on FX 4 in June. That came on the heels of his two epic battles against Frankie Edgar, the first going to a draw and the second ending when "The Answer" knocked Maynard out.

Would a win over Lauzon earn him another crack at the 155-pound crown? You decide, Maniacs.

Hear more from Maynard after the jump, including his thoughts on the Guida fight, more on Lauzon, and why he's picking Vitor Belfort to beat Jon Jones at UFC 152 in a couple weeks.

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