Las Vegas–For the better part of a decade, Clay “The Carpenter” Guida has been a fighter with the moniker of ‘grinder.’ Usually in the sport of MMA, to be considered a grinder would be a derogatory statement. It would imply, more or less, that you are looking to fight safe by working a single discipline game plan, in this case wrestling, while only concerned with getting the proverbial “W.”
Well, when the MMA gods made Clay Guida, they broke the mold.
On Saturday night at the Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 13 Finale, Guida earned arguably the biggest win of his storied career, as he dispatched of former WEC Lightweight Champion, and human highlight reel, Anthony “Showtime” Pettis. And how did he dominate such an explosive up-and-comer you ask? By being the best damn grinder that the UFC has to offer.
Guida controlled Pettis from bell to bell while earning himself a unanimous decision victory. The Carpenter used a myriad of takedowns and level changes to give Pettis different looks, so as to not be too predictable. And the worst thing you can do being a notorious grinder, is to be too predictable. Once on the mat, Guida employed a barrage of well timed elbows, hammerfist’s, and other ground attacks to stymie any momentum Pettis could muster.
Moments after his monumental victory, I had the chance to speak with Guida and get his thoughts on who he wants to fight next, his controversial fighting style, and much more. And in case you missed the fight on Saturday, I’m including my live play-by-play I did from my cage-side seat at the Palms, located below.
Also, if you happened to miss my interview with TUF 13 champion, Tony Ferguson, you can see that by clicking HERE. Enjoy!
-Anthony Pettis (13-1) vs. Clay Guida (28-11)
RD1: Chants of “Guida!” open round 1. 20 seconds in and we have a bunch of circling so far. Guida circling as he pops a 1-2 combo through Pettis’ guard. Pettis snaps a jab but he can’t find Guida’s head through his hair. Pettis snaps a high kick that just misses, he follows soon there after with another kick, but Guida telegraphs it and slams Pettis to the ground. Now in Pettis’ guard, Guida is briefly in trouble from a triangle but he escapes. Guida postures now and lands a few disruptive shots. Pettis with a few solid strikes from the bottom. Guida standing over Pettis now, as Pettis tries a Capoeira/rising kick from the bottom that barely misses. More creativity from “Showtime.” Guida with another takedown and he pummels Pettis with elbows. Pettis with a brief armbar attempt but Guida powers out and is now in half guard looking to pass. Shoulder shrugs from Guida looking to open Pettis up. The round ends with Guida in dominant position.
RD2: Pettis opens round 2 popping his jab looking to back Guida into the cage and land some combos. Guida doing an amazing job at circling away and staying composed. Guida shoots a power double leg and earns a great takedown, as he looks to control Pettis with 3 minutes left in the round. Pettis manages to post and stand up but Guida keeps him clinched and is working some dirty boxing as he smothers Pettis. Pettis manages to separate and wing a high kick that seems to connect to the side of Guida’s head and the crowd goes crazy. Pettis just posted with his right foot on the cage and sent a spinning back kick to Guida’s stomach. I can guarantee you that’s never been seen before, very similar to his kick against Henderson. Pettis gets a bit overzealous and leaves himself open for a huge takedown. Guida now in Pettis’ guard and he’s throwing mad elbows and hammer fists. As the round ends Pettis locks Guida up in an ultra-tight armbar, but the horn sounds on round 2. Wow, what action. 10-9 Guida.
RD3: Jab/overhand right combo from Guida that he parlays into a slick takedown, and that starts round 3 for Anthony Pettis. Guida now in Pettis’ guard landing grinding shots. Pettis once again is having a super active guard, as he throws up triangle and armbar attempts. Guida grinding Pettis against the cage now, putting on a textbook display of Octagon control and effectiveness. Pettis manages to post and we are back to the feet. Guida goes for a trip takedown but ends up on the ground as Pettis lands in side control! Pettis takes Guida’s back and is looking to sink in a rear naked choke! Guida slips out the back! Guida now in Pettis’ guard, and is landing hammer fists and elbows, looking to ride out his decision. Great performance from both fighters. Round 3 ends with Clay Guida on Anhony Pettis’ back. 10-9 Guida.
Your official decision: 30-27, 30-27, 30-27 for your winner via unanimous decision, Clay Guida
(Video was done in conjunciton with MMAweekly and icedjamb.com)