The main event of UFC on FX 4: "Maynard vs. Guida," which took place tonight (Fri., June 22, 2012) in Atlantic City, New Jersey, featured a lightweight tussle pitting former title challenger Gray Maynard against caveman Clay Guida.
Maynard, of course, was looking to erase the memory of his trilogy against Frankie Edgar, one he lost by knockout in their last meeting at UFC 136. This bout against Guida, himself trying to get back into contention in the 155-pound division, was to represent his climb back up the division ladder.
The thought was this would be a barnburner that everyone would love, hence putting it in the main event of a free card. It turned out to be a dull affair punctuated by a wacky performance from Guida that included a warning in the fifth round because he was running away too much.
Maynard had his big moment in the fourth round when he finally dropped his hands and started talking trash like a Diaz brother. He even let "The Carpenter" punch him clean in the face. Guida tried to take him down, Maynard locked on a guillotine and almost finished. By the time it was over, the fans had went from loving Clay and being indifferent towards Gray to loving Maynard and hating Guida.
Ultimately, the scores came in with a split decision nod in favor of Maynard, 48-47, 47-48, 48-47
The pace was slow early, which sounds crazy when we're talking about a Clay Guida fight. Sure, he was bouncing around and moving as much as usual, but he was more cautious than normal, as was Maynard.
That's because this was a five-round showdown and no one wanted to gas early, especially not "The Bully," who has faced criticism for his cardiovascular conditioning in the past.
After five minutes, there was very little offense to speak of.
Maynard was a bit more aggressive in the second stanza, moving forward while Guida went side to side. The crowd, which had been chanting Guida's name from the moment he made his entrance, grew restless and weary. The boo birds came out heavy midway through the round. Maynard pushed with front kicks, head kicks and haymakers, all to no avail.
He was trying, though.
As the minutes wore on, Maynard continued cutting off the cage and looking to land that big shot. He was finding some success but Guida's movement was nothing if not persistent ... and annoying.
Finally, "The Carpenter" landed a head kick that got the crowd back into it. The round closed and it was still incredibly close.
Instead of playing the waiting game, Maynard came out strong in the third. He walked right across the cage and started unloading punches. Unfortunately, none of them were finding the mark, as Clay simply moved around with more speed than Maynard's hands.
Finally, Gray looked for a takedown but Guida sprawled and stepped back out.
They went back to the same old song and dance, Guida bouncing around while Maynard pushed forward looking to find an opening with little to no success.
Round four came with Maynard again looking to find his way to Guida without cutting him off and Guida circling around and around, around and around, around and around.
Finally, Maynard got pissed, put his hands down, and started talking trash to Guida. He even ate a few punches from him before Guida looked for a takedown. That led to a guillotine attempt from Maynard that nearly finished the fight.
But Guida got out and we went to the fifth and final round.
Maynard remained aggressive, pushing punches while Guida backed out and circled away. "The Carpenter" answered back with a big shot but Maynard stayed with it.
With two minutes to go, the referee finally warned Guida for running away too often. This led to Maynard being able to get in on him enough to grab a single leg. They went to a stalemate against the cage with Gray pushing and with 10 seconds left, both men simply rode out to the horn.
What a bizarre fight.