Saturday, June 23, 2012

Maynard tops Guida in UFC's return to Atlantic City

ATLANTIC CITY (The Phanatic Magazine) - The always energetic and unorthodox Clay Guida gave lightweight contender Gray Maynard all he could handle Friday but in the end the former Michigan State wrestling star earned a five-round split decision in the main event of UFC's return to the seaside resort at the new Revel Ovation Hall.

Guida frustrated Maynard without with a defensive style, using his vaunted movement skills to keep the favorite off balance. At one point in Round 4 Maynard dropped his hands and verbally challenged Guida to fight and "The Carpenter" responded with three punches that did little damage to Maynard. Guida then went for a takedown but Maynard caught him in a guillotine that nearly ended the fight before Guida escaped by lifting Maynard off the canvas and slamming him.

Two judges scored the bout 48-47 for Maynard with one using the same score for Guida. The Phanatic Magazine scored the bout 48-47 for Maynard.

"I thought Guida was coming to fight. His stuff got old in there," Maynard said. "I wanted to prove to people that I can do it. I came to fight tonight. I thought I won that fight fair and square and it wasn't a question. I want the belt back. I want to fight (Frankie) Edgar."  

UFC President Dana White, however, might have different plans. Late in the Late in the second round, the always controversial White tweeted, "I thought it was impossible for this fight to suck. I WAS WRONG!!!!!!" 

White was upset by Guida's stallling and Maynard's inability to cut off the cage and force the action.

"Thanks, Atlantic City," Maynard said to Jon Anik after the fight. "I know you guys like fighters, Arturo Gatti. I was trying to do the same."

In other bouts televised on FX lightweight Sam Stout earned a unanimous decision over Spencer Fisher, while veteran welterweight Brian Ebersole got the best of T.J. Waldburger, also by unanimous decision.

Fisher, who is taling about retirement, was able to damage Stout's right eye but couldn't handle his takedown game and lost on all three scorecards, 30-27.

Ebersole, meanwhile, started slowly, dropping the first round after nearly getting choked out before rebounding and earning the final two rounds by outstriking his opponent.

"I think ’I've proved I belong in the UFC. The choke in the first round wasn't that deep; I probably went red or purple but I always do," Ebersole said. "He only had one side of my neck and I could breath okay. I felt I took the final two rounds."

The highlight of the undercard saw featherweight Cub Swanson knock out Ross Pearson in the second round. Swanson first connected with a front kick that grazed Pearson followed by two right jabs and the left hook that put him down.

"I felt he didn’t respect my power. I could see I was hurting him in his facial expressions but he kept coming forward," Swanson said. "He’s always done that in fights thought, and he’s very strong, he knocked me off balance even with shots I was blocking. But I could see I was having an affect with my shots and I thought I could take him out."

Also, Ricardo Lamas upset featherweight contender Hatsi Hiroki by outpointing him; Rick Story gassed out in the third but had enough to beat Brock Jardine in a welterweight bout and Steven Siler choked out Joey Gambino in a featherweight encounter.

"I thought I won two to three rounds for sure. I know he got a takedown here and there but I was close to finishing him a bunch of times," Lamas said. "He’s very tough, that arm-in choke I had was in deep and he refused to tap. I had to let up a little because I was burning up my arm. But I knew I’d beaten him."

New Jersey native Nick Catone was dominating his middleweight bout with Chris Camozzi but a nasty cut over Catone's left eye forced referee Dan Miragliotta to stop things in the third round.

"I’m bummed out. I felt I won the first two rounds but he hit that knee and the sweat and blood was going into my eye," Catone said. "I thought the referee may stop it but I wanted to continue. I’m a little bummed out losing like that but my bad for getting a knee to the eye."

The card also featured New Jersey welterweight Dan Miller who choked out Ricardo Funch, Matt Brown KO'd Luis Ramos in another welterweight bout and Ken Stone outpointed Dustin Pague in a bantamweight bout.
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