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Flashback: Sanchez and Guida deliver a Hall of Fame worthy performance

Flashback to 2009, when Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida delivered a Hall of Fame worthy fight at the TUF 9 Finale.

In the summer of 2019, Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida were enshrined in the UFC Hall of Fame’s fight wing for their unforgettable war that took place on June 20, 2009. It was no surprise that the frenetic three-rounder earned its place among the greats, and as #UFCEra week continues, we look back at that fight and the other nine bouts that thrilled fans at The Pearl at The Palms in Las Vegas.

On paper, it should have been a war to remember. In reality, it was, as Diego Sanchez and Clay Guida put on a Fight of The Year candidate at The Palms. When it was all over, someone had to take home the victory, and it was Sanchez pounding out the split decision win. 

Scores were 29-28, 29-27, and 28-29 for Sanchez.

The walk-ins alone were more intense than some fights, with Guida and Sanchez both getting themselves and the fans amped up for the opening bell. And from the start, the two went toe-to-toe with a furious barrage of punches that got the crowd on their feet. It was Sanchez though who took the early lead with more accurate blows and the occasional knee to the head. With a minute gone, the bloodied Guida cleared his head and took Sanchez to the mat and fired off elbows in an effort to extract his own form of revenge. Sanchez, not used to being in this predicament, stayed cool nonetheless, and got back to his feet, landing a hard kick that dropped Guida. ‘The Carpenter’ rose immediately and swung back aggressively, but Sanchez’ harder shots were doing all the damage, and a takedown with under a minute left punctuated the round for the ‘Nightmare.’
 

Free Fight: Diego Sanchez vs Clay Guida | TUF 9 Finale, 2009
Free Fight: Diego Sanchez vs Clay Guida | TUF 9 Finale, 2009
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“The guy has a tremendous chin,” said Sanchez of his courageous foe. “He is an animal.”

Guida got the takedown early in round two, and he fired off with any limb he had free. Sanchez did the same from the bottom position, but it was clear that Guida was having more luck on the mat than when he was standing, and the fans chanting his name only pushed him further. Sanchez was not about to let Guida get the round that easy though, and he reeled off a series of elbows from his back that bloodied Guida on his forehead.

The opening minute of the final round was a tense one, and when the two started to flurry at each other, it was Sanchez again being the crisper puncher. That’s not to say Guida wasn’t getting his licks in, and he certainly landed enough shots to get Sanchez’ respect. With two minutes left, Guida shot for a takedown, but Sanchez eluded it and went for the fight-ending choke. Guida escaped, but Sanchez now went to finish him via kimura, only to see ‘The Carpenter’ escape and land a ground strike seconds before the final bell sounded.

“Are you not entertained?” smiled Sanchez.
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In the welterweight final of TUF 9, James Wilks blitzed DaMarques Johnson at the opening bell and didn’t stop attacking until he had submitted his foe and earned recognition as season nine’s 170-pound Ultimate Fighter.
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The Ultimate Fighter lightweight final was fought in a phone booth for 15 minutes, and when it was over, it was Ross Pearson who emerged victorious over his UK teammate Andre Winner to earn the unanimous decision win and the season nine title at 155 pounds.
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Chris Lytle and Kevin Burns left it all in the Octagon in their three round welterweight bout, and after 15 spirited minutes of back-and-forth action, it was Lytle emerging victorious via a close unanimous decision.
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In the main card opener, former world lightweight title challenger Joe Stevenson broke a two-fight losing streak by going back to his groundfighting roots and drilling out an exciting three round unanimous decision win over Nate Diaz.
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Up and comer Melvin Guillard showed the maturation of his fight game in his bout with Gleison Tibau at The Palms, and he was awarded a three round split decision in the closely-contested lightweight match for his efforts, allowing him to improve his pro record to 41-8-3.
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LAS VEGAS - JUNE 20: Melvin Guillard (green/black shorts) def. Gleison Tibau (white shorts) - Split Decision during The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale at The Pearl at the Palms on June 20, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - JUNE 20: Melvin Guillard (green/black shorts) def. Gleison Tibau (white shorts) - Split Decision during The Ultimate Fighter 9 Finale at The Pearl at the Palms on June 20, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC via Getty Im

Brad Blackburn took home his third straight UFC win in welterweight action, earning an unpopular three round split decision over previously unbeaten Edgar Garcia.
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Polish up and comer Tomasz Drwal scored his second straight first round win, halting Iowa’s Mike Ciesnolevicz in the first round of their light heavyweight bout. 
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Team UK welterweight Nick Osipczak made short work of Frank Lester, submitting the Team US fighter in the first round.
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TUF9’s Jason Dent got his first UFC win in the lightweight opener, coming back from a rocky start to submit Cameron Dollar in the first round. 
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