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Gray Maynard scores big win over Roger Huerta at UFC Fight Night 19

Xtreme Couture teammate Mike Pyle also victorious, while Las Vegas fighter Steve Cantwell loses his rubber match with Brian Stann


Courtesy of UFC

Gray Maynard throws a left hand in his bout with Jim Miller at UFC 96. Maynard defeated Roger Huerta at UFC Fight Night 19 today in Oklahoma City, Okla.

Updated Wednesday, Sept. 16, 2009 | 10 p.m.

UFC Fight Night 19 Results

  • Lightweight: Nate Diaz def. Melvin Guillard via submission (guillotine choke), Round 2, 2:13
  • Lightweight:Gray Maynard def. Roger Huerta via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Welterweight:Carlos Condit def. Jake Ellenberger via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Middleweight:Nate Quarry def. Tim Credeur via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28)
  • Light heavyweight:Brian Stann def. Steve Cantwell via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
  • Welterweight:Mike Pyle def. Chris Wilson via submission (guillotine choke), Round 3, 2:15
  • Middleweight:C.B. Dollaway def. Jay Silva via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Lightweight:Jeremy Stephens def. Justin Buchholz via TKO (doctor's stoppage, cut), Round 1, 3:23
  • Welterweight:Mike Pierce def. Brock Larson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Middleweight:Ryan Jensen def. Steve Steinbeiss via technical submission (guillotine choke), Round 1, 3:56

Gray Maynard did not know exactly where his win over Roger Huerta Wednesday night ranks in terms of tough fights in his young career.

Or what the close victory in Oklahoma City meant for his continued climb up the ladder in the stacked lightweight division.

But the “Bully,” still out of breath from his split decision win over Huerta at Ultimate Fight Night 19 at the Cox Convention Center, knows he got the job done.

“I thought for sure I won (rounds) two and three and maybe even took (round) one. I’m surprised it was split, but I know I clearly won the fight,” said Maynard via telephone.

“But he’s just a tough kid, and it was just a great fight.”

Indeed Huerta — who was fighting in last bout under contract with the UFC before he pursues an acting career — pushed the pace in the first round, despite a 13-month layoff.

“I was impressed with him being so in shape and pressing forward,” said Maynard, who improved to 8-0 overall and 6-0 in the UFC. Huerta (20-3-1) dropped back-to-back bouts for the first time in his career.

“He’s a strong kid. He hits kinda hard, and he can take a punch. But I’m going up against the top guys, so I had to be smart.”

So too was Nate Diaz in the card’s main event, as he endured a few big blows from Melvin Guillard. But the patient Diaz, who snapped his two-fight losing streak, immediately locked in a game-ending guillotine choke after Guillard scored a takedown with a little over two minutes into the second round.

"From the tapes, I knew that was coming,” Diaz told "I’d been working on that with my boxing coach. When he comes forward to attack, I was going to take a step back.”

"It was a packed house, and I could feel the crowd behind me. It was a really cool environment.”

The first UFC event in Oklahoma in 15 years drew a crowd of 7,500 fans and estimated live gate of $650,000.

While Maynard and Huerta stood toe-to-toe for much of the first two rounds, Maynard, an All-American wrestler at Michigan State, utilized his takedown skills in the third.

After a big takedown, Maynard locked in a seriously stout kimura that had Huerta’s arm in a gruesome position. But Huerta somehow escaped.

“I heard it popping, I thought for sure right there, that was gonna end the match.”

It didn’t, but Maynard recorded the win with two scores of 30-27, while one judge gave Huerta the victory 29-28.

“It was probably the toughest match of my career,” Maynard admitted, before saying “I don’t know where the win puts me.

“That’s for Joe (UFC matchmaker Joe Silva) and you (the media) to decide. I don’t know. All I know is I did my job.”

UFC President Dana White agreed, saying the victory places Maynard somewhere near the top tier of 155-pounders which includes champ B.J. Penn and fighters such as Diego Sanchez, Kenny Florian, and Clay Guida and the second level of top contenders in guys like Sean Sherk, Frank Edgar, and Tyson Griffin.

“With a win over Roger Huerta, Gray will get his chance to break through,” White told Yahoo's Dave Doyle. “With the guys he’s beat and the way he’s won, he’s earned his chance.”

Fellow Xtreme Couture fighter Mike Pyle picked up his first UFC victory with a third-round submission win over Chris Wilson.

Meanwhile fellow Las Vegas fighter Steve Cantwell couldn’t overcome Brian Stann in the rubber match between the two former WEC champions. Stann won via unanimous decision, 30-27, 30-27, 29-28.

With his victory, Diaz earned the $30,000 Submission of the Night bonus. Jeremey Stephens earned the Knockout of the Night award for his stoppage of Justin Buchholz. And Nate Quarry and Tim Credeur earned the Fight of the Night award for their three-round slugfest.

"I knew he'd come with everything he's got," said Quarry, who improved to 12-3 overall and 7-2 in the UFC. "He dropped me in the first round. I don't remember ever being that down except (to Rich) Franklin, who finished me."

A scheduled lightweight bout between Phillipe Nover and Sam Stout had to be canceled when Nover suffered a seizure in the locker room. White posted a Twitter an hour before the event was about to start that Nover was "OK."

Andy Samuelson can be reached at [email protected] or 702-948-7837.

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