The June 22nd UFC on FX 4 card has started to be publicized, and first up is a lightweight battle that may impact the UFC’s Lightweight title picture, as top contenders Clay “The Carpenter” Guida and Gray “The Bully” Maynard meet. We last saw Maynard in October of last year, when he came up short in his bid to take the title from then champion Frankie Edgar. Guida has been away from the cage since November, when we saw him drop a decision to Benson Henderson, who is now the Lightweight title holder. Both men need a win to avoid a two fight slide and to get back into the title picture.
Of course there is the upcoming Nate Diaz fight with Jim Miller which might earn the winner the next title shot, but this bout between Guida and Maynard is up there. If something explosive or unexpected happens in the match, the winner could vault the winner of Diaz/Maynard – stranger things have happened in the UFC.
Guida made his reputation and his career in the UFC because he takes punishment, but never stops pressuring his opponent or coming forward. He is a solid wrestler, and his frenetic pace is hard to keep up with.
But Maynard is probably a better wrestler, and taking punishment from Maynard, who has dished out several incredible beatings. Trying to wear out ‘The Bully’ is a bad strategy if you plan to do it by letting him hit you.
What is Guida going to do different in this fight, because I don’t think his usual game plan of outhustling his opponent is going to work with Maynard, especially if the fight is just three rounds.
I am going to lean heavily towards Maynard in this fight. Should Maynard not be able to take Guida out in his initial rush, and should the fight be a five round fight, I might give Guida a chance to gut the fight out late. But again, it is Maynard who has experience going into the 4th and 5th, not Guida.
Too many advantages for Gray Maynard in this one. Though he will likely be favored, I’m laying the juice on this one.