Gray Maynard has been a top contender at lightweight for quite a while, so what would make him want to drop to featherweight? Well, that is the question on a lot of people’s minds after he announced via Twitter that he was contemplating a move. Also, in a later tweet, he said that the move would not be permanent. What could make a big lightweight like Maynard try to cut the ten pounds? It most likely has to do with Frankie Edgar.
If you follow Maynard on Twitter, he talks about a fourth match with Edgar often, and it must be an issue that weighs heavy on his mind. With how the first three fights went it, is easy to see why he wants a fourth, though. The fights between Edgar and Maynard, especially the second and third, cemented both as exciting fighters and grew their fan bases tremendously.
The first fight was no fight of the year contender because Maynard outwrestled Edgar to a decision victory. When the title was on the line, it was a different story. Both threw everything at each other, with Maynard rocking Edgar in the first round. Edgar’s resilience made their second fight close enough for the judges to score it a draw. The third match looked to be going the same way, but Edgar turned it up in the third round, earning a TKO win after once again being rocked in the first.
If Maynard were to stay at 155 he could be a win away from a title shot. The UFC has him ranked third in the division, and the only fighters above him are Gilbert Melendez and Anthony Pettis since champions are not ranked. Melendez is already getting his title shot at Benson Henderson, and Pettis has dropped down to 145 for a shot at Aldo. If Maynard were to get one fight in and win over another top contender he could be next in line.
Plus, a drop to 145 makes no sense considering that Aldo and Maynard train together and most likely would not want to fight one another. This may be a spot where exacting revenge over Edgar may not be a great career choice. The drop to 145 could drain Maynard and put him at the back of the line for a lightweight title shot if he were to lose. It is about time fighters stuck to their own weight class and worked their way up the ladder instead seeking glory above or below where they fight.