When Gray Maynard (11-1-1 MMA, 9-1-1 UFC) squared off with Clay Guida (29-13 MMA, 9-7 UFC) at UFC on FX 4 Friday night, fans expected one of the hardest-hitting battles the lightweight division could ever offer.
What the MMA world got was Guida running from Maynard for five rounds.
Maynard and Guida are known for their ability and willingness to stand in the pocket of a fight and exchange shots. Instead of watching the ultimate battle of striking, the masses were forced to watch The Carpenter run around the Octagon like the chicken in Rocky.
Except in this case, the fans were the Kentucky fried idiots.
This sorry excuse for a main event was an absolute travesty, and UFC president Dana White had every right to come out after the fight and express his distaste for Guida’s fight approach.
White told MMAjunkie.com about the fight and how Guida and his team’s game plan ruined the main event:
The fight sucked. I don't know how to expand on it anymore…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 (expletive) 'Dancing With the Stars.' You can't win a fight by running around in circles – that's not how fights are won.
While White is being his normal brash self and rubbing people the wrong way, everything he says is completely true. The fight card was thin already, but having the main event feature a fan favorite like Guida running away from the fight was terrible publicity.
If UFC is trying to grow its mass appeal via its affiliation with FOX Sports, they need to ensure they are putting on more entertaining events; just like the wildly successful all-heavyweight card the company did at UFC 146.
It is clear that White trusted Maynard and Guida to deliver on that kind of excitement for this Friday main event, but the fact that main event was as bad as it was only puts more pressure and stress on the UFC president’s head.
The UFC is a company first and foremost, and it’s White’s job to make it great. Not only does he have the right to question Guida’s style, he has the power to punish him for embarrassing him.
Let’s see how long the MMA veteran lasts in the UFC after this incident.