UFC 160 Opening Odds Breakdown: Lightweights Gray Maynard vs. TJ Grant

Gray MaynardUFC 160: May 25, 2013 MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada UFC Lightweight Contender Gray Maynard (-245) Profile: Gray Maynard (11-1-1, 1 No-Contest) is coming off a split-decision victory against Clay Guida following his two-fight war for the UFC lightweight title against Frankie Edgar that completed their trilogy of bouts. After rebounding from his first career loss to Edgar, the 33-year-old is looking to build off his win over Guida and earn another shot at the belt currently held by Benson Henderson after taking some time off to deal with a knee injury. Maynard is arguably the most accomplished wrestler in the UFC’s lightweight division, as a three-time Division I All-American at Michigan State alongside teammate Rashad Evans, the former UFC light heavyweight champion.  He has defeated a who’s who of current lightweight title contenders, including Nate Diaz, Jim Miller and Bellator lightweight tournament finalist Brent Weedman. After a late start to his career, Maynard has a more developed repertoire, but he will always rely on his bread and butter – wrestling. UFC Lightweight Contender TJ Grant (+175) Profile: TJ Grant is a relative newcomer to MMA, but in only a six-year career, he has been able to amass an impressive 20-5 record. In April of 2009 at UFC 97, Grant made a successful debut in the UFC, earning a split-decision victory over Pride legend Ryo Chonan. After that win, the 29-year-old Canadian fighter alternated losses and wins in his next six bouts before reeling off an impressive four-fight winning streak over the past two years that directly correlates to his drop down to lightweight. Grant submitted Shane Roller via armbar in his lightweight debut and followed that up with wins against Carlo Prater and Evan Dunham by unanimous decision before knocking out Matt Wiman at UFC on FOX 6. Opening UFC 160 Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas made Maynard a solid -245 favorite (bet $245 to win $100) while Grant opened as a +175 underdog (bet $100 to win $175) at Several Bookmakers sportsbook. This is really an outstanding matchup between two of the bigger lightweights in the division. Grant is coming off a monster victory against Wiman in January after Wiman had posted a couple consecutive wins that were starting to build a buzz around him. Now MMA bettors are talking about Grant and his potential at 155, where he is a perfect 4-0 after previously competing at welterweight. Grant lost to the likes of Johny Hendricks and Dong Hyun Kim at 170 but has since found a home at lightweight, where he hopes to continue climbing the rankings. Maynard will be a formidable foe though and a true test to see if he can compete with the elite fighters in the division. The former No. 1 lightweight contender still considers himself to be one of the best in the world, but by the time UFC 160 rolls around, he will have been out of the Octagon for 11 months. Maynard was originally scheduled to take on Joe Lauzon at the end of 2012 and withdrew to rehab a knee injury. He was replaced by Jim Miller, who defeated Lauzon via UD in what not only turned out to be Fight of the Night but also one of the Fights of the Year. Now Maynard is looking to avoid ring rust and earn a notable win over Grant so he can make another run at the title belt owned by Henderson.

Written by Matty

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