Jun 22, 2012; Atlantic City, NJ, USA; Gray Maynard during his fight against Clay Guida in a lightweight bout during UFC on FX at Revel Resort and Casino. Gray Maynard won the fight by split decision in the fifth round. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-US PRESSWIRE
Both men were coming off losses and looking to redeem themselves with a victory over a game opponent who wanted it just as bad as the other. It was the mixed martial arts (MMA) equivalent of putting one bowl of food in between two hungry dogs -- only one of them was going to get fed.
The fight ended up going to the judges' scorecard and came down to a very close split decision. Maynard was able to come away with the nod, after five rounds of chasing his opponent in frustration.
After the jump, we'll talk about what may be next for UFC on FX 4 big winner, Gray Maynard:
For five full rounds, Guida employed a textbook Greg Jackson strategy. He continually came forward, got in, landed a quick punch or two and then got back out to circle, seemingly to no end. If you were a fan of the way Carlos Condit fought Nick Diaz at UFC 143 in "Sin City" on Feb. 4, 2012. If you didn't appreciate that particular gameplan, you hated this one.
I'll admit, at first, I was impressed with Guida's ability to land some shots, avoid damage and get Maynard a little rattled. But, it became ridiculous.
I wasn't the only one who thought so.
In the fourth round, the Jersey crowd (who had originally been aggressively pro-Guida), switched sides and began to loudly cheer for Maynard. In the final round, referee Dan Miragliotta issued Guida a stern warning for not engaging, threatening to take a point away if what he was doing continued.
Maynard became furious during the championship rounds, going as far as to drop his hands, shout taunts at Guida and did all he could to try and get his adversary to engage him.
UFC president Dana White went so far as to tweet the following:
@DanaWhite: I thought it was impossible for this fight to suck. I WAS WRONG!!!!!!
Ultimately, the judges may have also had their fill of Guida's antics, deciding to give the split decision nod to Maynard. It was a little surprising, quite frankly, as Guida did appear to win the first three rounds, but i'm lying if I say I feel bad for him in defeat.
So where does Maynard go from here?
If UFC President Dana White keeps his word, a title shot is out of the question, as it will belong to Nate Diaz, who has declared his desire to sit and wait out the winner between Ben Henderson and Frankie Edgar at UFC 150 in Denver, Colo., on Aug. 11, 2012.
However, the loser of that showdown is not spoken for. A fourth match up with Edgar could be a real possibility, but the question becomes: "Does anyone want to see that fight again?"
We've been there and done that, but who else is there?
Pettis has been campaigning for a long time to get a title shot, but it doesn't look like he's going to get that anytime soon, unless someone gets hurt or the plans change. Meanwhile, Cerrone has said he strongly desires a rematch with Nate Diaz, but again, that's a fighter who is spoken for.
Whether it's Pettis or Cerrone, it's really a win-win, and it's unlikely that either fighter would be unwilling to engage Maynard. It makes for a potential barn-burner either way.
Who would you Maniacs prefer to see Maynard take on next?