In a fight that will rank with the best in UFC history, Diego Sanchez took a controversial split decision over Clay Guida.
The rare free TV bout with real title picture implications saw former TUF winner Diego Sanchez faced Clay Guida, a fighter on a three fight winning streak against TUF winners. Both men came into the match with reputations for intensity, conditioning and relentlessness. From the moment of the stare-down it was clear this would be an intense match. But few could have imagined just how intense the fight would be.
Diego Sanchez charged across the ring and immediately battered Guida with punches. The smaller man tried to fire back, but his punches were missing and Sanchez' was connecting again and again. A bloodied Guida responded by getting a double leg takedown, landing in Sanchez' full guard. After bloodying Sanchez' nose, Guida lost control of the position and they were back on their feet. Sanchez immediately renewed the beating, scoring with a high kick that dropped Guida. Guida bravely fought back, but took more punishement before Sanchez got a takedown.
In the second, Guida quickly shot in and got top position. Sanchez fired off elbows from the bottom while Guida worked to score from the top. Guida evaded a kimura attempt before managing to drive Sanchez into the fence and unleashing some ground and pound. The crowd chanted GUIDA GUIDA to show their support for the valiant underdog. Sanchez renewed his elbows from the back and seemed to score. Guida answered with punches from the top while Diego went for an arm bar. Sanchez was covered with blood at the end of the round. Guida was the likely source.
Going into the third round, the announcers said it was likely tied one round each. Guida scored the first clean punch as Sanchez seemed reluctant to blitz in for fear of being taken down. The crowd continued to cheer GUIDA GUIDA even as Sanchez landed a mean uppercut. Guida began to score on the feet, but Sanchez was scoring more. A missed shot by Guida resulted in Sanchez getting Guida's back. As Diego worked for an arm triangle choke, Guida go top position. Sanchez immediately went for a kimura but time was running down as the fighters struggled and Sanchez went for an arm bar only to allow Guida to escape and end the fight scoring with punches from the top.
[UPDATE] by Nick Thomas - From Dana's Twitter: