SB Nation's David St. Martin caught up with Gray Maynard to talk about his upcoming UFC 118 bout with Kenny Florian. The fight will determine the #1 contender to the lightweight title which will be held by the winner of the B.J. Penn/Frankie Edgar bout on the same card.
Some highlights from the interview:
We all know Kenny is big on footwork, and he really showed it off in the Huerta fight. Are you working on anything to try to disrupt his pacing, keeping him from getting into a rhythm?
Yea, for sure. I haven't seen him really create any angles, but hes great at going in and out. He's either coming in or moving back. we're trying to work off of that.
Can you talk a bit about how you plan on engaging with him? I would think he would want to try to avoid getting too close with your power, so how are you planning on drawing him in?
Yea, just working on closing the gap. Against a lefty, its always a little bit slower. I've had four in a row, now again with him. You learn that it takes time. It's a little bit slower, but you just have to stick with the gameplan.
Where is the ideal place for this fight to end up? Do you want a stand up war? Or more of a wrestling/grappling match?
I'm comfortable anywhere it goes, to be honest with you. He throws some stuff, some crazy stuff. A bunch of elbows that I really have to be careful of. If I get cut? It happens. It's a cut. It's a three round fight, so I don't think it'll be a huge deal. If it happens, it happens, but either way, it's still a fight. I'll still have all that time to work my gameplan.
I wouldn't agree with the idea that Florian doesn't create angles. In addition to being an in-and-out striker he also does work an angular muay thai game at times.
In the rest of the interview Maynard discusses how training with Randy Couture (also fighting at 118) has affected his preparation as well as how he feels he stacks up against the two men who are fighting for the title.