Well, it is a good thing that this was UFC on FX 4, and that it wasn’t the big UFC on FOX event that is run, because the main event, which on paper was solid as far as excitement factor, turned into one of the most strategic (yes, in this case, it means boring) matches we have seen in a long time. Clay Guida, one of the UFC’s hardest working and most popular lightweights, came in with a strategy as an overwhelming underdog to Gray Maynard. The problem was in the execution, which turned into avoidance and turned the entire crowd, which had been pro-Guida, against him.
What might have been expected, or at least reasonably hoped for, was that both guys would come out full throttle in round 1. After all, Maynard had pushed it to the limit in his last outings against Frankie Edgar, and Guida is a fan favorite because of the breakneck pace he usually sets.
And Guida did come out and set a fast pace, and Maynard chased. Few exchanges occurred as Guida never stopped running from Maynard. As round three came to an end, Maynard was chasing a Guida who at times appeared to be in full flight, and the frustrated Maynard let Guida have it with the only thing he could – he flipped him off!
Guida slowed a bit in the final two rounds, allowing Maynard to get in there during a couple of the exchanges, causing Guida’s eye to swell. But the frustration was mounting as Guida never got off his expected rush.
Guida wanted a spectacular win, and he wanted to earn a title shot, What we saw the other night was a game plan designed to use his high energy to outpace Maynard and steal the victory. One of the judges did give Guida the fight as it ended in a split decision.
Guida has now lost two in a row, and the reaction from UFC president Dana White was one I never thought I would hear to describe when ‘The Carpenter’ fights – ‘That fight sucked’.