On October 8 in Houston, Texas, Gray "The Bully" Maynard is prepared to unleash nine months of pent-up frustration on the current UFC lightweight champion, Frankie Edgar.
Speaking with Sportsnet.ca in Canada, Maynard spoke candidly about his past two matchups with Edgar.
"I'm not too embarrassed to say I've become obsessed with taking the UFC lightweight title from Frankie Edgar," Maynard stated. "I beat Edgar when we fought in 2008 as contenders on the way up, and I beat him even worse on New Year's Day for the belt, only for the judges to give it a draw."
A realist, Maynard does not hold any animosity towards the current champion. "I am going into this fight angry. Not angry at Edgar—he did what he had to and is tough and a good fighter.," Maynard said.
Wanting to prove to the world that he is the best lightweight fighter, Maynard told Sportsnet that this trilogy matchup with Edgar is "nothing personal with him, other than I need to beat him worse than ever to make sure everyone understands I am the best fighter at 155 pounds."
Reflecting on their previous matchup in January, Maynard was pragmatic in the dissection of his performance.
"In January, I knocked him down three times in the opening round, a lot of referees would have stopped it there and then, but he's a tough guy and he hung in there. I made a couple mistakes in trying to finish him off too much and not being careful not to burn out, but I feel I won three rounds to two, plus I won the first round BIG and it should have been scored 10-7," stated "The Bully."
Who is victorious at UFC 136?
Not one to dish dirt on fellow fighters, Maynard spoke candidly regarding the politics associated with the fighting industry.
"I still don't like talking crap about other fighters and competitors and I'm not going to do my worst Muhammad Ali impression to get a spotlight on myself. But, yes, it is frustrating I don't get the credit I feel I have earned," Gray stated.
Maynard has defeated five of the top lightweights in the world prior to receiving his title shot with Edgar. A solid competitor, "The Bully" is all about wins and competing against the very best.
"I never complained when I had to fight top guy after top guy," Maynard said. "That's what competition is all about and what I'm all about. I don't ask or want no gimmie fights. I didn't complain about fighting five southpaws in a row, even though actually that did suck quite a lot. And I am not complaining now. This is just what I'm thinking ahead of this fight and I'm just being real and honest. And, honestly, I am ready for a war at UFC 136."
Driven and focused, Maynard will stop at nothing to secure what he believes is his championship belt.
"Edgar knows that after two attempts, he's come nowhere near close to beating me. He also knows I have the power to knock him out. Edgar will be better than ever for this fight, but so will I and my best beats his best every time. Next Saturday, he will be in pain. He will be hurt come October 8th," Maynard concluded.
UFC 136 will be Maynard's chance at redemption against Edgar. You can follow Gray Maynard's tweets up til fight day @GrayMaynard.