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Clay Guida: What Comes Next?

Last year Zuffa LLC made the formal decision to collapse the UFC’s sister organization, World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC) thus merging both lightweight divisions and adding two weight classes to the UFC.

When the doors were finally closed Anthony Pettis shocked the world capturing the WEC lightweight title and the natural next step for “Showtime” was to unify both 155-lbs titles inside the UFC.

However, when reigning champ Frankie Edgar and top challenger Gray Maynard fought to a draw at UFC 125 it threw all their plans out the window leaving Pettis to either sit on the shelf for the better part of a year or to take another fight in his octagon debut.

The charismatic lightweight opted to take a fight with fan favorite Clay Guida from tonight’s UFC Ultimate Finale 13 card at the Palms Casino & Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada.

But “The Carpenter” didn’t come to be a stepping stone for Pettis or anybody else – For the following fifteen minutes Guida implemented his game plan to perfection relentlessly searching for takedowns and sticking to Pettis like glue to take a unanimous decision and spoil Joe Silva’s plans.

With a win over the consensus number one contender for the ten pounds of gold currently residing around the waist of Edgar it has to put him firmly into the title picture at 155-lbs.

However, the lightweight title situation is a tangled web at this stage with Edgar and Maynard expected to complete their trilogy later this year and fighters like Jim Miller and Ben Henderson knocking on the door of contendership.

Tonight’s win marked his 29th victory in his mixed martial arts career and is currently riding a four fight win streak with Takanori Gomi, Nate Diaz and Anthony Pettis on his career hit list.

Next time we see Guida in the octagon it will have to be against another high level lightweight and with Ben Henderson and Jim Miller already tied up he could be matched up with Melvin Guillard provided that he gets past Shane Roller at UFC 132.

Guillard is currently riding a wave of four consecutive victories with his last victory being over rising star Evan Dunham where he collected a knockout of the night bonus.

Guida just collected the biggest victory of his career and at 29-years of age and nearing the end of his run so his time is now to push to the top of the 155-lbs ladder.

6 comments: on "Clay Guida: What Comes Next?"

Victor Wildcat said...

It's fights like this that lead me to think that a new scoring system is needed in the UFC. I'm usually a big Guida fan, but I was thoroughly unimpressed with him last night. Yes he scored takedowns and stayed in top position most of the fight. But did he really control the fight or do any damage whatsoever? No. From the bottom position Pettis wrist controlled the shit out of Clay and actually looked to --and almost did-- finish the fight time and time again. As a completely unbiased viewer I think this fight was a clear draw.

Just because you can lay on another guy and not let him implement his gameplan does that make you better than him? Not in the least. Picture an NFL game between the Colts and the Ravens. If the Ravens' Ray Lewis lead defense shuts down Peyton Manning et all but the Ravens offense doesn't put up any points who wins? So why should MMA be any different?

I'm not liking how the UFC is becoming more and more filled with lay and pray for a victory kind of guys. By no means am I saying that wrestling should take a lesser role in a fight. All I'm saying is that it shouldn't be enough for a victory to gain a dominant position and do no damage and make no real attempts to finish the fight. Leg kicks, foot stomps and shoulder thrusts are effective strikes to set up something bigger but by no means should they garner a decision victory.

Fights like this are slowly making me tap out on the entire UFC. I'm not saying every fight should be a slugfest but every fighter should be looking to finish the fight whether it be standing or on the ground. Maybe a hockey or soccer points system might help. 5 points for a KO or Submission, 1 point for a draw, 2 points for a decision and 3 points for an impressive decision. Something... Anything to change these fighters' mindsets.

Anonymous said...

I agree. "Lay & pray" can be compared to playing "the trap" in hockey. No risk, no reward.

Refs will need to be more prone to force a stand-up if only a few weak rabbit punches are being tossed.

Justin Faux said...

I agree with you to an extent, I agree that Guida won the fight in a large part due to him having top position however I don't think we need a new scoring system in place.

The only other tried and tested scoring system is the Nippon system used in Japan where the bout is scored overall instead of round-by-round.

The holes with the Nippon system have been evident from the early days of PRIDE as you can lose a fight for 13 minutes then turn up the heat in the final few minutes and sling some leather to win a fight, hell Takanori Gomi rose to #1 lightweight status by doing so.

In my eyes, all we need is time; we need time for these judges to look at what is going on and see that combatants can have valid offense while working from their backs or that throwing 4,000 strikes and handing 7 isn't as valuable as throwing 30 well timed and executed counter strikes.

We took a step in the right direction by implementing monitors for cageside judges and with time it will all come full circle.

Victor Wildcat said...

I'm not even saying stand them up or that the ten point must is stupid. I don't have a huge problem with the ten point must system (granted it's flawed in that a guy can squeak out 2 rounds and lose the next round huge and still win the fight... but every system is going to have flaws). I have a problem with the fighters' mentality that 'I can take him down, lay on him and win the fight with no real problems' or 'I can grind out a decision'. Fuck that. You're going to try to KO or submit this dude or you're not getting a fucking cheque. If you win a decision and it feels like you were trying to end the fight, good job, better luck next time. But if you win by decision and that was the gameplan, you don't need to be fighting on a card I'm paying to watch.

It's been said a million times that judges are retards and they're gonna fuck shit up, but if you stress to a fighter that a decision isn't the type of win you're looking for on your main card he's probably coming up with a new strat. Hello Anderson Silva. Just a nudge every now and then when fighters start slouching a little or a slight overhaul of what the judges consider when deciding a winner. Two guys fighting and one is controlling the fight and the other one is trying to finish the fight should be viewed equally. I'm not saying that retard B throwing wild haymakers should be viewed above retard A who controls the pace of the fight well and can't quite get the fight to go in a direction where he can look to finish, I'm just saying that both should be viewed as equal. So whether these wrestling first fighters decide to work on their kickboxing, GNP or on their BJJ is up to them but effective wrestling alone doesn't finish a fight and that should always be the goal.

Anonymous said...

I think Clay should make things interesting by saying that he should get a title shot and if he doesn't bring home the gold he'll shave his head.

Justin Faux said...

I agree with what you're saying but the reality is, a fighters preferences when they go to war are:
1. win
2. look impressive

Ultimately, the fighters are going to look to win the fight and throw caution to the wind a whole lot less especially in a day and age where losing two in a row is typically your swan song.