If you invite them, they will come ... maybe.
UFC Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo is preparing to defend his title against one of the best wrestlers in the division, former All American college wrestler, Chad Mendes.
Mendes, the former WEC standout, is undefeated in his young mixed martial arts career and relies heavily on his wrestling background. So much so, that he has won six out of his last seven fights via unanimous decision. "Money," who naturally uses his wrestling skills to dictate the pace of the fight, will definitely pose problems for Aldo when it comes to the grappling department.
How does Aldo plan on preparing for such a dangerous wrestler? By training with another wrestling guru, of course; specifically, former lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard.
Maynard, who was co-captain of the Michigan State University team during his college days and a 2004 U.S. Olympic Wrestling team hopeful, has also relied on his wrestling pedigree to get the job done throughout his career and has the credentials to be of great assistance to Aldo's ever expanding game.
Speaking to Sherdog.com, "Scarface" says he hopes to bring Maynard in to help prepare him for his fifth title defense against Mendes, which headlines UFC 142 in Rio de Janiero, Brazil, on Jan. 14, 2012.
"We have a big interest in bringing Maynard to train with me. He has such strong wrestling and we want people that (have) the same game Chad Mendes does. Mendes is a competitive and hard guy to fight. Me and Maynard have been in touch since UFC 136, and he also said it's his will to train with us at Nova Uniao, but nothing is confirmed thus far, especially because of the Thanksgiving holiday. I'm waiting for the answer."
Maynard, who was last seen at UFC 136 on October 8, 2011, being knocked out at the hands of UFC lightweight champion and arch nemesis Frankie Edgar in the final chapter of their trilogy, recently parted ways with long time camp Xtreme Couture out of Las Vegas, Nevada.
After suffering the first loss of his mixed martial arts career, Maynard seeks newer pastures to broaden his horizens in order to climb the ranks of the UFC lightweight division once again. Though Maynard has not settled on a new gym he can call home, he has stated that he wouldn't be opposed to traveling to as many gyms in order to train with as many new partners as possible in hopes of increasing his MMA knowledge.
A few training sessions with one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world would definitely benefit Maynard as much as it would Aldo.
But is bringing in "The Bully" enough to help "Scarface" neutralize the wrestling skills of Chad Mendes? Or will "Money" prove that he has what it takes to dethrone the UFC featherweight champion regardless of who he trains with?