In the Case of Clay vs Gray…The Verdict is, ‘Boring’

Gray Maynard

Gray Maynard (Photo credit: Tiago Hammil)

Watched UFC on FX 4.  Wasn’t the most exciting of cards put together, but the boys at Zuffa do what they can with the meager resources they have.  That sounds sarcastic, but it’s not.  In reality, so many of their biggest names have been injured that it’s hard to headline a card with something exciting.  What the headliner lacked in zazz, it made up for in boredom.  Clay Guida vs Gray Maynard was doomed from the start.

Aside from the main event, there really wasn’t anything to draw you to the card.  Cub Swanson provided some sparks with his knockout of Ross Pearson to open the night off.  Brian Ebersole, who is entertaining in his antics, but not so much in the cage getting a win over someone I’ve never heard of.  At least he tried a Capoeria-style kick to some effect.  Sam Stout faced Spencer Fisher in the conclusion of a trilogy that I could’t even remember the first two having taken place.  It felt like a fight I would have liked to see 4 years ago, probably did see, and completely blocked it out.  Then there was the Main Event.

Gray Maynard chased Clay Guida around the cage for 5 rounds in route to a split decision.  And it was boring.  Guida’s fight plan seemed inspired by fellow Jackson’s stablemate, Carlos Condit.  Move to the side in a semi-sprint and even turn around and run when needed.  And, ooh, it was boring.  Greg Jackson is a master strategist, if ever the was one, but he is making for boring MMA.  For the most part, his strategies are boring effective and I expect there to be some boring copycat gyms as the sport continues to expand and more money (and, therefore, talent, in both athletes and trainers) flows in.

A lull in the action from UFC on FX 4.

I thought Maynard won the fight.  I also thought Nick Diaz beat Condit back in February.  While Maynard isn’t my favorite fighter (I generally find myself rooting against him), I have always respected his ability in the cage.  But he was never known as an exciting fighter and, aside from his two matches with Frankie Edgar (who’s always entertaining), most of his fights have been snoozers, by my account.  So, matching him against Guida, who many find entertaining but I don’t, could only lead to one of two things.  Either Maynard takes Guida down and does the ‘lay & pray’, or Guida dances around, hopping back and forth like Blanka in Street Fighter 2.  We were treated to the second.  Even the crowd turned on Guida, who usually is a crowd favorite.  Even referee Dan Miragliotta turned against Clay, telling him he’d deduct a point if he didn’t stop running.

Maynard has every right to be frustrated, and even angry, at Guida, I’m just not sure if he’s the guy to call someone out for not bringing the fight.  Except for the knockout loss to Edgar, the last fight that Maynard was in that didn’t go to decision was in 2007.  4 of them have been split decisions because judges can’t decide if Maynard laying on top of people for 4:45 counts as winning a round.  I hope Maynard has decided to become a finisher after the ‘two’logy with Edgar didn’t go his way.  With his skill set, he’s already back at the top of the heap.

I’ll leave you with a Gray Maynard quote:

“You gotta fight and you gotta take chances…you gotta stay in the pocket a bit, throw…”

More reading:

Greg Jackson explaining why he’s so boring.  (SB Nation)

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    • sperginmma
    • June 25th, 2012

    Just now got a chance to read this, I really like the way you write. Following you from now on

    • Cool. Thanks. Just started this blog up. Will be doing a lot of MMA as well as other sports. Trying to get up a little bit of momentum. I’m following yours as well.

  1. I like the insights that you’ve put, as well as how you put your personality in there. It makes your post more colorful.

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