Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweights Clay Guida and Robbie Peralta collided yesterday afternoon (April 4, 2015) at UFC Fight Night 63 inside the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Virginia.
Since dropping to featherweight, Guida has proven himself a top 15 fighter but struggled to find consistent success against the top half of the division. Taking a bit of a step back, it was important for Guida to take the victory against his power-punching opponent.
While Peralta has had his share of strong and weak performances inside the Octagon, he's still looking for a signature victory. In his first matchup with a ranked opponent, Peralta was given that opportunity.
Early on, Guida looked to establish his jab, while Peralta attacked with power punches. Neither man landed anything too significant before Guida shot in for a double leg, momentarily getting the takedown.
Peralta quickly stood back up, only to get slammed on his head. For the rest of the round, Guida controlled top position. Peralta occasionally worked back to his feet, but Guida managed to force him back down quickly each time.
It was a strong opening round for "The Carpenter."
The second round was more closely contested but likely went Guida's way as well. On his feet, Peralta managed to open up a cut, but neither man really controlled the striking exchanges. However, Peralta spent much of the round with his back against the cage.
While Peralta did a better job defending takedowns, Guida's pressure was likely the deciding factor in the second as well.
Unlike the second round, Guida started the final frame with a quick double leg takedown, slamming Peralta in the center of the cage. From the top, Guida attacked with an arm triangle choke, eventually moving into mount.
Though Guida had a tight grip and was in the proper position, Peralta managed to slip out of the hold. Undeterred, Guida kept grinding from top position, bringing Peralta to the mat hard when "Problems" managed to return to his feet.
Three rounds in the books for the former lightweight.
This was a very strong performance for Guida. His incredible conditioning remains one of his biggest assets, as Guida's incessant pressure kept Peralta from really finding his range. He was also active in hunting for submissions as well, which is nice to see.
It was quite clear that Guida's move to Team Alpha Male -- as well as his work with Edmond Tarverdyan -- was hugely beneficial to his game. While he continued to move actively, there was very little random, unnecessary movement like he once showed.
In addition, his improved striking opened up some strong takedown set ups for Guida. For a majority of his shots, Guida timed his level change well and got in on his opponent's hips. From there, his finishes were strong as well, as Guida slammed his opponent repeatedly.
There are plenty of questions regarding Guida's next opponent, as he made it clear in his post-fight interview that he's willing to go back to lightweight. If he does stay at featherweight, a match up with Charles Oliveira would be an interesting test for both men.
While Peralta did clearly lose the fight, his move to Tristar is clearly a positive to his overall game. Not only were his conditioning and takedown defense much improved, but his bottom game -- which got him submitted quickly in his last bout -- was much better defensively.
At this point in his career, Guida was simply too much for the knockout artist, but Peralta's noticeable improvements are still encouraging.
At UFC Fight Night 63, Clay Guida returned to the win column at the expense of Robbie Peralta. Can Guida build momentum in either the lightweight or featherweight division?
For complete UFC Fight Night 63 "Mendes vs Lamas" results and play-by-play, click HERE.