Post-UFC Fight Night 63: On the Chopping Block

Gray MaynardThe Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) was live from Fairfax, VA yesterday (Saturday, April 4, 2015) with UFC Fight Night 63 and produced an afternoon of entertaining scraps. The action is now in our rear-view, so I’m gonna take a look at which of the morning’s competitors we may no longer see inside the Octagon… ON THE CHOPPING BLOCK Gray Maynard At UFC Fight Night 63, The Ultimate Fighter Season 5 veteran and former 155-pound title challenger Gray Maynard competed on a UFC preliminary card for the first time since January of 2008, and the demotion to the prelims followed three consecutive TKO losses. On the card, he took on Russia’s Alexander Yakovlev, who was making his lightweight debut, after going 0-2 in the UFC’s welterweight division. The Russian had Maynard hurt in the second round, but failed to deliver his fourth consecutive T/KO defeat by opting to go for a submission instead, where he allowed Maynard to recover and see a third round. After three rounds of action, Yakovlev took all three rounds on two judges’ scorecards, while taking a 29-28 on one card, and handed Maynard his fourth straight loss, and likely served him his walking papers from the promotion. Josh Koshcheck has a rare five straight losses, but I don’t think he’s done. Maynard has dropped four in a row now, and I hope he hangs up the gloves now, as I think he should have called it quits following the TKO loss to TJ Grant. It’s been a great career and a great ride; I’m thankful for all that he has given to the sport, but it’s time to walk away. Justin Jones Jones made his promotional debut on short notice taking on The Ultimate Fighter Season 19 winner Corey Anderson and losing the bout via unanimous decision on the judges’ scoreards. He went up to light heavyweight for his Octagon debut, but dropped back down to his natural weight class of middleweight for his next outing, which came at this morning’s UFC Fight Night 63 where he took on Ron Stallings. After three rounds of action, Jones lost a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards. While I did not agree with the decision and personally felt Jones won the fight, he certainly failed to live up to my expectations of him. I have been big on him since he first stepped foot in the RFA cage and was happy to see him enter the UFC. I felt he won the fight, but I think it was a close fight, and before the fight, I felt Jones would be able to make it a little more one-sided. Prior to the bout, I felt that Jones had a bright future in the UFC’s 185-pound division. However, following that performance, even though I think he won, I don’t think he looked UFC-calibre. After only two losses, I would not be surprised to see him receive the pink slip from the promotion and return to the regional circuit. It’s very possible he could have been sick or it could have been a very off night for him, but he displayed some holes in his game, and perhaps a trip back to the regional circuit to fix those holes and sharpen his game up would serve best for him in the long-run. If he gets cut, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him make some serious improvements and return in a couple of years. That said, I would not be surprised to him get a third crack at a first UFC win, either, especially considering the controversial factor of the decision.

Written by Gabe Killian

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