Clay Guida has 40 MMA fights, and 0 losses via triangle. ZERO.
I wish someone had let Anthony Pettis in on that figure, before he spent the majority of his last fight allowing Guida to win on the scorecards while constantly throwing up his legs, only to time and again have Guida posture his cavemanesque head through Pettis's tight guard throughout the course of Saturday's co-main event.
Let's get one thing straight: for a striking-based fighter, "Showtime" has an incredible offensive guard, and the submission victories to prove it. But in losing his #1 contendership on the Ultimate Fighter Finale, Pettis showcased a fatal mistake that was a result of either poor in-fight decisions, or poor gameplanning. In this poster's humble opinion, I think the former is the culprit.
Pettis's experience striking, length, and speed easily won him the standup portion of the bout. He may have even gained a split decision if he hadn't ridden too high on Guida's back in the latter part of the third round. Guida had done so little damage from top position in the round that had Pettis instead taken the position, kept tight, and at least maintained it in the waning moments, he would have taken the third. It was Guida's reversal, and subsequent back control of his own that cancelled Showtime's grappling and gave the round to the "Carpenter." The first round was certainly Guida's, and although the second round was extremely tight and entertaining, I would have personally given it to Clay. Though I've heard scores of 29-28 in Pettis' favor, there is just no chance that's correct: Clay's aforementioned reversal and back control in the third nullified what Pettis had done. That round is 10-9 Guida on 99.9%of judges' cards except Cecil People's when he's getting a self-ZJ while watching himself on loop doing that stupid Kung Fu prefight move. Rounds 1 and 3 were definitively Guida's.
Pettis falling in love with his triangle abilities lost him the fight. Go back and watch- I just did, and I see nothing resembling an attempt to sweep, and limited attempts to get the fight back to the feet. If you are a significantly better, longer, and faster striker than your opponent, wouldn't you do everything possible to contest your fight on the feet? Even if Melvin Guillard had Dustin Hazelett's slick guard, do you think he would allow himself to be pinned down?(Also, how great of a fight would Melvin vs. Pettis be??)
Showtime is young, and he'll no doubt learn from his mistakes in this fight. He needs to work on his sprawl and also keeping away from being pinned to the cage if he hopes to avoid the decision-rich wrestler division that is lightweight. Recent wins over Shane Roller and Ben Henderson showed that Pettis has above average takedown defense, but both fights were razor close and he had spent a good amount of time on his back in both. He needs to realize that while he has a very strong guard, he needs to capitalize on his major skillset- and also needs to work on the little things that allow him do so.