Clay Guida defeated Tatsuya Kawajiri in the co-main event of UFC Fight Night 39.
Guida returned to form after several lackluster showings inside the Octagon, and he put his name right back into the thick of things at 145 pounds.
Guida and Kawajiri had a fantastic exchange of action in the first round, but Guida took all three rounds on the scorecards at the end of the day. It was a much-needed win that could have saved his job.
This is how the Twittersphere reacted to the fantastic co-main event.
Sold out 8k tix and 1.86M dollar gate in Abu Dhabi! #fightpass— Dana White (@danawhite) April 11, 2014
If an American Hero can be born in Japan, @CRUSHER_MMA is that hero.— Steven Rondina (@srondina) April 11, 2014
#FACT: Clay Guida's 133 takedowns attempted are tied with Diego Sanchez for the second most in UFC history behind Demian Maia (139).— Mike Bohn (@MikeBohnMMA) April 11, 2014
Kawajiri is probably one of the most underrated MMA fighters ever and Water Pow is one of the most underrated walkout tracks ever.— Jordan Breen (@jordanbreen) April 11, 2014
This is the fight I've been most looking forward to on this card - love the potential for The Crusher vs. The Dude #UFC— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) April 11, 2014
There really is only one Clay Guida. Miss seeing his older bro Jason doing the slapping honors, though.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 11, 2014
Guida dropped Kawajiri early in the fight with a big punch. He tried to follow up, but Kawajiri was able to recover. The Japanese powerhouse began to threaten with submission attempts, but Guida was wise and defended. It was a quality first round, but the knockdown was too much for Kawajiri to overcome.
Oh my Guida!!!! #UFCFightNight— UFC (@ufc) April 11, 2014
Oh man, that would have been absolutely gigantic for Guida. Feels like he needs a strong performance here.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 11, 2014
Wait a minute, is it 2007 again? @clayguida is in a fun fight.— Steven Rondina (@srondina) April 11, 2014
Can't sleep on Guida's striking. May not be pretty but still can be confusing due to broken rhythm. Guida fighting great so far #UFCAbuDhabi— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) April 11, 2014
GUYS, WE DUNNO WHAT'S GONNA HAPPEN HERE!!!!11 Turns out, every Clay Guida fight from the last five years is gonna happen.— Jordan Breen (@jordanbreen) April 11, 2014
Kimura while mounted anyone? Don't see that very often.— Kenny Florian (@kennyflorian) April 11, 2014
Clay Guida seems to have gotten the message that most of his recent fights have been dreadful to watch. Very entertaining first round here.— Robert Sargent (@MMARising) April 11, 2014
What a fantastic first round. This is exactly why I was so excited about this matchup #UFC— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) April 11, 2014
Actually, that round kicked ass in spite of so much cage hugging. Guida's surprise knockdown and slam, plus Kawajiri's armbar. 10-9 Guida.— Jordan Breen (@jordanbreen) April 11, 2014
Kawajiri continued to threaten with submissions, but they were not close. Guida won the positional battles. Octagon control is a piece of the scoring criteria, and that is where he succeeded. Guida went back to his grinding ways to grab another round on the scorecards.
Scramble, scramble, scramble. Winner of this fight might be the one who capitalizes off a scramble.— Dave Sholler (@Sholler_UFC) April 11, 2014
Clay Guida is back in form, holding Kawajiri to the cage and winning because "superior position".— Steven Rondina (@srondina) April 11, 2014
All these slams from Clayson Guidbau.— Jordan Breen (@jordanbreen) April 11, 2014
The takedowns Kawajiri has pulled off show some absurd physical strength.— Steven Rondina (@srondina) April 11, 2014
More of the same from Guida. Less action than the first, but Guida stayed busy. Kawajiri was noticeably tired in the third frame. The pace was too much. He was never able to fully stop Guida in order to get in offense of his own.
Kawajiri is the cleaner, more capable of grappler of the two in transition, but Guida much stronger in basic but key control positions.— Luke Thomas (@SBNLukeThomas) April 11, 2014
That was a package piledriver, Dan Hardy, not a DDT. Gotta brush up on your pro wrestling knowledge, good sir.— Robert Sargent (@MMARising) April 11, 2014
Huge win for Clay there. Very possible his job was on the line there.— Steven Rondina (@srondina) April 11, 2014
I'd say that's the most inspired Guida performance since his UFC 125 guillotine win over Gomi in 2011.— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) April 11, 2014
30-27 Guida. Kawajiri was there in every round, but Guida made him look slow and old. Good mix of Guida grinding and fun grappling exchanges— Jordan Breen (@jordanbreen) April 11, 2014
Clay Guida attacking that post-fight interview. How to do it.— Jon Anik (@Jon_Anik) April 11, 2014
"Chest-hair sandwich with a mullet." Not sure how Conor McGregor could pass up that pitch from Guida.— Chuck Mindenhall (@ChuckMindenhall) April 11, 2014
Clay Guida vs. Conor McGregor is a fight I would sign up to watch right now. That would be a lot of fun #UFC— Damon Martin (@DamonMartin) April 11, 2014
Everybody wants it. Until they get it.— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) April 11, 2014
Guida picked up a much-needed win with scores of 30-27 across the board.