Saturday, November 7th 2015 UFC Fight Night 77: Belfort vs. Henderson

UFC on FOX: Guida v Hioki

Clay Guida (32-13)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’7″ Age: 33 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: Decision win / Robbie Peralta (4-4-15)
  • Camp:Jackson-Wink MMA (Nomad)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Good
  • Overall Fight Grade: C+

Supplemental info:
+   Multiple Regional Titles
+   Wrestling Base
+   13 Submission wins
+   12 first round finishes
+   Scrambles well/Hard to control
+   Sporadic footwork & movement
^   Stifles opponents offense
+   Good distance management
+   Excellent cardio & conditioning
+   High pace/never tires
+   Strong cage grappling pressure
–    Leans head forward/over right side
^   Open to uppercuts & knees
–    Subject to fight avoidance
+   Good R. hand L. hook

MMA: UFC Fight Night 47-Tavares vs Peralta

Thiago Tavares (19-6-1)

Staple info:

  • Height: 5’7″ Age: 30 Weight: 145 lbs Reach: 70″
  • Last Fight: TKO loss / Brian Ortega (6-6-15)
  • Camp: Team Tavares (Brazil)
  • Stance/Striking Style: Orthodox / Kickboxing
  • Risk Management: Moderate
  • Overall Fight Grade: C+

Supplemental info:
+   Multiple Regional Titles
+   Black Belt BJJ
+   13 Submission wins
+   8 first round finishes
+   Scrambles well
^   Always looks for back
+   Excellent top control
+   Favors Double-legs
+   Taken down 15/16 UFC opponents
+   Solid ground & pound
+   Active right hand
+   Good knees from clinch
–    Stopped in last 2 of 4
–    Possible weathered chin
+   Underrated Wrestling ability


In this battle of long-time UFC veterans, Clay Guida collides with Thiago Tavares. Both men have acquired many miles throughout their respective careers, and any expectations on either man should be tempered as so. Given both fighters all-around style & activity, their current state of skill-sets & staying power will be tested. Though usually starting aggressively by establishing an “in your face” range, Tavares may tread more carefully given Guida’s consistent TD threats.

Clay shows an evolving sporadic footwork game in which he uses to dictate & disrupt distance. This method usually takes opponents out of their game, and(as we’ve seen in the latter of his career) can make for awkward stalemates standing. Guida has improved his feints which he’ll use to set up nice right hands & hooks. He does however have a tendency to lean too far forward/to the side on his feints and entries. This will increase the availability of Thiago’s hooks and knees(which he actively looks for in clinch space).

Tavares almost shows a mirror opposite in regards to standing vulnerabilities. Showing to block hooks well with his shell defense, Thiago struggles avoiding the straight punches. Luckily for him, Clay shows a lack of those specific punches in his attack. For those reasons I have to give the edge standing to Tavares. In the grappling department, Guida is more of a grinder, but both men show strong active top games. That said, it’s hard to find footage of either man consistently grounded, so don’t expect long floor stalemates.

Given each mans counter wrestling ability, expect most of the grappling to take place in the clinch battles & scrambles(especially against the fence). However, Tavares is an excellent back-taker, and should he hurt/establish position on Guida it could be trouble. Especially considering the RNC(rear naked choke) is Thiago’s favorite submission(4 finishes), and Guida owns 4 losses via this very technique. The biggest intangible in this fight is Guida himself. His said sporadic style makes this fight hard to call and easy to avoid. But with all things considered, I feel Tavares’s larger skill-set(with some help from the Brazilian crowd) should edge out the rounds and the overall fight.

Official Pick: Tavares – Decision

Official Outcome: Tavares – Submission (round 1)

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