Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 18 Finale blew the roof off the Mandalay Bay Events Center last Saturday night (Nov. 30, 2013) in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Many combatants were left licking their wounds after a wild night of fights, including Jessica Rakoczy, who was steamrolled by Julianna Pena in the very first round (highlights here). And David Grant, who was denied the chance of becoming "The Ultimate Fighter" by Chris Holdsworth (read about it here).
But, which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover now two days removed from the show?
After starting out the aggressor, it didn't take long for Maynard to fall victim to the infamous barrage of punches that Nate and older brother Nick Diaz are known for, becoming a stumbling punching bag for the scrappy lightweight which began with a perfectly placed straight left.
Prior to his technical knockout (TKO) loss to the Stockton native, Maynard was knocked out by T.J. Grant at UFC 160 just five months ago. And for those keeping count, that's three knockout losses in his last four bouts, getting flattened by Frankie Edgar at UFC 136 in October of 2011.
That's quite a contrast in performances for a fighter who stormed out of the gates in his mixed martial arts (MMA) career to the tune of 10 straight victories including wins over Kenny Florian, Roger Huerta, Jim Miller and the aforementioned Edgar.
Maynard has been fighting for seven years now, and at the age of 34, it could be that his best years are behind him. Sure, there have been others with worse losing streaks who are still competing, but Maynard hasn't just been defeated, he's been knocked out.
It was a sad sight to see him taking punches to the head when he was obviously out on his feet. It was even sadder to see him collapse to his knees after trying to walk it off once the fight was called. MMA is a violent sport, one that athletes sign up for voluntarily.
Having said that, I hope Maynard, for his sake, takes a hard look at his future and determines whether or not he wants to keep putting his brain through so much punishment. A decision he needs to voluntarily make before another beat-down like the one he suffered at the hands of Diaz forces him out of the fight game.
Whether he wants to get out or not.