EXCLUSIVE | Javier Mendez is Helping Gray Maynard Piece Together his Puzzle
By JAKE CHASTAIN
| AKA head coach Javier Mendez stopped in shop this past Wednesday with our boys over at BJPenn.com Radio and discussed several topics regarding his gym in San Jose, the consistency of their success, and how training guys like Gray Maynard is becoming more of a puzzle than a complete fighter transformation.
Maynard spent much of his UFC career training in Las Vegas but recently left Sin City for the California coast. Finding a new home at AKA is what Maynard is hoping will get him over the hump and help him finally win that coveted UFC lightweight title that has eluded him twice already. Javier Mendez spoke about how great Maynard already is and how coaching him is so much different than training a new fighter from scratch. Here is what Mendez had to say about coaching Maynard:
“The thing about Gray is that he’s been with us for a little bit over a year and, you know, I was the Head Coach but I never interacted with him. This is the first time I’m actually working with him because he asked me and I said, ‘sure.’ So I’ve been working with him and, um, I didn’t take anything that he had because he’s got great coaching, he’s got good…really, really good stand-up from Gil Castillo, um, not Castillo, I forgot Gil’s last name but anyways, he’s got great boxing already from Gil so I’m not taking nothing away. But those guys try to change it. I just add to what I see is the puzzle. I don’t take nothing away. I just add. So I added a few elements to him and that’s it. You know, he’s already had great training, he’s already fought for the world title twice so it’s not like I can say I transformed this guy. No, I just gave him the mental confidence and added a few new tools to his tool shed.”
Maynard will take on TJ Grant this Saturday on the main card of UFC 160. Dana White has already stated that the winner of this fight will be granted a title shot against UFC lightweight champion Benson Henderson. Maynard is looking for a third shot at the title and is hoping that the third time will be the charm. After leaving Vegas and training for over a year at AKA in San Jose is Maynard finally ready to claim his spot atop the UFC lightweight division? His coach Javier Mendez thinks he can do it. What do you think fight fans?
Be sure to catch all the action this Saturday, May 25th, at UFC 160 in Las Vegas and live on PPV.
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