Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Friday, June 22, 2012 | 9:45 p.m.
The UFC on FX 4 main event turned straight animalistic Friday night in Atlantic City, N.J.
Clay Guida played the role of the rabbit. Gray Maynard was the dog.
Frustrated from chasing the squirrelly Guida around the octagon for nearly 20 minutes, Maynard began to bark and growl. He yelled at Guida as he raised his two fists and lifted middle fingers in the fourth round, leaving his chin exposed and imploring the veteran to swing.
“I wanted to start doing that in the first round, dropping my hands and let’s fight,” Maynard said. “I wanted to be respectful, but that got old.”
It’s difficult to fight someone whose interest in fighting back is minimal at best. Maynard could present a dissertation on the topic after his time at Revel Casino.
But it all worked out in the end for the Durango High graduate, as the judges awarded Maynard a split-decision victory (48-47, 48-47, 47-48) for at least being the aggressor in the bizarre lightweight bout.
“He came with a little game plan,” said a befuddled Maynard, “whatever it was.”
UFC President Dana White likened Guida’s approach to an episode of “The Twilight Zone” in a tweet sent during the middle of the fight. He could have just as easily used “So You Think You Can Dance.”
Guida utilized his quickness and intricate footwork to avoid Maynard at all costs. The strategy was effective in preventing Maynard’s power from playing a role, but flawed because it kept Guida from mounting any significant offense.
Like a hockey team with all five skaters dropping back to play defense late in the game, Guida showed little concern for scoring. It left the judges in a predicament over whether to award Guida for his pace or Maynard for his willingness to fight.
Not everyone was happy with the decision.
“Maynard won that easy,” White tweeted. “Wasn’t that close. Horrible fight.”
The other fights on the main card delivered. Sam Stout, a lightweight who trains part-time in Las Vegas, won a trilogy match against Spencer Fisher by using his wrestling.
Stout, known more as a striker, took Fisher down in every round to secure a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).
Welterweight Brian Ebersole also took a unanimous decision, fending off numerous submission attempts from T.J. Waldburger. After Waldburger tagged him in the first round, Ebersole bounced back to take the second and third rounds on all three judges’ scorecards.
Cub Swanson earned the Knockout of the Night in an upset over Ross Pearson. The featherweight veteran finished “The Ultimate Fighter” 9 winner at 4:14 of the second round with two right hands.
“I’ve been fighting for Zuffa for three years now and not many people know me,” Swanson said. “Hopefully now they will. I just want to fight anyone who will bring me closer to that title.”
Maynard echoed the same sentiments for his situation, but didn’t go too in depth. He was too preoccupied dodging Guida’s attempts at a handshake, confused by what had transpired.
“I wanted to get bloody and have fun," Maynard said. "It was a five-round fight. I wanted to prove to people I could go all five. I thought Guida would come here to do it.”
Check below for full results from the UFC on FX 4 preliminary card.
Hatsu Hioki passed up a featherweight title shot because he said he wanted one more fight to improve. That turned out to be a giant mistake. Ricardo Lamas upset Hatsu Hioki by winning a unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) in the undercard’s featured contest.
Ramsey Nijem scored a TKO win over C.J. Keith in a catchweight (157 pounds) bout. The fight was switched to a catchweight after Keith missed 156-pound limit for lightweight.
Rick Story, once considered a future contender for the welterweight belt, snapped a two-fight losing streak. Story put away newcomer Brock Jardine with ease, earning a unanimous-decision victory and taking every round on every judges’ scorecard.
Steven Siler submitted Joey Gambino with a guillotine choke at 2:47 of the first round in a featherweight fight. Siler, “The Ultimate Fighter” 14 veteran, is unbeaten in three UFC fights.
A cut on Nick Catone’s forehead forced the New Jersey State Athletic Control Board to call off his middleweight fight against Chris Camozzi in the third round. Camozzi officially defeated Catone by TKO at 1:51 of the third round after losing the opening two rounds on all three judges’ scorecards.
In 2010, Matt “The Immortal” Brown dropped three straight contests in the UFC. In 2012, Brown has won three consecutive. Brown beat Luis Ramos by TKO at 4:20 of the second round in their welterweight bout.
Dan Miller submitted Ricardo Funch at 3:12 of the third round with a guillitone choke. It was a successful welterweight debut for Miller, who had spent four years and gone 4-4 in the UFC’s middleweight class.
A bantamweight thriller opened the card, as Ken Stone and Dustin Pague battled closely for 15 minutes. Stone ultimately took a split decision (29-28, 29-28, 28-29) over Pague.