Gray Maynard gets blue belt in Brazil

by Erik Engelhart | source:

UFC lightweight Gray Maynard is in Brazil to help featherweight champion Jose Aldo prepare for a fight vs. Chad Mendes at UFC Rio on Jan. 14, 2012, at the HSBC Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While there, he picked up some new skills, including a blue belt in BJJ, bestowed by Jose Aldo's instructor Andre Pederneiras.

In an interview with Tatame, Maynard reflected on the experience.

Erik Engelhart: How did you end up here at Nova Uniao?

Gray Maynard: Me and Jose Aldo met few times at UFC’s backstage. But it was at UFC 136 I met him at the pre-fight press conference. I like the way he fights, and I have always admired him as a person and a fighter. He has always been nice to me and when I knew he was fighting Chad Mendes I offered him some help and he said he’d be grateful. Jose Aldo is a great guy and that’s how I end up here.

EE: Could you tell how Jose Aldo’s takedown defenses are?

GM: He knows how to defend  takedowns very well. I trained with him and it was hard for me to take him down ... We’ve watched many of his fights and  I can tell you he doesn’t need my help all that much, he’s pretty good at this. I’m just here to push him and help him with the little things and, if I’m able to, cooperate. I’ll try to tell him about my experience at college at Wrestling.

“Training gi Jiu-Jitsu at Nova União. I received my blue belt tonight from Andre Pederneiras! I’m honored”, related Maynard via Twitter.



tags: UFC   Gray Maynard (detail)  

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Art Corvelay site profile image  

1/4/12 1:01 AM by Art Corvelay

Opponents love facing big names. 9/10, you lose badly. There's still that chance that you perform well, or you exploit a weakness and choke out a mma star with a baseball bat off the pass.Good for him.

Graphic3001 site profile image  

1/4/12 12:57 AM by Graphic3001

 I see what your saying but this is where I'm coming from.....the guy has wrestled all his life and has been training all aspects of MMA for about 5-6 years now I think. He also also fought some really good jiu-jitsu guys and they couldn't submit him....I think Nate Diaz is the only one who has and theres no shame in that. Anyway...just some of my thoughts....What does everyone else think?

X_Rated site profile image  

1/4/12 12:53 AM by X_Rated


Graphic3001 site profile image  

1/4/12 12:49 AM by Graphic3001


LilRoyNelson site profile image  

1/4/12 12:47 AM by LilRoyNelson

had to pay him for helping Jose somehow..........guess he can put the blue belt over his snuggie the next time he lays on another fighter

branchdavidian site profile image  

1/3/12 11:34 PM by branchdavidian

"What level of Jiu-Jitsu do you guys think he is really at"i would tend to trust andre's judgment

Blackbeltpanda site profile image  

1/3/12 11:33 PM by Blackbeltpanda

 Really? on par with a blue belt level?

UGCTT_picanoc231 site profile image  

1/3/12 11:06 PM by UGCTT_picanoc231

I would say, with the submission grappling work with randy and neil in addition to his already potent wrestling skills, its on par.

UGCTT_picanoc231 site profile image  

1/3/12 11:02 PM by UGCTT_picanoc231

I lold

rbl site profile image  

1/3/12 10:51 PM by rbl

 Hahaha I would love to see the face of his opponent in a blue belt comp.