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By: Frank Hyden, MMATorch contributor
Even though it feels like banging my head against the wall I want to address the judging in the Anthony Pettis vs. Clay Guida fight at The Ultimate Finale 13. I like Clay Guida, I love his energy, and I love his cardio. However, his performance in the fight wasn't very impressive. He had some nice submission defense, but he didn't offer much on offense. Pettis didn't do a whole lot either. He had some nice submissions attempts, but his takedown defense wasn't very good.
I know the name of the game is to win, but it's always nice if it's entertaining as well. However, entertainment value aside, I don't think Guida should be next in line for a title shot. That's not really a knock against Guida, it just highlights the logjam at lightweight.
I'm a firm believer in the phrase "less is more" especially when it comes to fights. Perhaps we could call it "Hyden's law." Hyden's law says "The lighter the fighter, the more exciting the fight." I definitely believe that to be the case. To me, the most exciting fights are in the lightweight, featherweight, and bantamweight divisions on average. That's not to say that guys in the welterweight, middleweight, light heavyweight, and heavyweight divisions don't have exciting fights sometimes, I'm simply talking about the average excitement level for the fights.
Take five random fights from every division and compare them. Average out the excitement of those five fights, and I bet the lighter divisions have a higher rating than the heavier ones. Obviously, Jon Jones fights in the light heavyweight division so I'm not saying that the heavier divisions are devoid of excitement. I am saying, though, that the average featherweight fight is going to be more exciting than your average light heavyweight fight. All you have to do to prove that is to look at the undercard on a lot of these UFC fight cards. If you see a bantamweight fight between two guys you've never heard of, and a middleweight fight between two guys you've never heard of, I'm willing to bet that the bantamweight fight is going to be more exciting to watch.
The reason "Hyden's Law" is true is very simple, cardio. In the heavier divisions you have guys carrying around extra weight that slows them down. Some of that can be attributed to more muscle, but in a fight of cardio versus muscle, I'm taking cardio every time. The lighter fighters are generally quicker as well, which leads to more explosive moments like a great knockout or a fantastic submission.
The point of this tangent is that it takes a higher quality of fighter to make your way up the ranks in the lighter divisions. I just don't think Clay Guida did enough to earn a title shot with that performance. Another victory or two over high-level guys should get him there, though.
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