After suffering his first career loss to Frankie Edgar, UFC lightweight bruiser, Gray Maynard, returns to the Octagon on June 22nd after eight months to headline the UFC on FX 4 alongside Clay Guida.
It's a great headliner between two of the division's most talented, exciting competitors.
But Gray Maynard is going to destroy Clay Guida. Here's why.
The striking isn't even close. Maynard has developed into a very good boxer, while Guida is pretty much the same elementary striker he was six years ago. Watch a Maynard fight from six years ago and the difference is night and day. Watch a Guida fight from the same time, and the only way you can tell the difference is video quality and the length of his hair.
Both guys come from a wrestling background. But Guida is a former high school wrestler with some junior college experience, while Maynard is a three time NCAA Division I All-American. Now, credentials alone don't mean everything, but that's a vast disparity in level of competition.
Still though, Guida has developed the sort of potent wrestling attack that works so well in MMA. He's unrelenting. If he cannot get the takedown, he goes for it again, and again, and again. He’ll hang onto a leg until he does get it. When he can’t, he’s in trouble. Against Gray, he won’t get it.
Frankie Edgar was able to take Maynard down because his striking kept Maynard guessing. Guida will not enjoy that option.
This is a five rounder, but don’t expect fatigue to play a vital role. We’ve seen Maynard go five hard rounds. And Guida’s gas tank is the stuff of legends.
Guida will make a war out of it; he has a knack for that sort of thing. His chin is rock solid, so he’ll be able to absorb the beating he’s certain to receive. But he’ll simply be outclassed in just about every area of the fight. He does hold the jiu jitsu advantage, but that won’t mean much unless he can put Maynard on his back and keep him there.
Maynard will use crisp boxing to bust Guida up, and with his size, strength, and wrestling advantages he’ll be the one dictating where the fight takes place. That will take Guida completely out of his game, just as it did when he faced Ben Henderson.
Guida is a great fighter, definitely top-ten caliber, but he’s just not at that championship level. Maynard is, and that’s the difference.
This is probably Guida's last run at a title shot, and it will not end happily for him.