Interview with UFC Fighter Gray Maynard Interviewed by Ben Tatar of CriticalBench.com - December 2010
Gray Maynard has a 9 second KO 3rd fastest in UFC history
Gray is second to Anderson Silva in longest winning streak in UFC history
Gray is the ONLY lightweight to go undefeated in 8 fights
Combined Gray's opponents have had over 100 UFC fights, in those 100 UFC fights only 3 times have those opponents lost their fight due to a KO or submission.
Gray is undefeated.
Every fighter Gray has fought, has a professional winning record.
Gray is the only man to beat Frankie Edgar.
Gray will be fighting Frankie Edgar January 1st for his first chance to capture the belt.
UFC 125 GRAY MAYNARD on Frankie Edgar...
"Frankie be prepared. Cause I want to beat Frank Edgar at his best!"
Gray has a resume that no other fighter has been able to duplicate before. Critical Bench presents to you, UFC superstar, GRAY MAYNARD!
Critical Bench: Gray, it's great to have you here today. We are interested in getting to know the man who will be fighting the Main Event at UFC 125 on New Years and the man who has been a total unstoppable force in the octagon.
GRAY: Thank you. It is great to be here with Critical Bench.
CRITICAL BENCH: Your 9 second KO is the 3rd fastest in UFC history. How did it happen?
GRAY: It was a left hook that hit him square. My opponent wasn't a top guy. It was all good and I liked that fight.
CRITICAL BENCH: Did it surprise you that you had the 3rd fastest KO in UFC history?
GRAY: It surprised me of course, 9 seconds and it's over. He isn't a top fighter, so it isn't something that I brag about. However, it's a cool fact to have that I'm the 3rd fastest.
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray you are second to Anderson Silva in longest winning streak in UFC history. That means your win streak is longer than Royce Gracie's, Chuck Liddell's, GSP's and any other UFC great. How do you stay so dominate for so long?
GRAY: I just really try to evolve with every chance. The sport changes every day. I think it is important to change as well. If you don't, you get passed up really quick. When you're going against the top guys over and over again, you have to add a little bit more or you will get beat.
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, you are the only lightweight in UFC history to go undefeated in 8 fights. What makes Gray different from everyone else?
GRAY: My thing is I love to evolve. I think with me, obviously the goal is to have the belt and hold onto the belt. A lot of people are scared of change, but I have done some stuff and I changed. Every time I have a camp, I try to change stuff and evolve. I have the best coaches and the best group of guys to train with.
CRITICAL BENCH: What if everything is working so well? Do you think there is always something to improve?
GRAY: There is always stuff to improve whether it's technical or mental. You gotta look at every aspect of the game. Do you do it just to do it or do you do it because it works? What you do in between camps determines what you do in everything.
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, according to your sister Misty, your combined opponents have had over 100 UFC fights. In those 100 UFC fights only 3 times have those opponents lost their fight due to a KO or submission. I also notice that every opponent you faced and beat has a professional winning record. How do you keep an undefeated record with such a tough professional fight schedule?
GRAY: hahaha, wow my sister keeps track of everything. I love my sister Misty. She's an amazing person who is always there for me and I love all of her support.
Ben, to answer your question I have gone up with the top guys and I pride the fact that I fight the guys no one else wants. That's why I have gone up against Edgar and where my fights were against the lefties for five fights. Everyone hates fighting lefties because it's a different style and a slower pace, but against lefties I had 5 wins in a row!
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, how did you get the nickname, "The Bully"?
GRAY: It comes from my dog Hank, a bullterrier that I rescued from a place that was neglectful. I knew a guy who had a couple pitbulls and a bullterrior and they would fight them. They were being abused. At the time his name was TANK and I would change it to HANK. So, I had to change him! I was like, what do you with a dog while in college? He was a bully, I had to train him and for me, every time I train, I train hard! So, we are BULLIES!
CRITICAL BENCH: Great story. Gray, you train year round. You have a new strength and conditioning trainer. What is your new strength and conditioning trainer like?
GRAY: My last year I got with a guy named Luke. He trained out of Athlete's Performance out of Arizona. He trains a lot of pro athletes for baseball, football and he just got a new job a couple of years ago as a strength and conditioning coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. I knew him for a long time, John Pascou. He trains Roy Jones Jr and he overseas Brock Lesnar's camps. It's all about the whole process to peak at the correct time. He is more of a performance coach. He is in Florida to help me peak on January 1st.
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, tell us about your training at your camp.
GRAY: I started at camp 13 weeks out. There was a week where I had to go to England, but the whole process has been going on for awhile. I had to heal up a couple of injuries. I go to the camp 2 times a day, every day. Once in awhile I take a day off. We do different stuff, sometimes static training, it really depends on what part of the camp we are in, it will change. It's all according to the camp to peak at the right time. For me, I have a whole process to be good on January 1st, 110%. It has been a really good camp. It has been a long one, but good and I'm gonna be prepared for January to win that belt.
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, tell us about your father Jan Maynard.
GRAY: While growing up my dad got me into wrestling when I was three. That was my sport for a long time. He was a time 2 time Ohio State Champ. Wrestling was my goal ever since I was a kid. My parents and family did teach me about the drive to compete. I appreciate them, they mean everything to me.
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, you have cauliflower ears. How did you get cauliflower ears?
GRAY: All the toughest wrestlers had cauliflower ears and they were so badass. I looked up to Tom and Terry Brands, Dan Gable, and my dad Jan Maynard who all had cauliflower ears. So, I didn't wear my headgear. It happens. I was in the 10th grade when it happened to me. Just a little story that's funny. I just cared about training and I wanted to be top of the world and that's it.
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray you love to drink beer and keep everyone rolling with quotes from movies, one liners and other antics. Tell us about that.
GRAY: I love to laugh. I train, that is all I do. Then when I'm not, let's have a good time. Let's enjoy life. When I'm not in the camps for my fight, I have a few beers and just laugh. Comedies is all I watch, I want to laugh, that's just me. I love stand up comedies, gotta enjoy life man because it's short. Live it!
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray you also enjoy mountain biking, hiking and wake boarding. Great stuff. What is it about those activities that you love? Can you do tricks?
GRAY: I usually train all year but if I'm not in the gym, I'm still doing stuff. I love mountain biking, hiking and wake boarding. I'm just enjoying life. There's a lot of cool stuff and it's a lot of fun for me. I can do some wake boarding tricks. I love the lake and heat. Gotta keep active and enjoy life.
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, so far in a UFC fight, what has been your most intense moment?
GRAY: When I fought Edgar. In round 1, I actually broke my hand. He caught me on a hook where my eye ball took all the punch. I was blurred for a long time, maybe for 2 weeks after the fight. My eyes were really screwed afterwards, so I was kind of messed up for the whole fight. I had a broken hand and blurred eyes.
CRITICAL BENCH: You still came back and won against Edgar!
GRAY: That's the whole and makes it even more impressive!
CRITICAL BENCH: Do you have any message for Frankie Edgar for UFC 125 on New Years?
GRAY" Frankie be prepared. Cause I want to beat Frank Edgar at his best!'
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray Maynard versus Frankie part 2, where everything is at stake! No better way to ring in the New Year! So, Gray, what fight do you remember the most?
GRAY: I remember my fight against Kenny Florian because that was my last one. It was a good fight and I was just glad that I had the chance for a title shot after that. They just come and go and it was awesome at the time, but gotta get back at the gym!
CRITICAL BENCH: Right, you beat Kenny and Kenny has been one of the best light weights in the world for awhile, very impressive. What is your mental training like before a fight?
GRAY: I like to get a good warm up in, sweat, tell jokes, laugh and just try to enjoy it. It's fun for me to fight! Then the cage door closes and it's time to get going, serious!
CRITICAL BENCH: I know this is a no brainer, but some people don't know. Let me ask you. If all the fighters from UFC 1 fought all the UFC fighters who we will see at UFC 125 on January 1st, would today's fighters win the UFC tournaments back from the earlier UFC Days?
GRAY: Yes. This is an actual sport where people train year round and are now good in everything. Of course it was tough back then but it has changed now. Today everyone is really good and prepared. The competition is just getting so good that the gap is closing for the top 20 guys. It's just really close.
CRITICAL BENCH: How do you see the future of the UFC?
GRAY: I see it evolving. More competition, there's gonna be a quicker pace, but there's gonna be closer crap fights because there are gonna be some good guys. It's just gonna get tougher and tougher.
CRITICAL BENCH: Do you have a favorite UFC moment?
GRAY: It's all fun for me.
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray what fight changed you the most?
GRAY: When I fought Dennis Evar. I just felt it was a sloppy fight and I was pretty pissed after I fought. After that I got with a coach named Gill Martinez and he has been unbelievable. That has changed me!
CRITICAL BENCH: How does Gray want to be remembered?
GRAY: I want to be remembered as a guy who really tried to learn the sport, evolved and never took the easy way out. He was a normal guy who worked his ass off to get to the top.
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, what was the best advice you were ever told.
GRAY: Best advice, don't eat the yellow snow!
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, what's your message for fans who look up to you?
GRAY: I appreciate the support, I train my ass off and I love the sport. I love my fans. It helps to know that I have that! For the times it gets tough, it's great that they are so there. Love my fans.
CRITICAL BENCH: Do you have any advice for the kids who want to be a UFC Fighter?
GRAY: Get in there! Hard work pays off. Just gotta be smart and try not to hang out with guys who don't want what you want. So, that's a key goal. You gotta be with guys who want what you want as well. Guys who want to train hard and work your ass off.
CRITICAL BENCH: Gray, it has been great talking to you today. You have really left a huge impact on the UFC! We cannot wait to see what you have in store for us next. Go win that title on January 1st and we wish you the best in every fight after that. Gray, in closing who would you like to thank?
GRAY: I want to thank my family, my teammates, Jessica, the people who support me and it's just an endless list. It's a great sport, let's keep it going. I appreciate all the support and help!!