With two of the UFC’s top Lightweights set to square off, find out if Gray Maynard’s crisper boxing and clear strength advantages are enough to validate his -325 pricetag over the high octane attack of Clay Guida.
UFC on FX 4: Gray “The Bully” Maynard vs. Clay Guida
From Atlantic City, New Jersey, UFC on FX 4 pits
Clay Guida against Gray Maynard as two top lightweights look to reestablish
their place in line for a title shot.
Maynard's clear wrestling edge and more refined boxing
are the two primary factors leading to his current -365 pricetag. The real
question is whether or not Guida's cardio and spastic, judge-friendly activity
on the feet is enough to squeak out a close decision in a potential 5 round
Guida's last few outings consist of him getting
outclassed and choked out by Kenny Florian, earning a somewhat lucky TKO due
to a jaw injury sustained by Dos Anjos, then taking a close,
but controversial decision off Anthony Pettis. His finest outing in that span,
oddly enough, came against Lightweight champion Henderson, where his
performance marginally validated value as a +246 underdog in the eyes of the UFC odds makers.
Maynard, in that same period, has been credited for
having the most success on the feet than any other lightweight against Nate
Diaz, edged out decision over Florian, and fought former champion, Frankie
Edgar, to a draw before getting TKO'd in a rematch.
I think it’s fairly clear who’s gone through the more
credible route of opposition while actually out performing their
opponents. Realistically, Guida could easily be 1-3 in his last 4 fights,
or 2-5 in his last 7, with his only two definitive wins in that span coming
against the lowly Takanori Gomi and Shannon Gugerty.
Lightweight Breakdown & Prediction
First, it’s worth noting that Maynard recently took it
upon himself to broaden his training partners by outsourcing himself to Nova
Uniao before hooking up with an elite wrestling team like AKA -- two of the top
camps catering to his specific size and skill-set.
I think Maynard’s primary focus against Guida needs to be
pacing his output while conservatively throwing his power shots, and if he can,
utilize his serviceable jab to help to stabilize some of Guida’s chaotic
On the feet, Guida is going to have to be particularly
cautious of Gray’s counter uppercut, his overhand and right hook on the inside,
and to a lesser extent, his lead hook, which is what was used to initially drop
Frankie Edgar in the first fight.
Gray is capable of closing distance surprisingly fast
with his right hand. Even a much rangier guy like Nate Diaz was having some
trouble picking up on his release point and avoiding the big shots on the
inside. At around the 3 minute mark in the second round we watched as Gray was
able to disguise a right hand over the top and clearly stun Diaz. The fact that
a far less refined Gray Maynard was able to put up one of the higher connect percentage against Diaz says a lot in my eyes, even if both men were still largely
unpolished at the time.
So the question then becomes how likely is Guida to take
over in the last two rounds with his clearly superior pace and output.
If you look at his last fight with Ben Henderson you’ll
find that he was shockingly competitive in the wrestling department. In some
eyes, he even managed to steal the last round with a late guillotine attempt.
We watched as he attempted to tire Henderson out early by
pressuring him against the cage while holding his own in several scramble
situations throughout the fight. He managed to score two brief takedowns in the
second round due in large part to his timing and sheer relentlessness.
Though I see zero UFC betting value in Guida SU, I think there could
be a slight value surrounding the props on him either winning in rounds 4 or 5,
or by submission. If he can tire Maynard out enough in the first few rounds, I
can see him possibly threatening with a guillotine or possible side/armtriangle
choke similar to the one he used to submit Shannon Gugerty.
I think at the end of the day we can expect Maynard to
land the cleaner harder shots for all 5 rounds. Though his cardio is a concern,
I feel his last two fights against Frankie Edgar will go a long way in him
being more conscious of properly pacing himself, especially knowing he’s up
against someone with such freakish recovery and a never-ending gas tank.
Play on Gray Maynard
-325 @ pinny