In a terrific fight in the UFC's lightweight division, Clay Guida
won a unanimous decision victory over Anthony Pettis
at Saturday night's Ultimate Fighter Finale.
All three judges scored all three rounds for Guida, who came in with a perfect game plan of using takedowns and top control to negate Pettis's superior striking.
"I'm super pumped," Guida said after the fight. "Anthony Pettis, I want to give a lot of credit."
Guida caught a Pettis kick about a minute into the first round and used it to take him down, but Pettis immediately started to threaten Guida with submission attempts off his back. Pettis briefly got back up but Guida took him down again, and the round ended with Guida on top on the ground.
Early in the second round it was more of the same, with Guida again taking Pettis down and getting on top of him. Pettis was able to get back up and finally unleash some of his flashy striking, including a sweet spinning kick, but in the last minute of the round Guida took Pettis down again, and although Pettis attempted an arm bar in the closing seconds of the round, Guida's late takedown may have been enough to have Guida up two rounds to none heading into the third.
In the first minute of the third round Guida secured another takedown, and he stayed on top for more than half the round before Pettis executed a beautiful transition to get on top of Guida and take his back on the ground. But while Pettis had a chance at a rear-naked choke or an arm bar, Guida managed to get out of harm's way and back into a dominant position at the end of the fight.
Guida, who improved his pro MMA record to 29-11, is now on a four-fight winning streak and closing in on a shot at the UFC lightweight title. For Pettis, who falls to 13-2, a title shot may still be in his future. But not in his immediate future, as Guida showed that Pettis isn't quite ready for the very top of the lightweight division.