His training for Dennis Siver is winding down and he found a few minutes to sit down with me for a interview.
SS: First off Gray, thanks for taking the time to speak with me. You having ties to the Cleveland area, I have been following your career closely, tell our readers a little bit about your background:
GM: I was born in Arizona and haven been wrestling almost my whole life. I went to high in Las Vegas for two years before enrolling at St. Edward High School in Lakewood. At Ed's I was All-State and All-American while going undefeated and earning a national championship. After that I attended Michigan State.
SS: Growing up out west, how did you go about getting into Ed's?GM: The sports out here weren't as good and the schools are overcrowded. I was hoping to get college paid for and knew about the wrestling program there. They easily have the best coaches and it was a great school so I decided to go there. I had an aunt that lived in the area.
SS: How did you end up getting involved in mma?GM: I came home after trying out for the 2004 Olympics and there were a few jiu-jitsu schools in the area. I started to get a little heavy and some buddies were getting on me. I knew I needed to start training again so I started thinking about taking it up.
SS: You helped BJ Penn train a few years back for a fight that kind of pushed you along also correct?GM: Yeah, BJ was training for a fight in Hawaii so I went out there for 2 or 3 weeks to help him out. That was cool.
SS: How did you get hooked up with Randy Couture and his Xtreme Couture camp?GM: I was still kicking around the idea of doing mma full time when I got together with Randy while he was preparing for one of his fights with Chuck Liddell.
SS: Who are some of the main fighters that you're training with there?
GM: A lot of guys. Forrest Griffin, Tyson Griffin, Mike Pyle, Sam Stout, Joe Stevenson and a bunch of other great guys.
SS: Is there any part of your game you think needs to improve?GM: My jiu-jitsu could use a little more work. I try to just have a complete style.
SS: Your last fight in the UFC was amazing, what's your thoughts on the nine second KO of Joe Veres?GM: One word, crazy.
SS: Now your next fight on the 23rd is with Dennis Siver. He's 1-1 in the UFC and 11-4 as a pro. What do you know about him?
GM: He's a tough kid. He can strike and has real good jiu-jitsu and judo. I'm going to have to bring it to him.
SS: Who do you see as some of the top contenders in the lightweight division?
GM: The division is stacked. There are a ton of tough guys. Tyson Griffin, Frankie Edgar, Roger Huerta, and Clay Guida and that's just a few that come to mind.
SS: Anybody that you would really like to fight?GM: I think me and Frankie Edgar would be a good scrap. Anyone in the top ten works.
SS: Well, Gray, thank a lot for taking the time to speak with me. I'm a big fan of yours and have been. I'm expecting big things from you so don't let your Cleveland fans down.
GM: It's been cool and thanks for the support.