Nate Diaz and Gray Maynard are two of the most distinguished
alumni of The Ultimate Fighter. Both men, ironically both
contestants of Season 5, have had long and successful careers and
earned lightweight title shots. Their paths have also crossed twice
before in the Octagon, once on the show and once in official
competition, each winning once.
At the TUF 18 Finale, they’ll pair off again in the rubber
match, the UFC announced on Sunday.
Diaz won TUF in season five, defeating Maynard on the way to the
championship, choking him out with a guillotine in the semifinal
round. Less than three years later, they met again, this time in
the main event of a UFC show in Virginia. In that one, Maynard
squeezed out a split-decision, one of eight consecutive victories
that eventually earned him an opportunity to fight for the
Despite two cracks against Frankie Edgar, Maynard fell short.
Later, Diaz (16-9) also put together his own title run, losing to
Benson Henderson in Dec. 2012.
Both fighters will be looking to rebound from the loss
Maynard (11-2-1, 1 no contest) was upset in his last fight,
KO’d by T.J. Grant at UFC 160. Diaz, meanwhile, has dropped
two straight. In addition to the aforementioned loss to Henderson,
he suffered his first career TKO loss, losing to Josh Thomson.
The bout is the first one official for the Nov. 30 show, which
is also expected to host the Team Rousey vs. Team Tate men’s
and women’s finals and take place at the Mandalay Bay Events
Center in Las Vegas.