At UFC on FX 4, Clay Guida unveiled his new Kalib Starnes impression, constantly backpedaling in an effort to avoid engaging in an exchange with the heavy-handed Gray Maynard. While staying on the outside wasn't a bad game plan, Guida took his unassertive approach too far and was even warned for timidity by referee Dan Miragliotta at one point in the fight.
With Guida and Maynard being widely considered as two of the world's top lightweights, many had high expectations for this matchup. For that reason, there were plenty of MMA fans, fighters and pundits voicing their disappointment via Twitter.
Initially, Guida's constant head movement was humorous and even impressive on some level. A Greg Jackson-trained teammate of Guida, Brian Stann, was somewhat in awe of the long-haired lightweight's footwork.
Guida burns more calories in one round of head movement than I do in a 5 round fight!
— Brian Stann (@BrianStann) June 23, 2012
After a round of Guida's circling, though, the jokes quickly turned to anger. With both fighters having each recently earned Fight of the Night honors, few expected a boring fight out of Guida and Maynard, but those individuals soon discovered they were incorrect. The annoyed reactions came early and often from the man whose wallet would probably be most impacted by Guida's showing.
I thought it was impossible for this fight to suck. I WAS WRONG!!!!!!
Prior to the fight's start, Guida appeared to have the crowd on his side, as they heavily cheered him on his way to the Octagon. However, before long, the attending fans at Revel Casino in Atlantic City, NJ began pulling for Maynard to make something happen. The UFC's president, Dana White, even began openly voicing his displeasure for Guida's performance.
First time I have ever seen Guida get boo'd out of the building. I am booing too!!
— Dana White (@danawhite) June 23, 2012
While those watching the fight weren't happy, there was probably nobody more upset with Guida's antics than Maynard, who began taunting and verbally berating his opponent. At one point, as the UFC director of communications Dave Shollar put it, the usually reserved Maynard appeared to be acting more like the polarizing Nick Diaz.
Gray said you know what? Let's Diaz this thing up a bit....
— Dave Sholler (@Sholler_UFC) June 23, 2012
After five rounds of what was mostly, well, nothing, Maynard was named a split-decision winner over Guida. Despite landing very seldom on an opponent who didn't come to fight, Maynard showed enough aggression for the judges to name him the victor.
As former UFC lightweight Danny Downes joked, it wouldn't even be a stretch to say that Guida's pre-fight routine of getting slapped by his brother and cornerman, Jason Guida, resulted in more damage than his actual fight against Maynard.
How shouldMaynard feel knowing that Jason guida hit his opponent more than him?
— Daniel Downes (@dannyboydownes) June 23, 2012
While most were immensely perturbed by the lack of entertainment the UFC on FX 4 main event provided, welterweight Jake Ellenberger enjoyed the bout. Then again, his head may still recovering from his recent knockout loss to Martin Kampmann.
— Jake Ellenberger (@EllenbergerMMA) June 23, 2012
Thankfully, there will be a short turnaround between UFC events, so this bout may be quickly forgotten. Saturday night, for the first time in the organization's history, the UFC will host events on back-to-back days by bringing UFC 147 to Belo Horizonte, Brazil.
The fight card will feature a main event between MMA greats Wanderlei Silva and Rich Franklin. After tonight, fans probably won't get their hopes up, but the first meeting between the UFC 147 headliners resulted in the Fight of the Night at UFC 99, where Franklin defeated Silva in a unanimous decision.
I take great comfort knowing that tomorrow night's fight with Wanderlei Silva vs Rich Franklin will be at least 100 times more exciting.
— Joe Rogan (@joerogan) June 23, 2012
After Jon Anik and Kenny Florian served as commentators for UFC on FX 4, Mike Goldberg and Joe Rogan have lucked out in getting the pleasure of analyzing what should turn into one last highlight in the careers of two fading legends.
I can't watch the UFC fights tonight, I think I missed out?
— Siyar Bahadurzada (@SiyarTheGreat) June 23, 2012
The Sam Stout-Spencer Fisher bout was an entertaining one. However, as far as the main event went, no, Siyar, you did not.