Former two-time UFC lightweight title challenger Gray Maynard will make his Octagon return in August in what shapes up as a must-win fight. “The Bully” will square off against Fabricio Camoes at UFC 176 in Los Angeles on Aug. 2. Both fighters will be looking to rebound after disappointing performances their last time out.
After starting his career with 10 straight wins, Maynard has hit a rough patch in his career. He’s just 1-3-1 in his last five fights and has been knocked out in all three of those losses. His last Octagon appearance in November was a one-sided thrashing at the hands of Nate Diaz at The Ultimate Fighter Season 18 finale. It was the second straight fight where Maynard had been stopped in brutal fashion and there were many wondering if retirement was just around the corner.
The No. 8 ranked Maynard, whose best-known for his remarkable trilogy against former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, has elected to resume his career after plenty of soul-searching. He owns career wins over Diaz, Edgar, Clay Guida and Jim Miller. If the TUF Season 5 alum has any hopes of staying relevant in a talented 155-pound division he will need to get back into the win column against the Brazilian submission specialist.
Camoes will also be fighting with a high level of desperation at Staples Center as he needs a victory to keep his second UFC stint alive. He’s in the midst of a two-fight skid after an Octagon triumph in 2012 over Tommy Hayden. His last effort at UFC 168 was a first-round submission loss to Miller. Prior to that, the 35-year-old suffered a decision loss against Melvin Guillard. “Morango” has recorded just one victory in five Octagon appearances. Camoes has 11 finishes, including seven by submission, in his 14 career wins.
This matchup shapes up as a true crossroads battle for a couple of veterans. The winner will get to fight another day while the loser will likely see their UFC tenure come to an end.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports