Gray Maynard (10-1-1) vs. Clay Guida (29-12)
Just like Nucky Thompson did many years earlier, Clay Guida and Gray Maynard will try their luck on the Atlantic city boardwalk in pursuit of UFC glory. While both fighters are coming off losses, they fall under a different set of circumstances. Guida’s loss to Benson Henderson cost him a title shot while Maynard’s knockout defeat to Frankie Edgar denied him the lightweight title and gave him the first loss of his career. Pre-fight drama has uncharacteristically in their case, reared its ugly head as Maynard’s camp filed a protest with the New Jersey Athletic Control Board complaining about Clay Guida’s hair. To avoid any commission entanglements to focus on the fight, Guida will braid his hair. Maynard told MMAJunkie.com “I never filed a complaint” and “This was the first I’ve ever heard about it.”
The story of this fight can be found in Guida’s win/loss record. He dominates the competition, until he faces the elite of the division, and Maynard is among that distinctive class. Fighters tend to be gun shy coming off a knockout loss so in essence, both fighters have a lot of questions to answer. Guida throws more punches and is constantly moving forward, but Maynard punches harder and his wrestling is powerful enough to halt Guida’s forward progress. Guida can’t afford to let Maynard get comfortable for even a second because he is beyond difficult to stop once he finds his rhythm. Success for Guida will depend on how he uses his wrestling because straight single leg or double leg takedowns will prove futile against the Division I All American.
Fainting takedowns and throwing combinations could knock Maynard off balance which would keep him out of that all-important comfort zone, but Guida’s style doesn’t lend itself to the many attempts it might take in order to achieve such a feat. Guida becomes easier to takedown as the fight progresses and has to avoid all takedowns like the plague. This will be the Guida’s first five round fight and Maynard’s third. Guida has exhibited the gas tank to go for twenty five minutes but Maynard has actually proved it and the extra time will allow “The Bully” to operate without pause.
Prediction: Gray Maynard by unanimous decision
Spencer Fisher vs. Sam Stout III – Fisher
Brian Ebersole vs. T.J. Waldburger – Ebersole
Ross Pearson vs. Cub Swanson – Pearson
Hatsu Hioki vs. Ricardo Lamas – Hioki (Interesting to see Hioki, who turned down a featherweight title shot, fighting in the prelim.)
Ricardo Funch vs. Dan Miller – Miller (Sentimental pick)
Luis Ramos vs. Matt Brown – Brown
C.J. Keith vs. Ramsey Nijem – Nijem
Joey Gambino vs. Steven Siler – Siler
Chis Camozzi vs. Nick Catone – Catone
Francisco Rivera vs. Ken Stone – Rivera
Brock Jardine vs. Rick Story – Jardine