Fight week is here; hope you guys has a great Christmas. I am about to go to the UFC 125 host hotel, to check in with the UFC, get my schedule for the week and basically watch the clock tick down to fight time.
I can’t wait for the fight. I guess I’ve got a simple mind, but it is a one-track mind. I am a person who sets goals and works towards those goals and the next major goal in my life is to win the UFC Lightweight Title. I get my chance to do just that on Saturday.
For the fight itself, I have a couple of game plans. Obviously, my major advantage is my wrestling.
My wrestling is better than Frankie’s.
I don’t think there can really be much of a question of that: I am a four-time All-American. I just really grew to love wrestling at an early age and I excelled at that sport. The real interesting question for Saturday is ‘Who has the best wrestling for MMA?’ Of course, I think it is me but I have to prove that on January 1.
Some fans on my website have said that I proved that in the first fight. I appreciate the support, but other than when asked about the first fight by the media, I don’t think about that fight. And not just because I want to avoid the mindset of ‘I can beat Edgar again just because I beat him once before’.
It has to do with my mentality as an athlete, as a competitor. You can go through my life and ask me about the things I’ve achieved and how it felt to win this or that, but honestly, I would have to really think about it to give an honest answer.
I don’t remember the highs anywhere near as much as the lows.
I haven’t lost in MMA but if you ask me about losses in my wrestling career, well, I can remember every single one, second by second. I can remember losses when I was a kid, from seven, eight years old, I can remember the kids who beat me, probably guys who haven’t wrestled or even thought much about wrestling in years and years, but I remember them all the time.
Losing haunts me. Winning? I don’t allow myself to get too carried away with it. I celebrate, it feels great and then I have to move on to make sure I don’t lose the next one.
That’s what my hero, Dan Gable, did in his career and that’s the sort of guy I’m trying to base my work ethic on. I don’t just want to win, that’s not enough. I didn’t just want to get to the UFC, or ‘just’ win the Title; I want to leave something behind, to be considered a great after I retire.
That means fighting the best every time, never saying no to a challenge. You have to be ready to fight anyone. That’s what you have to do as champion, anyway, so that’s the mentality you have to get into before you are champion.
When I talk to Joe Silva, he asks me if I want this fight or that fight, and I always, always say ‘yes’. I’ve had southpaws for my last five fights, which is kinda weird. It sucked a little bit, they can be hard to catch with punches, but I never said ‘Hey, Joe, how about this next one I don’t get a lefty?’ I fight whoever Joe and Dana and the UFC tell me they need me to.
Every fight is one step closer to my next goal – to be UFC Lightweight Champion.
I believe I can beat everybody. I don’t believe I need a ‘good style matchup’, I don’t believe I need to avoid ‘bad style matchups’ or any of that. I believe that I can beat any style from any other person.
I don’t believe Edgar is a ‘good style matchup’ for me, I just think he’s someone I can beat, same as anyone else at 155 pounds.
For more information on Gray Maynard, visit http://www.graymaynard.com
Read Part One
Gray Maynard was talking with Ant Evans