Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Lightweight Gray Maynard is eying a move to featherweight division, but only if certain mixed martial arts (MMA) match ups are presented, the most significant of which would be a fourth bout with rival Frankie Edgar.
Last week, "The Bully" sent out a tweet in reply to a fan who asked if he could make 145 pounds. Maynard said he was "thinking about it," and from there the story began to pick up traction.
Many fight fans wondered why Maynard would want to drop down a weight class when he is one of the top contenders in the lightweight division. And on Tuesday's (Feb. 12, 2013) edition of "UFC Tonight" on FUEL TV, correspondent Ariel Helwani reported on a recent conversation he had with the two-time 155-pound challenger.
According to the report, a drop to featherweight doesn't exactly pique Maynard's interest, but if he was offered a fight with "The Answer," he would be more than willing to try and make the drop.
"I spoke to [Maynard] yesterday he said the only way, the only way he can actually be convinced to go down to featherweight is if they give him a fourth fight against Frankie Edgar. He doesn't even know if he can make featherweight, but he could be convinced if they maybe throw the Frankie Edgar fight, a coaching spot on TUF which Chael [Sonnen] has now, or an Anthony Pettis fight at featherweight. But right now, he said that 155 is his home. His knee is feeling better; it's just his hamstring that's bothering him. He doesn't know when he'll be back."
Maynard (11-1-1, 1 NC) is currently 1-1-1 against Edgar, with the most recent being a knockout loss at UFC 136 in Oct. 2011, a fight that marked the first defeat of Maynard's career. Edgar recently moved down to featherweight after a two-year run as the lightweight champion, but fell short in his debut at the weight class, losing a unanimous decision to Jose Aldo at UFC 156 earlier this month.
The American Kickboxing Academy (AKA)-trained product is coming off a split decision victory over Clay Guida last summer and was expected to face Joe Lauzon at UFC 155 in December before a knee injury forced him off the card.
Maynard also mentions a fight with Anthony Pettis or a coaching spot on The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) reality show; however, both those options seem unrealistic at this point with "Showtime" tied up with a fight against Aldo (who Maynard will not fight) and the status of TUF being unknown beyond the current season, which featured UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen as coaches.
The 33-year-old is clearly not too keen on cutting the additional 10 pounds to make the featherweight limit, but as we know, Maynard has wanted to settle the score with Edgar from the moment their last bout ended. And he would be willing to put the extra strain on his body to make a fourth fight happen.