Another weekend of fisticuffs has come and gone as UFC Fight Night 63 blew the roof off the Patriot Center last Saturday (April 4, 2015) in Fairfax, Virginia.
Plenty of fighters were left licking their wounds, including Ricardo Lamas, who was knocked out in the very first round by Chad Mendes (see it again here). And Jorge Masvidal, who was
robbed outpointed by Al Iaquinta in their three-round scrap (recap).
Oh, and if you didn't like that controversial decision, well "f--k you!"
But which fighter is suffering from the worst post-fight hangover, now 48 hours removed from the show?
Going into Fairfax, "The Bully" was on the worst losing streak of his career, having dropped three straight, two by first-round knockout, the other in the second frame. The former No. 1 lightweight contender looked to stop the bleeding and perhaps keep his spot on a jam-packed roster.
Instead, Gray was outworked and outscored by Alexander Yakovlev en route to a clean sweep on the judges' scorecards. Whether first-round knockout or losing after 15 grueling minutes, a loss is a loss. And while many would like to give Maynard a moral victory for seeing the bout through to the end, the fact of the matter is, he lost his fourth straight.
Since getting knocked out by Frankie Edgar in 2011, Maynard seems to have lost a step. Sure, he defeated Clay Guida shortly thereafter (via razor-thin split decision), but Gray just hasn't been himself since the night "The Answer" cleaned his clock in Houston.
In fairness, prior to losing to Yakovlev -- who was on a two-fight skid himself -- Gray's opponents weren't exactly scrubs, as his three straight defeats came at the hands of Nate Diaz, T.J. Grant, and the heavy-handed Ross Pearson.
Still, the question remains: Whats up with Gray?
That's a question that perhaps only he can answer. And he better come up with one soon, or Dana White and Co. won't be so generous when it comes to thinning the herd the next time around.
As Frank Mir has shown, despite hitting the lowest of lows in your mixed martial arts (MMA) career, all it takes is one solid performance (like this one) to give yourself a much-needed confidence boost and more time with the world's preeminent MMA promotion.
For Gray, while it seems that he still has a job with UFC, he better make the most of his next opportunity (if he gets one) and dazzle and impress his employers if he wants it to remain that way.
Perhaps a fight against Adriano Martins, who's on a two-fight skid, will be a good gauge to see just where exactly Maynard is and how much he has left in the tank.
Question is, will he stick around to find out? Or will "The Bully" call it wrap on a career that saw him on the verge of claiming the 155-pound strap in 2011?