In this edition of Thunder Chat, we are talking with UFC lightweight fighter Gray Maynard. Maynard has an impressive 9-0-1 record so far in his career with a knockout that will not soon be forgotten. In a 2007 bout, Maynard knocked out Joe Veres only 9 seconds into the first round. That should give you an idea of the power of Gray Maynard. Maynard spent time in Las Vegas growing up and attended Bonanza High School before transferring to Cleveland, Ohio and attending Lakewood St. Edwards. At St. Ed’s, he was a State Champion going 135-16 and having undefeated seasons both his sophomore and senior years. After high school, Maynard headed north to Michigan State University where he wrestled alongside former UFC lightweight champion Rashad Evans. There he compiled an overall 84-30 record and earned All American Honors. Maynard is now enjoying success in the UFC and is currently the only fighter who holds a victory over current lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. His next fight will be in August against Kenny Florian. With a victory against K-Flo, we have to believe Maynard will get his shot at the belt.
– Any pre-fight rituals or superstitions?
Not really. I just like to be organized in my hotel room, so I know where all my gear is and to keep occupied during the day of the fight. I also like to workout the morning of my fight to wake up an get my body going.
– Is there a certain type of music or song that you listen to before a fight to get yourself ready?
There’s a lot of songs that get me going. 2 pac, Sublime, Pearl Jam, Young Jeezy are some of the artist I like. But usually I like to warm up then joke around with my coaches and team right before my fight. it relaxes me.
– How does training with BJ Penn compare to training with Randy Couture?
Both are very knowledgeable about the sport. I would say BJ taught me more about moves and technique, while Couture taught me more about actual training, metal preparation, and peaking methods.
– So you went to high school in Lakewood, OH for a couple of years. Any chance you are a Browns/Indians/Cavs fan? If not, who are your teams?
I’m a big fan of all of them!! My relatives grew up and still live in Cleveland so my roots run deep. I do like to watch my buddy Patrick Willis, he plays for the 49ers.
– You wrestled alongside Rashad Evans at Michigan State. Were you guys close or just teammates?
We were close. He’s been a great friend, we actually roomed together on all our road trips for competitions.
– Was there any revenge factor in your last fight against Nate Diaz, since he beat you in the semi-finals of TUF 5?
Of course, I’ve been wanting to get that loss back ever since it happened. It was really great getting that win.
– What is the hardest submission move to counter?
If you train hard and know what your doing there shouldn’t be any moves you can’t counter.
– What are your thoughts on the way Anderson Silva handled the fight with Demian Maia?
I think he got to emotional during the fight and that can be the worst thing to do sometimes. I think he got tired because of it and couldn’t compete to the best of his ability.
– You are the only fighter to have taken down new lightweight champion Frankie Edgar. Do you think it’s time for a rematch or title shot?
I got to fight Kenny Florian first on Aug 28th in Boston.
– Did you score the BJ Penn vs. Frankie Edgar fight closer than the judges?
I wasn’t really scoring it. But it definitely was a close fight.
1.) Favorite restaurant in Vegas?
Zabbas = healthy mexican food, Lindo Michoacan = real mexican food, Pasta Mia = italian food, Cracked Egg = breakfast, and Capitol Grill = Fine Dining
2.) Toughest fighter in the UFC?
I really like what Junior Dos Santo’s and Cain Velasquez are doing a great job at heavyweight, Anderson Silva is still the best p4p fighter in the world.
3.) If you could be any character from Saved By the Bell, who and why?
Screech because he got to do porn afterwards! Hahahahaha
Big thanks to Gray for taking time out of his very busy schedule to answer our questions and good luck to him when he takes on Kenny Florian in August!