Is It Gray Maynard's Time, or Will His Chances Go Up in Smoke?

Jack CorsiContributor IJuly 2, 2010

Since coming to the UFC, Gray "The Bully" Maynard has been somewhat unstoppable. He has not lost a fight in the UFC or in his overall record. His only slip-up was a Double TKO against Rob Emerson at The Ultimate Fighter 5 finale.
But if he is undefeated, why did he get no shot at BJ Penn's Lightweight title? There have been many different reasons, but there really is one big one—he felt that he was not ready. While he passed that up, Frankie Edgar, a man he had beaten before, beat Penn.
Now that the time has come, will Maynard be ready?
In his previous fights, Maynard has been overpowering his opponents with his strong striking and his well-proven wrestling skills. But what many believe he does not have is the knockout power that could make his fight game even better.
With wins over Edgar, Nate Diaz, and Roger Huerta, Maynard has shown that he can beat the well-known guys. But his biggest test will be Kenny "Kenflo" Florian at UFC 118. If he is to win that, then he will be undoubtedly be the No. 1 contender. Florian has beaten proven fighters as well, those being Joe Stevenson, Clay Guida, and, like Maynard, Roger Huerta.
If Maynard is to lose to Florian, it is said that Maynard lost a golden opportunity and will regret it.
The winner of the Florian-Maynard fight is undoubtedly the No. 1 contender for the Lightweight Championship. Maynard could be on the road to the title with a win or the road to redemption with a loss.
Now with all talking and records put aside, this fight between "The Bully" and "Kenflo" has a chance to be a Fight of the Year contender .

If Maynard is to win this fight, many will be shocked, but don't be surprised to see so many jumping on his bandwagon. He has the potential to go a tear through the division. He has the potential to hold the title for a long time, but he could also fall early.
If Maynard is to beat Florian and beat the winner of the Penn-Edgar rematch, then he will be the champ. But how long could he hold it for? Will he fall prey to an early upset like GSP did, or will he be like Anderson Silva and hold the title for a long period of time?
When Gray fights Florian, some questions will be answered, but not all. If he is to win against Florian, will he then prove that he is an unstoppable force? Or will he show that he was a product of all the hype in the division?
No one will know until UFC 118, when Gray meets Kenny Florian for the first time in the octagon.