Pettis is the final WEC lightweight champion, winning the belt from Ben Henderson in the final WEC show and could get a title shot against the winner of the Gray Maynard/Frankie Edgar matchup later this year with a win over Guida.
Pettis comes into this fight with an overall record of (13-1) with 5 KO/TKO and 6 submission victories to his credit. He has won four fights in a row since losing a close split decision to Bart Palaszewski. Pettis is a well rounded but unpredictable fighter which makes him very dangerous. He can win the fight wherever the fight goes.
Clay Guida comes into this fight with an overall record of (28-11) with 15 wins via submission and 5 via KO/TKO to his credit. He has quietly won his last three fights with all of them ending via submission, taking out former Japanese champion Takanori Gomi in his last outing. Guida is known for his unbelievable conditioning and durability, but also brings a solid wrestling game to the table.
Linesmaker has Pettis as the betting favorite at (-200) and Guida as the underdog at (+160).
Usually the relentless pace that Guida brings to the cage causes a lot of fighters to wilt over time, but I don’t expect the pace of the fight to be the deciding factor. It’ll come down to Guida’s ability or inability to take Pettis to the mat, and he’s not safe there since Pettis is capable of submitting him from his back. Guida’s going to have to do a great job of closing the distance and making this an ugly fight as he typically does, not allowing Pettis to establish his striking range.
Pettis has the better standup game and could surprise Guida by taking him down if he becomes too aggressive. Pettis needs to be able to stop Guida’s takedowns and if taken down get right back up to his feet since Guida’s top game doesn’t involve taking a lot of risks which would open up submissions attempts.
I think this should be an excellent fight with a fast pace and lots of action. Ultimately, I think Pettis wins this one via decision. However, if Pettis can’t stop Guida’s takedowns, I could see Guida winning a close decision from the judges.