This fight lived up to the hype and our expectations: the pace from Guida and the technique from Henderson. The scrambles and exchanges between these two high level fighters could be compared to a roller-coaster ride in the middle of summer. The fight started out with both men circling, foot work and head movement, just like climbing the first hill on the coaster. The first exciting exchange came early on in round one when Henderson caught Guida with a hook in a flurry of arms, punches and hair. The first major plunge on the ride. The action scrambled against the cage where the ride takes a breather. Here the fight shifted from hair waving ride to chess match. These two decorated wrestlers showed their skills to try and take each other down but each attempt was blocked by good defense.
This was the recipe for this fight for fifteen minutes and it was awesome to watch everything unfold. These two created the most nail biting scrambles and tense clinch work against the cage. The best scramble was created in the final round in the final two minutes when both fighters attempted a flying knee in the center of the octagon and went down to the mat in a pile of human carnage with Guida landing on top of Henderson to gain control. From here Guida made a final attempt to finish the fight by going for a guillotine choke. Henderson’s fight experience and excellent submission defense served him well. He was able to keep the choke at bay by shifting both his and Guida’s weight and maneuvering his legs to prevent Guida from ever getting a solid base on his own chest. Henderson was finally able to reverse positions with Guida and rained down punches to close out the fifteenth minute of solid action.
Henderson wins by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
The next training session…
Henderson looked great tonight. It’s hard to pin point something for him to improve on. We mostly saw a grappling match with him coming out in dominant positions. When Guida was able to get him to the ground from a traditional takedown, Henderson was able to get back up within a short period of time. His striking was better than Guida’s for most of the fight. Benson was able to land the first significant strike of the fight, which is the most important. Some will argue that it set the tone for the whole fight and took some steam off of Guida’s game.
Guida was riding a two-submission win streak coming into this fight. This is due to his grappling and ground and pound skills. However, his stand up striking needs to be improved in order to become a well-rounded fighter and gain the edge early.
The next fight…
Benson Henderson gets a shot at Frankie Edgar for the UFC lightweight title overseas in Japan in early 2012. That fight will be extremely interesting. The way Edgar’s style of victory is going as of late, he will be the first person in a long time to submit Henderson.
Clay Guida should still fight the top tier 155-pound fighters such as Jim Miller and Gray Maynard, however he will have to put together another impressive streak before getting another number one contender fight.
Both fighters came out to the octagon tonight singing their own entrance music.
Both fighters are going for the longest hair in the UFC award.
Both fighters have their own unusual pre/post fight rituals. Guida gets slapped in the face by his older brother and Henderson overly reminds you of who his lord and savor is. Two extremes that you don’t get to see from many fighters, if any.
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