Whilst Guida’s performance was less than impressive, in a way it’s preferable to witness Guida on the ground than on the feet. The guy displays so much movement on his feet that you could be mistaken for thinking that he’s at a Zumba convention rather than in the Octagon.
Clay has probably never been inert in his entire life, and watching him bounce about, quite frankly, can induce seasickness even when on firm ground.
Pettis represents one of the new-fangled mixed martial artists over whom we all get enthused (instantiated by that funky kick he attempted off his back during Round 1), until someone like Guida comes along to rain on the parade.
It’s not a matter of objecting to Guida’s appropriation of wrestling to stifle Pettis, but rather that he appeared neither able, nor seemingly willing to inflict any damage upon Pettis, nor genuinely endeavouring to conclude the fight at any juncture.
However, if the referees permit such stale inactivity, then the blame cannot rest with Guida. The issue of judging rears its ugly head yet again, with Bas Rutten suggesting that Pettis won the first round through his attempts to finish from the bottom. Indeed, at times Pettis did appear more active and effective from bottom position than Guida managed from the top.
Guida’s principal method of attack, the shoulder thrusts, seemed highly innocuous. They were hardly tantamount to “pounding through the mat” which Guida had promised in his official pre-fight interview. I couldn’t help but think that the cardboard cutout of Guida, which his brother Jason brought into the Octagon post-fight, would have made it a more exciting fight, though admittedly it may not have made weight.
Even Clay’s post-fight speech was uncharacteristically tedious, essentially comprised of innumerable shout-outs before Rogan mercifully intervened. Don’t tell me Greg is teaching media etiquette also?
Thankfully Dana has since confirmed that Jim Miller precedes Clay in the lightweight pecking order. If someone can still present a strong enough case as to why Guida deserves the shot ahead of Miller, I’ll happily Frank-the-Tank my way through my hometown naked as the day I was born.