It wasn’t the exactly lopsided fight the odds-makers thought it might be. But B.J. Penn’s nine-year victory drought was extended on Saturday night in Rio.
Clay Guida used a steady, yet methodical attack to defeat Penn at UFC 237, scoring a unanimous decision victory (29-28, 29-28, 29-27). With the win, Guida has now won three of his last four fights, bouncing back from a loss against Charles Oliveira at UFC 225 nearly a year ago.
Guida used a strong right hand to drop Penn in the third round, but the Hawaiian icon was able to persevere to hear the scorecards. Still, the 37-year-old Guida took control in the second round and never looked back.
“A lot of people don’t know this, but when he nicknamed the ‘Prodigy,’ he took out my coach Joey Gilbert in both of their debuts, way back in 2002, 2003,” Guida said in his post-fight interview. “And he’s part of the reason I’ve had longevity in this sport. Because if you don’t know Joey Gilbert, he was arguably the best Illinois wrestling champ ever, and one of the baddest dudes to ever walk this planet. So I had to get one back to get one back for all my wrestling community, for Chicago, and for Gilbert Grappling man.
“So all our hearts go out to B.J. Can’t thank him [enough] for putting on a show every time. He’s been doing this for almost 20 years, so it’s an honor to compete against somebody like that.”
Penn, who last tasted victory at UFC 123 in 2010 against Matt Hughes, has now lost seven fights in a row — a new UFC record — and has gone 1-9-1 since losing the lightweight title against Frankie Edgar at UFC 112 in Abu Dhabi.