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By: Jamie Penick, MMATorch Editor-in-Chief
Friday night's UFC on FX 4 event was shaping up to be a very solid night of fights until the main event left everyone with a sour taste in their mouths. Clay Guida opted to bounce around and dance around the cage, oftentimes straight up running from one side to the next, frustrating Gray Maynard throughout their five round bout and drawing boos from the New Jersey crowd.
The performance led a heated Maynard to shout out expletives towards Guida, along with letting his middle fingers fly in a show of frustration on more than one occasion. Ultimately, Maynard managed to get in a little offense in the third, fourth, and fifth rounds, and took a unanimous decision victory. That didn't make the fight any more enjoyable, and UFC President Dana White made his thoughts on the fight clear at the night's post-fight press conference.
"The fight sucked. I don't know how to expand on it anymore," White said after the event (transcribed by MMAJunkie.com. "... 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."
White seemed perplexed by Guida's performance, both on Twitter and after the event, and hinted at placing some blame on his coaches at Greg Jackson's gym.
"Because this was the main event, I think it was worse," White said. "I'm sure I will [talk to Guida]. I'm not his trainer. I'm not his coach. These guys come up with game plans, whatever it is, but to make a guy like Clay Guida go out and fight like that – that was the game plan?"
"I think Clay Guida's a warrior. The guy has fought for us a zillion times. He's put on some of the best fights ever in UFC history. Tonight, I don't know if he had a premonition that he should go out and fight like this or he got some bad advice. But again, who am I? I'm not his trainer, I'm not his coach. Maybe that's the way he wants to fight for the rest of his career. I don't know. I wouldn't advise it."
Penick's Analysis: Last night's performance was not on Greg Jackson and his team. That criticism does not hold water. Greg Jackson fighter Cub Swanson delivered a knockout in a fantastic fight not two hours before Guida and Maynard stepped into the cage. This is how Guida has fought many times before, just taken to an extreme. Perhaps people are so used to seeing his hair going crazy in a fight that they're blind to the fact that this is often how he fights. Sure, sometimes it's led to some exciting exchanges and finishes, but that's with fighters engaging him further and playing into his wild and crazy game. Maynard was straightforward and tried to walk him down instead of playing right into him, so some of the negatives on this fight come down on him as well. But this is who Guida is. He wants to frustrate his opponents, and he waits to pick his spots against guys he can't take down. This isn't on Greg Jackson. Guida just amped up the ridiculousness of his high-energy style to another level.
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Jamie Penick, editor-in-chief
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