Former UFC lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard has been released by the UFC after spending over 12 years with the promotion.
MMAjunkie.com first reported that Maynard and the UFC had parted ways.
Maynard (13-7-1, 1 NC) was one of the top lightweights in the world between 2006 and 2011. He made his UFC debut in 2007 with a memorable double KO slam No Contest against Rob Emerson, then won his next eight fights which included notable wins over Nate Diaz, Jim Miller, and Frankie Edgar.
Maynard then got his chance to rematch Edgar for the title at UFC 125 in January 2011 and the two fought to a split draw in one of the greatest fights in MMA history. Maynard was granted an immediate rematch but was brutally knocked out for his first career loss in the pair’s trilogy fight at UFC 136.
Unfortunately for Maynard, the loss to Edgar was a sign of a decline to come. Between 2012 and 2019, Maynard went just 3-6 inside the Octagon, including a KO loss to Nik Lentz at UFC 229 that turned out to be the last fight of his UFC career. He is now 40 years old.
Now a free agent, Maynard will likely get a look by PFL and Bellator just based on name value alone. But given his struggles, it’s possible this could be the end of the line for the long-time UFC lightweight contender, though he says he plans on fighting again.
“I don’t know. We’re trying to work some stuff out,” Maynard told MMAjunkie. “I’m not with the UFC anymore, so I’m trying to work some stuff out, check what’s going to make sense, and probably be at featherweight. So that’s the next step.
“It’s wide open. I’ve always dealt with the UFC like on a contractual term, and just kind of who I’m going up against, and basically, ‘Yeah, yeah, yeah, let’s do it.’ And now that I’m done, I kind of wanted to have a manager and let them deal with it.”
Where do you think Gray Maynard will wind up next?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 12/4/2019.