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Gray Maynard reflects on atmosphere at Nova Uniao and AKA

When Gray Maynard was left reeling following a loss to Frankie Edgar for the UFC lightweight championship, “The Bully” decided to try something different.

So, he packed his bags and headed south to Brazil, to train with team Nova Uniao.

What Maynard found was a second family, complete with a new understanding for MMA – and hopefully some added skills.

“Their camp is very organized. The coaches and athletes are all open to evolving and learning. I don’t know if this is the case everywhere in Brazil, but at Nova Uniao, it’s like a family,” said Maynard, in a recent interview with Heavy MMA. “My time in Brazil was eye-opening. A lot of their mixed martial artists start with absolutely nothing and come from serious poverty.”

Maynard returned from Brazil and headed to California, locating with the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, California.

“AKA is a great gym, and Javier Mendez told me the door is open any time I want to train,” Maynard said. “There are a lot of good fighters at AKA, and they have been one of the top gyms in MMA for a long time.

Maynard’s new-found skills will be put on display later this year when he meets Clay Guida in the main event of UFC on FX 4. The winner is likely to remain in contention for a future UFC lightweight title opportunity.

By: Dana Becker

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