Las Vegas - Another fight, another well-meaning future plan for the lightweight division up in smoke.
Underdog Clay Guida put any notion of Anthony Pettis as a 155-pound title contender temporarily on hold Saturday night at “The Ultimate Fighter” season 13 live finale, as he used takedowns and top control to grind out a unanimous decision victory over the exciting 24-year-old former WEC champion.
While Pettis tried to wow the crowd with some trademark flashy strikes during his Octagon debut – one of which was a flying, spinning back kick (off the cage, no less) – Guida went back to basics to nab the win. The five-year UFC veteran consistently put Pettis on his back and kept him there, using punches and shoulder strikes to score points while warding off submission attempts from the bottom.
Pettis’ best chance to steal victory came in the third round, when he ended up taking Guida’s back during a scramble. He tried to work a choke, but Guida managed to slip out the backdoor and reverse the position. He was threatening with his own choke at the final bell.
Pettis came into the UFC on a wave of hype after his flying, cage-hopping kick during the final bout in WEC history last December. Supposedly guaranteed an immediate shot at UFC gold, he was put in an awkward position when champion Frankie Edgar and No.1 contender Gray Maynard fought to a draw at UFC 125. With his title opportunity on hold while Edgar and Maynard finish up their business, Pettis accepted the fight with Guida. After this loss, he’ll now have to start again from scratch.
It’ll be equally interesting, too, to see what the UFC does with Guida. The Greg Jackson trainee has now won four fights in a row, but over a list of fairly middling opponents. He joins Melvin Guillard and Denis Siver as longshots who recently upset top contenders in the lightweight division and it seems unlikely the UFC will fast-forward him into a title shot without first putting him against a top dog at 155-pounds.
In the evening’s co-main event, Tony Ferguson scored a first-round knockout over Ramsey Nijem to become the champion of “TUF 13.” Ferguson – who fell from grace with fans and castmates after his drunken antics on the reality show – hurt fan-favorite Nijem with a straight right and dropped him with a left hook just under four minutes into their fight in the final.
In other televised action, Ed Herman returned from a long injury layoff to TKO Tim Credeur just 48 seconds into round one of their middleweight affair, while Kyle Kingsbury and Chris Cope each took unanimous decision victories.
Complete results from the “TUF 13” live finale:
Tony Ferguson def. Ramsey Nijem via KO (punches), 3:54, round 1
Clay Guida def. Anthony Pettis via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Ed Herman def. Tim Credeur via TKO (punches), 0:48, round 1
Kyle Kingsbury def. Fabio Maldonado via unanimous decision (29-28 x 3)
Chris Cope def. Chuck O'Neil via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Jeremy Stephens def. Danny Downes via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-26 x 2)
George Roop def. Josh Grispi via TKO (body punch), 3:14, round 3
Shamar Bailey def. Ryan McGillivray via unanimous decision (30-27 x 3)
Clay Harvison def. Justin Edwards via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Scott Jorgensen def. Ken Stone via KO (punches), 4:01, round 1
Rueben Duran defeated Francisco Rivera via submission (rear naked choke), 1:57, round 3
UFC President Dana White (above) embarrassed after Gray Maynard beat Clay Guida by split decision to win a lightweight bout and the main event of the UFC card in Atlantic City.
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