When blood splattered onto a mat in the second fight on the preliminary card on FUEL TV, I knew it would be another great night of fights. But the main event on UFC on FX 4, Gray Maynard vs Clay Guida left many criticizing Guida’s gameplan and ability to be aggressive enough to finish the fight. Maynard earned the split decision victory (48-47 x 2 for Maynard, 48-47 for Guida) in Atlantic City, New Jersey and even got an East Coast crowd that was booing “The Bully” at the start of the fight, to start chanting for him in the end.
Here’s a recap of what happened.
Clay Guida will receive backlash like he’s never known before following his split decision loss to Gray Maynard. In a fight that some thought would prove who the top lightweight contender in the UFC is, Guida fell way short of expectations that were set pretty high. Now suffering his second loss in a row after dropping a decision to current UFC Lightweight Champ, Benson Henderson, Guida will have to answer for his “gameplan” or what some may say was a lack of one.
Guida seemed to visibly frustrate Maynard in the earlier rounds with his quick footwork and flurries of strikes. At first, even the Revel crowd in New Jersey was cheering for Guida and booing “The Bully”. Guida’s rhythmic fight style was keeping Maynard at bay.
By time the fight hit the third and fourth rounds, Maynard was so annoyed with Guida’s dodging and running, that he flipped off Guida a couple of times. Guida had even notioned to the ref that Maynard had been pulling his hair. A high kick smacked into Maynard’s face stunning him, but Guida did not go in for the kill. To end the fourth round, Maynard got some taunting of his own in and put Guida in a guillotine, which Guida slammed his way out of, but it was a strong end to the round for Maynard.
When the 5th round started, Guida came out dodging again when it was obvious he’d need to be more aggressive. The Jersey crowd had turned on Clay and started chanting for Maynard. In the end, Maynard won by a split decision and said he should be challenging for the lightweight strap. He also suggested there be an Edgar vs Maynard 4 in his post-fight interview. As Maynard walked out of the Octagon, he and Guida exchanged words over the fight and probably for Maynard saying in his post-fight interview that Guida wasn’t stepping up to the challenge.
I was anticipating Guida would come out more aggressive to finish the fight; or at least land more strikes and make his case for the win. Instead, Guida ran. You may call it dodging, or a smart gameplan to avoid Maynard’s destructive right hand, but in the end this is the Octagon – you come to fight, scrap, bang and destroy. There’s no in between, otherwise it wouldn’t be called the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
UFC President Dana White took to Twitter during the main event thinking Dan Miragliotta took a point from Guida in the 5th round for running and tweeted “Ref took a point from Guida for running! This is like the twilight zone!!! Never thought I’d see that.” But minutes after White said, “Oops it was a warning! Wish he did that in the 2nd round.” Regardless, White’s words will resound with fans and maybe we’ll start asking – why not take away points for failure to engage in a fight? In the end White again tweeted, “Maynard won that easy!!! Wasn’t that close. HORRIBLE fight!”
Spencer Fisher and Sam Stout 3 proved to be worth the hype taking home honors for Fight of the Night. Sam Stout was able to get the first win for Team Tompkins since Shawn Tompkins passed away in August 2011. For Stout, Tompkins was not just his trainer, but also his brother-in-law. Though the third battle against Fisher wasn’t nearly the fight their second was, it still was a war. Fisher had hinted at retiring from the sport prior to the fight. Though no announcement was made at the time this article was written, Fisher has now loss 5 of his last 6 fights.
The anticipated strikefest between Cub Swanson and Ross Pearson ended satisfying my expectations. Swanson took out Pearson with a head kick and followed through with punches earning a TKO victory in the second round. The fight also won Knockout of the Night. For Swanson, he will continue to surge forward in the featherweight division, while Pearson falls to 2-3 in his last five.
Dan Miller earned Submission of the Night for his guillotine choke finish of Ricardo Funch. The fight aired on Facebook, prior to the televised card. The native of Sparta, New Jersey came into the third round stunning Funch with a hard right and working in some ground and pound. Throughout the fight, Miller continued to work for a guillotine and finally got Funch in a position to finish him on his 2nd attempt at the submission in the third round.
Matt “The Immortal” Brown had been edging on the line of being cut by the UFC in 2010 when he lost every fight he had that year. In 2011, he went 1-1, ending the year being submitted by Seth Baczynski by a guillotine choke. Ever since the start of 2012, we’ve seen “The Immortal” come back looking like the Phoenix finally rose from the ashes. He KO’d Chris Cope at UFC 143. Then went on to obliterate Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at UFC 145, picking him apart round by round, earning a dominant unanimous decision win. Tonight he took out Luis Ramos, winning by TKO in the second round from knees and punches. In my book, Brown is a contender for the Comeback Fighter of the Year.
Chris Camozzi took on Nick Catone who was representing Jersey with Frankie Edgar in his corner. Up until the third round, Catone had been dominating the fight and was probably up 20-18 on the scorecards. Camozzi said after the fight that he knew he was down and that he had to come out more aggressive in the 3rd. Camozzi definitely turned it on and caught Catone with a huge left knee that cut him over his left eye. The damage to Catone was severe enough for it to end in as a doctor stoppage in the 3rd round. After the TKO win, Camozzi made a plea with the UFC to fight in Denver at UFC 150.
Steven Siler of PIT Elevated Fight Team, has made a name for himself in the UFC flaunting a sharp, well-rounded skill-set, smooth transitions and an ability to adapt his gameplan in a fight. Tonight, he put himself on the list of rising stars in the featherweight division after an impressive 1st round guillotine finish over Joey Gambino, who was making his UFC debut. Gambino was bloodied early on in the fight by a knee that sliced his head open, he was unable to recover and Siler went to 3-0 in the UFC.
Ricardo Lamas and Hatsu Hioki put on a grappling display of chess that resulted in a unanimous decision win for Lamas. Lamas was able to reverse position early on when Hioki had him in an omoplata. And later, Hioki escaped what appeared to be a fight ending guillotine by Lamas. Lamas acknowledged Hioki’s superior submission defense stating, “That guy’s got gills somewhere.” The win over Hioki could bump Lamas to the contender’s circle in the featherweight division. Hioki was highly regarded as the #2 fighter in the division and was given the opportunity to fight Jose Aldo for the belt, but declined explaining he wanted more experience inside the Octagon. I wonder if Hioki now regrets taking on Lamas who had called him out after he declined the title shot.
Ramsey Nijem earned a TKO win over UFC newcomer CJ Keith who missed weight coming into this fight. And if you don’t make weight in your first fight, you better prove you have some skill in the Octagon. It was obvious in the second round that Keith was not “intelligibly” defending himself, but ref, Yves Lavinge, may have called the fight a little early.
PIT standout, Brock Jardine was also making his UFC debut and fell short. “The Machine” came into his fight versus Rick Story with a 9-1 record and seven finishes. He fell flat in his debut losing to Story by unanimous decision (30-27 x 3). But to give Jardine the benefit of the doubt, he signed this fight as a late replacement and had only about six weeks to train.
Other fight results:
Brian Ebersole def TJ Waldburger by Unanimous Decision (29-28 x3)
Ken Stone def Dustin Pague by Split Decision (29-28 x 2, 29-28 Pague)