Nate Diaz is coming into this fight with an overall record of (11-4) with 8 wins via submission and 2 via KO/TKO. He won a must win fight in his last matchup as he was able to weather the storm from Melvin Guillard to submit him in the second round. Diaz is a notorious slow starter with a dangerous ground game, but he doesn't effectively use his length in the stand up department like his older brother Nate. He's lost the two fights prior to the Guillard fight by being overly reliant on his ground game, and allowing stronger wrestlers to control him. Well, that's exactly what he'll be facing on tonight against Gray Maynard. However, it's not the same Maynard that Diaz was able to submit on the TUF 5 show.
SBN coverage of UFC Fight Night 20: Maynard vs. Diaz
Gray Maynard comes into this fight with an overall record of (8-0) with 6 of those wins coming via decision. He defeated Roger Huerta in the main event of UFN 19 in which turned out to be a very good fight against a tough opponent. Maynard is a wrestler first and foremost, but is quickly evolving his skillset to become a more well rounded fighter. He has definitely improved more of his game than Diaz has since their initial fight on TUF and he'll get to prove that on tonight.
Maynard will be able to choose where he wants the fight to take place. If he wants to take Diaz down, I'm sure he would be able to do so and Diaz would probably invite that. That's where Diaz has the best chance of winning the fight with his submission game. However, Maynard may choose to keep the fight standing and try to implement some of his striking game as he has done more of in his past few fights. Anything can happen in MMA, but the likelihood of Diaz knocking Maynard out isn't very high. Diaz can take tons of punishment and keep right on coming for more. I think Maynard has learned enough submission defense that he can survive on the ground, but I wouldn't be surprised to see Diaz latch onto a guillotine during a slam or something to get the win. However, I think this is Maynard's fight to lose and I see him winning this one by decision. What say you?