Clay Guida started MMA fearlessly - he went to watch a friend fight on a small Midwest card, and when the annoucer said there was an opening, he stepped up out of the audience. The then wrestler was winning the fight when he got caught in a rear naked choke, but the attitude made him one of the most exciting and beloved figures in the sport.
The pattern repeated in 2007 when he was ahead on all scorecards before being submitted in the final round by Roger Huerta, but UFC.com named the bout the best fight of 2007. He went on two take two Submission of the Night performance bonus awards, and Fight of the Night in a losing effort vs. Ben Henderson last year.
All that changed last night as Clay Guida employed a very nearly successful 'Jab n Jog' style vs. Gray Maynard, who ultimately won a five-round split decision in Friday's main event at UFC on FX 4.
UFC President Dana White's twitter account tells the story.
Dana White @danawhite
Stout vs Fisher and Guida vs Maynard LIVE on FX now!!!!
I thought it was impossible for this fight to suck. I WAS WRONG!!!!!!
First time I have ever seen Guida get boo'd out of the building. I am booing too!!
Ref took a point from Guida for running! This is like the twilight zone!!!! Never thought I would see that
Oops it was a warning! Wish he did that in the 2nd round
Maynard won that easy!!!! Wasn't that close. HORRIBLE fight!
Taking off to Brazil for UFC 147 Wandy vs Franklin. Thank u Atlantic City u are always an awesome crowd! The Revel was perfect venue
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At the post-fight news conference, White, Guida, and Maynard all had their say.
"The fight sucked. I don't know how to expand on it anymore," White told MMAjunkie.com. "… I don't think that was a split decision at all. I think Gray Maynard won that fight easily. Nobody can win or lose a fight when the guy is running around in circles. He was literally running. I had some guys who are fans on Twitter saying, 'Great footwork.' This isn't f------ 'Dancing With the Stars.' You can't win a fight by running around in circles – that's not how fights are won.'
"Because this was the main event, I think it was worse (than Kalib Starne's epic, losing avoidance of Nate Quarry at UFC 83). I'm sure I will (talk to Guida). I'm not his trainer. I'm not his coach. These guys come up with game plans, whatever it is, but to make a guy like Clay Guida go out and fight like that – that was the game plan?"
"I think Clay Guida's a warrior. The guy has fought for us a zillion times. He's put on some of the best fights ever in UFC history. Tonight, I don't know if he had a premonition that he should go out and fight like this or he got some bad advice. But again, who am I? I'm not his trainer, I'm not his coach. Maybe that's the way he wants to fight for the rest of his career. I don't know. I wouldn't advise it."
"It took me two rounds just to know, 'I think this guy's going to do this the whole fight. … It's not even moving, it's moving to the other end of the cage. A couple steps, I understand that – you're still in the pocket, you're still there able to hit me. But it's a fight and you can't just go to the end of the cage and back to the other end the whole time. You've got to give me a chance, too."
“He had a little plan, and I tried to scrap it up. You can’t [throw two punches] and then move all the way across [the cage], you know? [You should take] two or three steps, and then [get] back to the action. I would chase him all the way across [the cage], then he’d go back across. You can’t do that. You’re trying to take all the chance out of it. It’s a fight. You’ve got to have that [uncertainty] where you’re in there swinging. Move a little bit, but at least let’s keep fighting.”
“I was trying to go for him. Obviously there were a couple of sprints here and there. Good thing I hired a sprint coach. He was all over the place. I was just trying to stalk him down and keep cool. I was getting flustered, of course, but I thought it was going to be a brawl,” said Maynard. “If [the referee] could have [taken a point for passivity], then that would have been nice for me, but I’m not trying to tell people how to do jobs. I’m just trying to do my job, and that’s to fight, you know?”
"I thought Guida was coming to fight. I came to fight. I came to get bloody, have fun. I wanted to prove I could go a hard five."
"I think a little more movement and if I would've landed a few more strikes, I would've gotten the nod. We stuck to the game plan. We were unpredictable. He's a big, heavy puncher. The guy hits hard. The guy punches holes in walls for practice, I'm sure, and I didn't want my head to be one of those. I thought we stuck to the game plan, we kept him guessing, we ran him out. He was swinging for the fences, and we weren't there. … I felt good about my performance."
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