At the beginning of this year, Dana White told Gray Maynard that he felt he wasn’t ready to take on then lightweight champ BJ Penn. But with Frankie Edgar’s awesome upset victory over Penn this past Saturday, some fans are saying Maynard should get the next shot. And Maynard feels that he’s ready for him right now.
“I would love a shot,” Maynard said today “Any time you get that opportunity, a lifelong dream, you’ve got to jump on it. Of course, going up against Florian is great; (he has a) good name, and I can’t complain. But obviously I want the belt. I’ve beat a lot of top guys and [Florian] had a chance, he’s had two chances, and I want that chance too.”
Maynard said that he barely had a chance to watch the Penn vs. Edgar fight because so many of his friends were texting him. And while some fans feel that Edgar perhaps didn’t earn the unanimous decision victory, Maynard thinks he definitely does.
“It was close, of course,” Maynard said. “If you’re going for Penn, you could make the argument that he won. If you’re going for Edgar, you could make the argument he won. But all that counts is the judges. I think [Edgar] did enough to win. My hat’s off to him.”
Maynard says he has a great deal of respect for BJ, but feels that he certainly not unbeatable, and was in fact sick of hearing about it.
“I was getting tired of hearing about how Penn is unstoppable,” Maynard said. “You can’t really argue because he’s looked good in his last two fights. But styles make fights. I don’t think Kenny (Florian) had the tools, and I don’t think Diego (Sanchez) did as well. It just got old hearing he’s going up a weight once he wins, and there’s still a bunch of hungry guys chomping at the bit. You’ve got Tyson (Griffin), you’ve got me, and you’ve got (Kenny) Florian. The list goes on and on. Penn didn’t clear out the weight.”
Since being on “The Ultimate Fighter 5”, Maynard has had seven consecutive wins, with one being over Frankie Edgar at UFC Fight Night 13. Maynard recently called out UFC Fight Night 21 winner, Kenny Florian, stating that he wanted to have some fights while he waited for his title bout. But after this weekend’s upset win, he may not have to wait long.
“I was glad to have some proof that Penn is unbeatable,” Maynard said today. “Just like, ‘Look, there’s a lot of guys who can compete.’ Give us the chance. Give me the chance.”
Maynard was previously thinking to come back in July, but if he gets a chance at the belt, it may be sooner.
“If I get a chance to go for the belt, I don’t care when it is,” he said. “I’ll keep training and whenever they tell me, that’s fine.”