Top MMA News Breaks Down UFC on FX 4: Maynard vs. Guida
The UFC returns to Atlantic City for the first time since 2005 for UFC on FX 4 on Friday, June 22nd. The event will take place at the Revel Casino. It will be headlined by former title challenger Gray ‘The Bully’ Maynard and long time UFC veteran Clay ‘The Carpenter’ Guida. Also on the card is Canadian Lightweight standout Sam ‘Hands of Stone’ Stout. There will be four main card fights aired live on Rogers Sportsnet in Canada and FX in the U.S. Along with the main card, six preliminary bouts will be aired live on Sportsnet in Canada and Fuel in the U.S. The remaining two bouts on the card will be live on facebook.
Now for the breakdown:
Gray Maynard (10-1-1) vs. Clay Guida (29-12)
After missing out on two consecutive opportunities to become the UFC Lightweight Champion, Gray Maynard is looking to rebound against the always resilient and exciting Clay Guida. This is both fighters’ opportunities to throw themselves back in the mix of Lightweight title contention. Guida is coming off of a loss to current title holder, Ben Henderson which was a fight of the year candidate in 2011. Both of the 155ers prefer the grappling game and are not exactly known for the ability to stand. Though Maynard has the advantage in many aspects of MMA such as wrestling and his boxing base is better than anything his opponent can bring, Guida still carries many advantages with intangibles such as heart and cardio. It is almost a guarantee that Guida will look to push the pace and make Maynard fight an ugly fight. Unfortunately for Guida, Maynard does not mind doing so as his fight history has proven. Besides the two Edgar fights, we had become adjusted to watching Maynard take fighters to the ground and grind out easy victories. He looked dominant in most of his fights, even against recent retiree and 3 time title challenger, Kenny Florian. Guida is at his best against fighters that are unable to handle his pace and his strength. Not many are able to but when guys like Henderson, Florian and Diego Sanchez went up against the hairy Lightweight, they were able to turn the fights into amazing back and forth brawls that Guida could not take control of. If Guida wants to defeat Maynard, who is considered by many to be top 3 in his respected division, he will need to overpower ‘The Bully’ and fight off the cage. Unfortunately for Guida, Maynard is just too powerful and should be able to out muscle him. He will likely get the fight to the ground and dominate as he gets his name back in the win column.
Prediction: Maynard via Unanimous Decision
Spencer Fisher (24-8) vs. Sam Stout (17-7-1)
Canadian Lightweight, Sam Stout returns to the Octagon to complete his trilogy with Spencer Fisher. Both Stout and Fisher have defeated each other once and this rubber match should be an exciting one. The last time they fought was in 2007 as Fisher defeated Stout en route to a unanimous decision. Now, in 2012, both fighters are much different. Stout has looked very good in the Octagon against tough competition. After finishing Yves Edwards with one of the most impressive overhand lefts there has been in the UFC, he nearly finished Thiago Tavares in a fight that could have gone either way. Fisher openly told the UFC that he wanted one final fight before retiring after losing four of his last five. Stout tends to struggle if he is unable to get in tight. Stout is not the type of fighter that is able to ever dominate a fight from start to finish. He has a tendency to take a lot of shots but he has not been finished since Kenny Florian was able to do so in 2006. Fisher is a long time veteran of the UFC and has more versatility than Stout, but both of these guys like to stand and both struggle to fight off their backs. This fight will turn into more of a kickboxing match and Stout has the better striking ability at this point in their careers. This fight will be a constant back and forth and an entertaining one as well with the Canadian coming out on top but barely.
Prediction: Stout via Unanimous Decision
Brian Ebersole (49-14-1) vs. T.J. Waldburger (15-6)
At this point in his career, veteran Brian Ebersole deserves a step up in competition, especially after coming out on top in all three of his UFC bouts and looking dominant at times. This fight is set up to see if submission specialist, T.J. Waldburger is a legitimate Welterweight contender in the UFC. Though his striking is considered mediocre at best, Waldburger is as slick as anyone on the ground. Ebersole is a very well rounded fighter with an extremely unique style. He does not fear taking the fight to the ground no matter who he is up against. Waldburger can submit most fighters in the division undoubtedly and Ebersole, being an aggressor on the ground, could very well set himself up for defeat. Waldburger will not be able to stand with a guy like Ebersole so he needs to find a way to get on the ground. If Ebersole keeps the fight standing, his unique style will frustrate a fighter like Waldburger and he could very well finish it. Odds are Waldburger will attempt to latch onto one of Ebersole’s limbs as the veteran reverses and gets top position. Ebersole has fought enough to understand the ground game and escape anything thrown at him as he finishes the fights via strikes on the ground.
Prediction: Ebersole via TKO Round 2
Ross Pearson (13-5) vs. Cub Swanson (16-5)
Four words can describe this bout between Ross Pearson and Cub Swanson: Fight of the Night. Pearson has some of the best technical boxing you will see in the Featherweight division. He will move forward and frustrate his opponents with his hands. Cub Swanson will gladly go right back at him. Pearson looked fairly impressive in his divisional debut against Junior Assuncao after spending his entire career at 155. This move is an excellent decision considering he can now carry a size and power advantage against Featherweights. He will have that advantage against Cub Swanson who will still move forward and take shots against the Brit. He is coming off of a fantastic knockout of George Roop but will likely not look as good against a tough fighter like Pearson. This should very well be a great back and forth as Pearson will likely avoid the ground considering Swanson does have the advantage. It is unlikely that Swanson can get the fight to the ground and use his BJJ to his advantage because Pearson has become excellent with his takedown defense. Pearson will need to use his hands to keep Swanson desperate and throwing his wide array of strikes as he hopes to catch Pearson. Pearson is one of the few fighters that might make sense to get an eventual shot at current title holder, Jose Aldo so he will need to impress against Cub and it is tough to say he should not. This should be a war as Pearson gets the nod.
Prediction: Pearson via Unanimous Decision