By Anthony Springer Jr.
Tonight at UFC on FX 4, two lightweights always a step or two away from title contention look to take another step up the crowded 155-pound ladder. As the adage goes, styles make fights and the tilt between Gray Maynard (10-1-1) and Clay Guida (29-12) is about as stylistically different as you can get.
On one end, “The Bully” is one of the division’s best wrestlers. His hands are steadily improving and his stellar takedown defense allows him to dictate where the fight ends up. In the past, we’ve seen the former Michigan State wrestler just as comfortable slugging it out as he is putting on a grappling clinic.
At the other end of the cage, Maynard will find a surging Guida, who is the victor of four of his last five—with the loan loss coming to current champion Benson Henderson. Always a fan favorite, “The Carpenter” has showcased more than ridiculous cardio in his last five outings, finishing three of those fights by way of submission.
When looking at this bout from an analysts’ perspective, compare it to a fire versus a wet blanket. Guida is an inferno from the first minute of the opening round to the final tick in the last. Maynard, on the other hand is known for a suffocating style that keeps opponents off their games.
Maynard’s key to victory is to keep Guida put Guida on his back—and keep him there as long as humanly possible. “The Bully” caught lightening in a bottle twice when he faced Frankie Edgar and faded as the fight wore on. If Maynard can’t finish Guida early, or take a commanding three round lead (in the first three frames), it’s going to be a long night.
Look for the “The Carpenter” to set a frenetic pace that Maynard simply won’t be able to keep up with over the long haul.
Winner: Guida via unanimous (but competitive) decision.
The Spencer Fisher vs. Sam Stout co-main event is a fan’s dream match. This trilogy comes to an end this evening. Each man holds a decision victory over the other and the previous two bouts have featured 15-minutes of wall-to-wall action. While Fisher will put up a good effort, it’s hard to go against “Hands of Stone” Stout in this one. Look for Stout to send this one out with a bang. Down with “The King.”
Winner: Stout via KO
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