This Saturday night we'll be treated to a lightweight bout that should be pretty entertaining. Diego Sanchez will be making his second appearance as a lightweight since dropping down from the welterweight division. We last saw Sanchez a couple of months ago winning a decision against the always game Joe Stevenson. Clay Guida has been a staple in the UFC lightweight division since late 2006. Guida is currently riding a 3 fight winning streak, winning a very lackluster decision against Nate Diaz at UFC 94. Let's take a look at these two fighters match up:
Clay Guida-Very good cardio, good chin, good wrestler, and does well in the scrambles.
Diego Sanchez-Very good cardio, great chin, good wrestler, does well in the scrambles, much improved stand up game, good GnP.
As you can see, these fighters match up fairly well, but Sanchez will enjoy a size advantage, stand up advantage, and an advantage in terms of submissions. The only way I see Guida being able to win this fight is to implore the same strategy he used against Nate Diaz. This consisted of a lot of hugging and maintaining top position. Which I don't think he'll be able to do against Sanchez. He's well versed in scrambling and is very slick in finding ways to take his opponents back. Also, this will be the first time in a long time that Guida faces someone that can match or even surpass the pace he fights at.
Of course, all of this is determined by Sanchez's game plan and he probably feels he has the stand up advantage and rightfully so. However, if he falls in love with his striking and becomes one dimensional, he could find himself blanketed by "The Carpenter". Guida is pretty difficult to finish, so I see Sanchez taking this one via decision. He should be able to pick Guida a part standing and win the scrambles should they take place. I could also see him taking Guida down to implement some GnP, which we haven't seen him do for quite some time. According to Sanchez, a win here propels him into a title shot with the winner of the Kenny Floran/BJ Penn match up at UFC 101. Give me your thoughts on Guida/Sanchez and how you see it going down.