Gray Maynard and Clay Guida will square off Friday at UFC on FX in a lightweight scrap that has definite title implications. The winner could either be throw into a title shot after Nate Diaz or square off with Diaz in a No. 1 contender bout to determine the next in line.
If Guida wins and Edgar defeats Henderson things seem to be pretty cut and dry. Diaz squares off with Edgar and Guida gets the winner, but if Maynard wins things become confusing.
Maynard has faced Edgar three times, but is 1-1-1 in the three fights. Technically no one has the upper hand in the series, but to most fight fans it seems Edgar deos.
He managed to avoid being finished by Maynard twice and many fans believe after a horrible first round Edgar did win the fight by decision.
It’ll be tough to sell fans on Edgar-Maynard IV to casual fans, but a Maynard victory may force the UFC’s hand.
A victory for Henderson leaves everything clear cut with title shots and future fights no matter who wins, Guida or Maynard. If Henderson wins Edgar moves down to 145 and never blocks Maynard from fighting for a title again. Guida has fought Henderson before, but the fight was close enough where Guida deserves a rematch.
The key to this fight is going to be endurance and the pace of the fight. We know Maynard and Guida are both solid wrestlers and Maynard has extremely heavy hands. The problem is that Guida has a chin comparable to that of Edgar’s and Maynard was unable to finish Edgar in both title fights.
Guida is going to want to use that frantic pace to tire out Maynard and in the later rounds he will use the speed advantage to finish Maynard.
This fight is going to test how much Maynard has improved since the Edgar fight. He’s taken a lot of time off and during this time has switched training camps. The biggest issue was his stamina and finishing ability. If he can improve in those ares he is a legitimate title contender, but either way this is a coin flip fight.