January 11, 2010
Anytime you fight a Diaz it can turn ugly. Nate and his brother Nick, have a way of throwing guys off their games physically and mentally. Nate threw a wrench into Maynard's smooth path to a UFC lightweight title shot. "The Bully" became a one punch fighter and brawler but it was just enough to eek out a split decision win 28-29, 30-27 and 29-28. The former Michigan State wrestler remains unbeaten and he may have earned himself a shot against B.J. Penn.
"The gameplan and technique went out the window once I saw that dude across from me and I just wanted to throw," said Maynard. "I saw his face and I wanted to fight. It was stupid but I hope you guys enjoyed it."
Maynard and Diaz gestured at each other, dropped their hands and often raised them to the crowd in the middle of the action. The fight featured a lot of wild swinging from Maynard while Diaz employed his pawing style with lots of pitter, pat shots. Maynard did land some big shotss and put Diaz down momentarily on several occasions.
Now the question is, did Maynard (9-0, 7-0 UFC) do enough to secure that fight against Penn on Apr. 10 in Abu Dhabi? Maynard asked the crowd if they wanted to see him fight Penn. He got a mixed reaction.
"I ain't gonna make a cheesy speech about students and masters. If they want it, I'm here for him. UFC if you want me to do it, let’s fight."
Maynard and Diaz had a history dating back to their stint on Season 5 of "The Ultimate Fighter." Diaz bested Maynard via submission in the semifinals. There was plenty of heat going into the fight as Diaz mocked Maynard's improvement and called him a white belt.
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