Grant, who improved to 4-0 at 155 pounds with his knockout of Matt Wiman at last month’s UFC on FOX 6 in Chicago, was hoping for a matchup with a fighter who could give him more exposure as he sets his sights on the title.
The matchup with Maynard, who fought in two high-profile and much-discussed title bouts with Frankie Edgar in 2011, certainly qualifies as one that will garner him that publicity.
Hopefully for Grant and his fans, it will be enough of to get him on the main card, something that has eluded him to this point in his career.
UFC 160, the traditional Memorial Day weekend card, will be held at MGM Grand Garden Arena and is headlined by the heavyweight title fight between champion Cain Velasquez and Antonio Silva.
Grant, who turns 29 later this month, has previous wins at 155 pounds over Evan Dunham, Carlo Prater and Shane Roller. Sporting an overall professional record of 20-5, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt joined the UFC as a welterweight in April 2009 and started off 3-3 before dropping divisions.
Grant’s unbeaten mark at lightweight is second best in the division, trailing only current champion Benson Henderson, who is on a six-fight run.
Maynard (11-1-1, 1 NC) came extremely close to capturing the 155-pound belt twice. He rocked Edgar early in both of their meetings, only to see the champion survive and rally to force a draw in their Jan. 1, 2011 bout — which was deemed Fight of the Year — and then score a fourth-round knockout in their October 2011 rematch.
The 33-year-old American has only fought once since, beating Clay Guida by split decision last June. The NCAA Division I Wrestling All-American was supposed to take on Joe Lauzon in December but pulled out with a knee injury.