By Thomas Gerbasi
BROOMFIELD, March 21 – After a rough 2009 campaign that saw him lose two of three bouts, lightweight contender Clay Guida returned to form on the inaugural UFC Live on VERSUS card with an impressive second round submission win over Shannon Gugerty Sunday at 1st Bank Center
Guida vs. Gugerty
“It’s been a long time since I’ve had my hand raised,” said Guida, who was coming off back to back losses to Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian. “It’s a great feeling.” Watch post-fight interview
After a brief feeling out process, Guida (26-8) kicked off the action with a takedown of Gugerty, only to get caught in back-to-back submission attempts. Guida broke free of both and looked to get his ground and pound attack working. Gugerty’s defense was solid, but Guida never stopped working until he got into side control with under a minute left, and he finished the round with a flurry that got the crowd roaring.
Gugerty (12-5) went on the offensive as the second began, but after his takedown attempt was stuffed, Guida responded with a throw that put the Californian on the canvas. Again, Gugerty tried to lock Guida up, this time in a guillotine choke, but ‘The Carpenter’ pulled himself loose and pounded away with peppering strikes to the head.
Then, out of nowhere, Guida got into the full mount position and then locked in an arm triangle choke, forcing Gugerty to tap at the 3:40 mark of the round. “I don’t think I’ve even done that in practice,” said Guida of the finish. “It just came naturally.”
Howard vs. Roberts
Welterweight prospect John ‘Doomsday’ Howard made it four in a row in the UFC with a devastating first round knockout of UFC debutant Daniel ‘Ninja’ Roberts. Watch post-fight interview
As promised in pre-fight interviews, Roberts (9-1) pushed the pace from the start, quickly transitioning from submission attempts to ground strikes, and back again. Howard (14-4) stayed cool under pressure, getting back into matters with a crowd pleasing slam. Howard reacted well, looking for a submission, but after Howard broke free, he landed a flush left to the jaw that put Roberts out. By the time referee Tom Johnson intervened at the 2:01 mark, a follow-up had landed as well, but after several moments on the mat, Roberts got up and left the Octagon under his own power.
Schaub vs. Gormley
The Ultimate Fighter season ten finalist Brendan Schaub didn’t want to disappoint his home state fans against Chase Gormley, and he certainly lived up to all expectations, as he blitzed his foe and stopped him in under a minute, much to the delight of the Colorado faithful. Watch post-fight interview
With the packed house in his corner, Schaub (6-1) came out swinging and didn’t stop until referee Adam Martinez pulled him off Gormley (6-2). In between, ‘The Hybrid’ fired off a series of blistering shots, never giving Gormley a chance to get untracked. The right hand was Schaub’s big weapon, and after dropping his foe, a series of unanswered ground strikes brought about the stoppage at the 47 second mark.
Marshall vs. Matyushenko
Hometown favorite Eliot Marshall saw his three fight UFC winning streak snapped in light heavyweight action, as veteran Vladimir Matyushenko scored a three round split decision victory. Watch post-fight interview
Scores were 30-27 twice, and 28-29 for Matyushenko, who improves to 24-4; Marshall falls to 8-3.
The first round was fought strictly on the feet, with the sporadic action not producing a clear winner. What was clear though was that Marshall was the faster of the two, while Matyushenko had more power behind his strikes.
Matyushenko made a more concerted effort to corner Marshall in the early part of round two, and he met some success, particularly with kicks to the leg. But the lack of sustained action was starting to get the crowd restless, and though Marshall picked up his work rate, he wasn’t landing with anything significant. A subsequent attack by the Colorado product was greeted with a quick takedown by Matyushenko, but little else in way of solid scoring, eventually leading to boos at the bell.
There was little change to the pattern in the third round, with Matyushenko’s heavier blows proving to be the deciding factor over the busier but less accurate attack of Marshall.
Ludwig vs. Elkins
A freak ankle injury during a takedown forced a premature halt to the lightweight bout between Duane Ludwig and Darren Elkins, awarding Elkins the fight via first round TKO. Watch post-fight interview
After catching a couple strikes, Elkins shot in for a takedown, and after initially getting stopped, he took Ludwig to the mat. But on the way down, Ludwig’s ankle got caught in an awkward position and looked to be broken, immediately forcing a halt to the bout at the 44 second mark.
With the win, Elkins improves to 12-1; Ludwig falls to 27-11.
Pierce vs. Paulino
Up and comer Mike Pierce sailed to victory in his welterweight bout with Julio Paulino, spoiling the Alaskan’s Octagon debut via a shutout three round unanimous decision. Watch post-fight interview
All scores read 30-27 for Pierce.
Pierce wasted no time getting the fight to the mat, immediately using a single leg takedown to welcome Paulino to the UFC. And for the majority of the round, Pierce kept his opponent there, dominating the ground action.
There was more of the same in the second stanza, only this time Pierce added in some standup to his attack, and the third was no different, as he continued to use slams and short ground strikes to remain in control. And despite a late standup surge from Paulino, this one was all Pierce.
With the win, Pierce improves to 10-3; Paulino falls to 18-3.
Brilz vs. Schafer
In the light heavyweight opener, Nebraska’s Jason Brilz got back in the win column after his September loss to Eliot Marshall, pounding out a hard-fought three round unanimous decision win over “Red” Schafer. Watch post-fight interview
Scores for Brilz were 29-28 across the board.
The first five minutes told a tale of two rounds, with Brilz dominating the first half of the frame with solid striking and a smothering attack against the fence, and Schafer roaring back in the final 2:30 with a couple of hard strikes that jarred Brilz and had him in trouble.
Round two held more of the same back and forth action on the feet and the mat, with Brilz closing stronger this time with his standup and ground work on the tiring Schafer.
Schafer’s gas tank appeared to be on empty in round three, and Brilz marched forward, looking to land the finisher. And though it didn’t come, Brilz was able to do enough busywork on the mat to take the round and the fight.
With the win, Brilz improves to 18-2-1; Schafer falls to 13-5-2.