Thomas Gerbasi, UFC - 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 Saturday night. When it was all over, someone had to take home the victory, and it was Sanchez pounding out the split decision win.
By Thomas Gerbasi [Watch TUF 9 FINALE]
LAS VEGAS, June 20 – 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 Saturday night. 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.’
“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.
With the win, Sanchez improves to 23-2; Guida falls to 25-7.