MMA Power Rankings -- LIGHTWEIGHT
Monday, June 25
Was it the fight anybody expected? Not if you live outside of Albuquerque, home of Greg Jackson's gym, but Clay Guida toned down his dervish model and showed up with something as unimaginative as a game plan. Problem was, the game plan was one that rode a fine line between staying outside of Gray Maynard's big right hand and, essentially, staying away in general. He executed it so well that the crowd turned on him. Worse, Maynard -- who gave chase for three rounds -- began finding him in the fourth and fifth rounds and ended up winning a split decision anyway.
In other words, Guida not only lost the fight but he lost the fans, which makes for a pretty lousy Jersey shore experience. He drops in this week's Power Rankings, while Maynard maintains his suite in the top five of the game's most competitive division.
So what's next for Maynard? That's anybody's guess, but there are a couple of good options. One would be to have Maynard fight Anthony Pettis in what would become a No. 1 contender's bout as the top plays itself out. Or, he could be stuck in there against Nate Diaz in a rematch of their 2010 fight for a No. 1 contender's bout if Diaz decides to stay busy while waiting on Frankie Edgar and Ben Henderson. Problem with that scenario is that the first time they fought, nobody mistook it for a barnburner. Maynard defeated Diaz via a fairly pedestrian split decision.
Regardless, Maynard deserves a top-10 fighter and to be right back in contention, and there are only a handful of match-ups that fill that prescription. In fact, there are two: Pettis or Diaz. That is, unless Zuffa sent Gray over to challenge Gilbert Melendez in Strikeforce. Ha! That wouldn't happen. Or ... could it?