Gray Maynard became a household name in 2007 when he took part on SpikeTV's fifth season of "The Ultimate Fighter". Prior to his time on the show, Maynard was a highly decorated NCAA Division I Collegiate wrestler, wrestling at Michigan State University. After college he was brought on to help UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn train and decided that he wanted to continue on to becoming a mixed martial artist.
Maynard most recently competed at "Ultimate Fight Night: Diaz vs. Guillard" where he was able to defeat Roger Huerta by split decision. It wasn't an easy fight as evidence by the scorecards, but Maynard remains honest and humble about his performance when he stated, "I think it was a good fight. I'm my own worst critic. I think the only round that could have possibly gone either way in the judges eyes was round one. In my eyes during the fight and after the fight, I thought I won that round also. I think I'm pretty honest about how I fight and what I see in my fights. By no means was I hurt or rocked at any point in the fight. He had a little flurry at the end of the first round, but I think I was able to get out of there without taking to much damage and do what I wanted for the majority of the round. The game plan was to use my footwork, pick my shots, make him miss and keep him on the outside. he's a very good inside fighter. We didn't want to give him any opportunities to use his strengths. I'm not trying to take anything away from Roger and his abilities, he's a tough kid and came to the fight prepared. My hats off to Roger and I gained a lot of respect for him. He's a great competitor, but I think I was able to implement my game plan that night and I personally don't think it was a split decision."
Even with a victory he still knows that each fight is an opportunity to learn something more about his craft. "After every fight I sit down with my coaches and review what I did wrong and what I did right. We definitely picked out mistakes I did and things to work on," said Maynard after his fight with Huerta.
Of course like most fighters there is still a pivotal fight for them. Maynard's was Dennis Siver at "Ultimate Fight Night: Swick vs Burkman". "Siver was really a changing point in my career. After that fight I really learned about how important it is to focus entirely on fighting and yourself when you're in training camp and for the most part year round. I was getting pulled a couple different directions and traveling, which left me little time to let my body recover and train the right way. By the time the fight rolled around I was a little broke down and fighting off the flu. There's no way you can have peak performance if you don't put in the time in all areas of your training. Also, I got with my boxing coach Gil Martinez directly after that fight, which is a main reason I've been able to learn and improve my striking. It still is a work in progress, but he is a very committed coach and I'm very willing to learn. So we work really well together. I also learned that I needed to be a student of the all the aspects of MMA. There is so much to learn and it doesn't happen over night. I'm just trying to focus on getting better everyday and soak in as much as I can."