Two UFC events in two days
the UFC on FX
The headliner Friday, June 22nd, has the Energizer Bunny Clay Guida taking on Gray Maynard, a matchup that could be fight or snoozer of the year. Both men are stupendous wrestlers as it relates to MMA, and could have Tenacious as their middle name, but both men are only decent strikers. This means if the wrestling cancels out, we’re left with a mediocre if entertaining slugfest.
Gray ‘The Bully’ Maynard, who is 10-1-1, has only lost to former champ Frankie ‘The Answer’ Edgar. He has a win, loss, and draw with The Answer, and eight decisions out of ten wins. Typically he has utilized his wrestling not so much for lay and pray as lay and recite the ten stations of the cross, which irks some fans. But he is a handful for absolutely anybody who fights or trains with him.
Guida (29-12) last fought in November, 2011, losing a 3 round decision to current champ Benson 'Smooth' Henderson. Prior to that fight, he enjoyed a 4 fight win streak, including a decision win over top contender Anthony 'Showtime' Pettis. The Chicago native, known officially as ‘The Carpenter’, is recognized for his long whipping hair and ultra fast pace, which wears down opponents physically and mentally---his tactic against the much more technical Pettis. Fighters with good wresting and take down defense, combined with stellar hands, have been the bane of Guida’s win column. Kenny Florian’s beating and submitting The Carpenter was a blueprint for anyone facing him, and Diego Sanchez gave Guida fits.
The Bully will be too much for The Carpenter in this one. If Guida takes Maynard down he will not keep him down, and will need to be very wary of Maynard’s heavy hands in the stand up. Maynard via TKO in the third.
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UFC 147: Rich Franklin vs. Wanderlei Silva II
Former math teacher and once middleweight champ Rich ‘Ace’ Franklin edged Wanderlei Silva in a decision back in June, 2009. Franklin, who is 28-6 in his mixed martial arts career, has not been able to string together two wins since he finished Matt Hamill back in 2008. Franklin lost the middleweight title to Anderson Silva in 2006, and since then has had mixed results in the light heavyweight division. Despite that fact, he is still one of the most respected fighters in the promotion.
Since coming over from now defunct PRIDE, where he enjoyed a brutal longtime reign as champ, Wanderlei Silva (24-11-1NC) has also had mixed results. PRIDE had been run by the Yakuza, and the legit UFC gauntlet is something altogether different. The Brazilian, known as ‘The Axe Murderer’ for his once tornado fighting style, is a mere 3-4 in the UFC since returning from PRIDE, and has lost the psychological edge he once wielded like a two by four with a nail hammered into the end of it.
Both Franklin and Silva are legends and champions in their own right, and still have plenty to offer fans. The writing is on the wall regarding the slim chance either has to ever get a title shot again, let alone win a belt. Till they decide to pull the plug on their careers, we can enjoy this main event that is steeped in the history of two amazing fighters and men.
Ace is a tad too crafty for The Axe Murderer, and will have confidence from his victory in 2009. Franklin should win a decision, and may even KO Silva if he plays his right hand right.
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