UFC 160 Picks: Gray Maynard (-210) vs. TJ Grant (+175)
MGM Grand Garden Arena, Las Vegas, Nevada
Saturday, May 25, 2013
Lightweight bout: Gray Maynard (-210) vs. TJ Grant (+175)
Fight Breakdown: A title shot against champion Benson Henderson is on the line as Gray Maynard takes on TJ Grant in a lightweight showdown at UFC 160. Maynard is a -210 betting favorite (bet $210 to win $100), while Grant is a +175 underdog (bet $100 to win $175) at 5Dimes Sportsbook.
Maynard (11-1-1, 1NC) has been one of the top lightweight fighters on the planet but it seems as though age and injuries have finally caught up to "The Bully." The 34-year-old hasn't competed since UFC on FX 4 last year when he won a controversial split decision over Clay Guida in what is universally regarded as one of the worst fights in UFC history and prior to that he was knocked out by Frankie Edgar at UFC 136. In fact, Maynard has won only one of his last six fights by a method other than split decision. Maynard, who now trains at American Kickboxing Academy, is a great wrestler and has some heavy hands but he is likely on his last run as an elite lightweight fighter and he'll be taking on a surging stud in Grant this weekend, which could very well spell trouble.
Grant (20-5) has looked like an absolute monster since dropping to lightweight as the Canadian has reeled off four-straight victories, including a brutal first-round KO of Matt Wiman at UFC on FOX 6. The 29-year-old has been in the UFC since 2009 but he was always undersized at welterweight and the decision to drop to 155 was brilliant as Grant looks reinvented at the weight, knocking out Wiman, beating up Evan Dunham, dominating Carlo Prater and submitting Shane Roller. Grant is a solid grappler both offensively and defensively and he has exceptional striking skills making him a dangerous out for anyone in the division. If he can defeat Maynard this weekend and earn his title shot, a fight between him and the champion Henderson could provide fireworks.
Fight Prediction: This fight can play out in many ways but I see Grant being a better striker and I think Maynard is going to find it hard to consistently get him to the ground. The fight will take place on the feet and sometime in the second or third Grant is going to connect on Maynard and finish him with strikes.
Adam's Pick: Grant via TKO (click for latest MMA odds)
Adam's Recommended Play: I really like Grant here for the upset win and I strongly recommend a bet on him as a +175 underdog as I feel this fight should be closer to a Pick 'em. Also take a look at the Grant via T/KO prop, which is currently paying out around +700, because I think there's a very good chance that Maynard gets finished in this fight.