Gray Maynard Defeats “Ultimate Fighter” at UFC Fight Night 20
By Jim Genia (Jan 13, 2010) DoghouseBoxing  
Randy Couture-protégé Gray Maynard squeaked by “The Ultimate Fighter: Season 5” winner Nate Diaz to snag the split decision at last night’s UFC Fight Night 20, which took place before a sellout crowd at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia. Despite strong backgrounds in grappling (Maynard is an All-American collegiate wrestler; Diaz possesses a brown belt in jiu-jitsu), the bout was all about the stand-up exchanges, and for all three rounds the two danced in and out, Maynard swinging hard and often while Diaz leaned back and pawed continuously with his jab. It wasn’t pretty, but for Maynard, it got the job done. With the win “The Bully” remains undefeated, and he’s now on the short list of those considered viable opponents for lightweight champ BJ Penn.

Elsewhere on the card, TUF 8 winner Efrain Escudero tasted defeat for the first time courtesy of an armbar by Evan Dunham. Faster and more accurate with his punches, Escudero had his opponent in trouble early, but Dunham persevered, surviving a first-round knockdown and subsequent ground and pound to rally in later rounds. The end came two minutes into the third frame when Dunham scrambled to Escudero’s back, straightened an arm, and torqued it for the tap out.

In the opening bout of the main card, TUF 7 winner Amir Sadollah waged a striking battle with the more-experienced Brad Blackburn, employing solid Muay Thai skills to rock Blackburn repeatedly and secure the unanimous decision when time ran out.

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