Diaz vs. Maynard rubber match booked

Gray Maynard (brown shorts) def. Nate Diaz
Gray Maynard and Nate Diaz III has been booked to headline the Nov. 30 TUF Finale.
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Mike Chiappetta

Mike Chiappetta has documented the fast-growing sport of mixed martial arts since 2006 for news organizations including SB Nation, NBCSports.com, FIGHT! Magazine, AOL and ESPN. He appears regularly as an analyst on countless television shows and radio programs, including CBS Radio and MMA Beat. Follow him on Twitter.


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 belt.

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 column.

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.

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