Gray Maynard came up short in his second shot at the UFC lightweight title at UFC 136 when Frankie Edgar once again rose from the ashed and scored a comeback victory. But it had been decided long before the bout that he would be leaving Xtreme Couture no matter the outcome. His (former) boxing coach Gil Martinez expressed his disappointment with Maynard supposedly leaving for good, and today Maynard confirmed it himself in an interview with Heavy. He also discussed the possibility of joining another major gym, American Kickboxing Academy. On getting out of Las Vegas:
"Leaving Xtreme Couture is something that has been going through my head for awhile," Maynard said. "I know people want to assume the worst, but that isn’t the case. During my camp for Kenny Florian, I started to think about everything that is out there in this sport. A month before my fight with Edgar in Houston, I made my decision.
"I informed the gym (Xtreme Couture) that I would not be coming back. I felt it was important because win or lose, I wasn’t going to return for my training. I did things this way because I didn’t want to win the title and have people thinking I won the belt and left for something else. I made sure to tell them long before my fight on October 8th, so there wasn’t any confusion."
He discussed the troubles he had with his last camp at XC, and that it had nothing to do with the guys that were there. He just wants to try something new. And that something new could be AKA:
"Right now I’m up in Santa Cruz and things are great. There are a few gyms I have been training at. I’ve also spent some time at AKA. They have a great gym, an awesome team and I’m enjoying my time here. At this point my focus is on broadening my horizons and wherever I feel that can be accomplished is where I will go. There is a huge world out there and so many great camps where I can learn so many things.
"I just want to get out and train with whoever I can. There are so many other camps and so much I can learn, it became something I needed to do. If that means going down to Brazil and training with Jose Aldo, I’d be excited to go. There are a ton of gyms in Holland and to train with Andy Souwer would be something that interests me. There is so much to learn out there and I want to grow."
While Maynard isn't saying it directly, other sources have indicated that there's a strong chance that Maynard will be joining AKA in the near future. Even if that doesn't turn out to be the case, it's obvious that Maynard is looking to improve and that can only be a good thing for him. And a bad thing for the rest of the UFC lightweight division.