Gray Maynard not retiring, eyeing summer return

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Despite a recent rough road, Gray Maynard isn't ready to throw in the towel just yet. The 35-year-old lightweight is eschewing retirement for the time being and instead eyeing a return to the Octagon in the summer of 2014, according to a report from Ariel Helwani on Wednesday's edition of UFC Tonight.

A former UFC title contender, Maynard is just 1-3-1 over the course of his five contests. He suffered back-to-back first-round TKO losses in 2013, first dropping a lightweight title eliminator to TJ Grant in May, then succumbing to a seemingly endless volley of strikes at the hands of Nate Diaz in November.

Maynard told Helwani that he feels as if he's "disrespected the UFC, the sport, and himself" with his recent poor performances, and he "hasn't lived up to his own standards." Nonetheless, Maynard isn't done, as he hopes to return to the cage in either May or June.

A veteran of The Ultimate Fighter 5, and still the UFC's No. 10 ranked lightweight, Maynard (11-3-1, 1 NC) first rose to prominence on the strength of an eight-fight win streak from 2007 to 2010, which included victories over Diaz, Frankie Edgar, Kenny Florian and Jim Miller.

The impressive run propelled Maynard into a classic championship trilogy against Edgar. However despite nearly finishing Edgar not just once, but twice, Edgar persevered and Maynard left empty-handed both times.

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