Gray Maynard Set to Return Against Fabricio Camoes at UFC 176

Duane FinleyContributor IMay 20, 2014

Jun 22, 2012; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; Clay Guida (left) fights Gray Maynard in a lightweight bout during UFC on FX at Revel Resort and Casino. Gray Maynard won the fight by split decision in the fifth round.  Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Gray Maynard will be looking to get things back on track, and his mission to do so will start with Fabricio Camoes at UFC 176

The former two-time lightweight title challenger will face the Brazilian veteran when the UFC hits Staples Center in Los Angeles on August 2. The tilt between Maynard and Camoes will be a featured bout on a card that will be headlined by the highly anticipated rematch between featherweight champion Jose Aldo and Chad Mendes.

The matchup was initially reported by the Los Angeles Daily News on Monday and then confirmed on the UFC's Twitter account.

Dec 27, 2013; Las Vegas, NV, USA;   Fabricio Camoes weighs-in for his UFC Lightweight Bout on December 28 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Whereas the former three-time All-American wrestling standout kicked off his run under the UFC banner in 2007 on an eight-fight winning streak that earned him two shots at the 155-pound title, Maynard's path through the lightweight ranks has been a rough road as of late.

The 35-year-old returned from a lengthy stint on the sidelines in June 2012 to defeat Clay Guida, but he then suffered back-to-back losses to TJ Grant and Nate Diaz.

The former contender will need a win over Camoes in the worst way in order to remain relevant in a lightweight division that has grown more competitive over the past three years.

There are also heavy implications on the line where Camoes is concerned as well. The 35-year-old Rio de Janeiro native has amassed a 1-3-1 record during his time inside the Octagon. He is currently in the midst of a two-fight slump, with his most recent setback coming when Jim Miller defeated him via submission at UFC 168 last December. 


Duane Finley is a featured columnist for Bleacher Report. All quotes are obtained firsthand unless noted otherwise.