Nate Diaz destroys Gray Maynard with first-round KO

Published on Sunday, 12/1/13, at 5:10 p.m. Eastern.

By Brian Edwards

Nate Diaz avoided a three-fight losing streak by finishing Gray ‘The Bully’ Maynard with a brutal first-round knockout in Saturday’s main event at The Ultimate Fighter 18 Finale in Las Vegas.

Diaz hooked up his backers as a +115 underdog (risk $100 to win $115). The ‘under’ (2.5 rounds) was a huge winner for a +175 return (paid $175 on $100 wagers).

After Maynard got an early takedown, Diaz was able to quickly work his way back up to his feet. Then Diaz rocked Maynard with a left hook and spent the next minute and change dealing out a Stockton-Style Assbeating.

Diaz landed a series of combinations, flooring Maynard several times. Maynard tried to hang in there, but he was seemingly out on his feet. After Diaz landed several brutal punches that went completely undefended, the referee finally intervened at the 2:38 mark.

With the victory, Diaz will probably get a top-five opponent in his next fight. T.J. Grant is a possibility when he’s able to return to the Octagon. Grant continues to suffer from concussion-related symptoms that have kept him out since he KO’d Maynard early this past summer.

As for Maynard, you have to wonder what he’s got left in the tank. He was within seconds of becoming the lightweight champion twice and many, including me, thought he got robbed in his second fight against Frankie Edgar that was ruled a draw. Maynard is 1-3-1 in his five fights since 2011.

Jamie Varner would probably be a good matchup for Maynard. Rematches with Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone or Jim Miller could be possibilities at some point in 2014.

In other UFC news, heavyweight Shane del Rosario remains on life support in California after suffering a heart attack at his home on Friday.

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