Gray Maynard spoiled Kenny Florian's homecoming and earned himself an opportunity at the UFC lightweight championship in the process.
Maynard's wrestling proved to be the difference as Florian could never kick it into gear. Maynard cruised to a unanimous decision
Feeling out process here in the early going. Florian fires a head kick that is mostly blocked. Halfway through the round and nothing of note has been landed. Brief exchange with both landing. Florian staggers Maynard with a right. Maynard to the body. Leg kick for Florian. Maynard looks for a takedown. He and Florian go flying into the cage. Maynard resets and has a body lock and slams Florian to the mat. Full guard with 50 seconds left. Maynard with two shots. Good finish to the round for Maynard. Close round.
More feeling out to start the second round. Both fighters land straights. Maynard hits Florian in the forehead. Both fighters wary of their opponent's strengths. Hard kick to the arm for Florian. Uppercut lands for Maynard. Maynard shoots in and takes a knee but goes through it. Florian fighting it but it's deep. Maynard all over him. Maynard drags him to the ground and into side control with 1:45 left. Florian's cut. Elbow for Maynard. Florian looking to push off the fence or scramble with a hip escape. Maynard with some punches. He gives up side control to stack Florian against the cage. Now he's in guard. Florian's left eye is in rough shape. Maynard ends the round in the guard. Maynard's round.
Florian's face is cleaned up well. Florian looking to press the action a little more here. Maynard blocks a high kick. Maynard ducks a Superman punch. Florian with a good right. He misses a spinning back kick. Maynard lands a nice shot. Maynard shoots and takes Florian down with relative ease with 3:15 left. Maynard standing in Florian's guard. Florian trying up kicks. Florian trying to creep the legs up Maynard's back but Maynard is safe. Referee wants activity and Maynard responds with two punches. He's landing some shots now, nothing dangerous. Florian tries to stand but Maynard puts a stop to that. Maynard tries throwing a diving in punch and it gives Florian the chance to stand but Maynard takes him right back down. Florian looking for an omaplata with a minute left but Maynard fights it off. Florian tries the omaplata again but Maynard escapes with 30 seconds left. He lands a shot. Maynard lets him stand with 18 seconds left. Florian doesn't even throw a punch on the elusive Maynard. Big, big win for Maynard.
The judges 30-27, 30-27 and 29-28 all for Maynard, the winner by unanimous decision.