UFC Fight Night 20 recap: Maynard next for Penn?
Another solid Fight Night by the UFC and although Gray Maynard (pictured) prevailed over Nate Diaz, I’m not entirely sure it was enough to earn a shot at B.J. Penn. Diaz is tough, no question, but is a split-decision win over Diaz enough to earn a title shot? It wasn’t for Joe Stevenson, the last guy to defeat Diaz, but Maynard is a different beast because he’s undefeated.
Either way, does it really matter? B.J. Penn is at the absolute top of his game in the lightweight division and I haven’t seen anything from Gray Maynard that makes me think he can hang in there with Penn.
This is two straight split-decision wins in a row for Maynard and while he certainly will be a player in the lightweight division for a long time, he’s not ready for Penn. I’d like to see him fight Kenny Florian or Diego Sanchez next. However, with Penn needing an opponent in the spring, Maynard has a good chance at earning the shot.
The rumor has been that Frankie Edgar may get it, but the undefeated thing for Maynard makes him an easier sell, in my opinion, and Maynard has a decisive win over Edgar as well. Neither guy has much of a chance taking down Penn though.
As far as the other fights go, I was also impressed with Amir Sadollah. It was cool watching him fight in front of the hometown fans, and he handled Brad Blackburn. I was on the Blackburn bandwagon too, but Sadollah made me a believer tonight.
Aaron Simpson and Tom Lawlor got Fight of the Night honors and they put on a great show. It was disappointing that it went to the judges because that fight was so close.
In other news, it sounds like Brock Lesnar is out of the woods. His wrestling coach and Randy Couture both seem to think he will be back this spring/summer. That’s probably too early, but I hope we get to see a healthy Brock sometime in the next 8-10 months.
Here’s the story from MMAweekly.com.
(Photo courtesy of Zuffa, Inc.)