UFC on FX 4 Friday, June 22, 2012 at 9 p.m. (ET) on FX Revel Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey Gray Maynard (-285) Profile: Maynard (10-1-1, 1 No-Contest) is coming off his two-fight war for the UFC lightweight title against Frankie Edgar a different man, completing a trilogy that saw him win the first meeting back in 2008 before earning a draw and a loss in the last bout. With his first career setback behind him, the 33-year-old has a steep mountain to climb to get another crack at Ben Henderson’s title, and it begins with a fight against Clay Guida at UFC on FX 4. Maynard is arguably the most accomplished wrestler in the UFC’s lightweight division, if not all of MMA, as a three-time Division I All-American at Michigan State alongside teammate Rashad Evans, the former UFC light heavyweight champion. He has defeated a who’s who of current lightweight title contenders, including Nate Diaz, Jim Miller and Bellator lightweight tournament finalist Brent Weedman. After a late start to his career, Maynard has a more developed repertoire, but he will always rely on his bread and butter – wrestling. Clay Guida (+215) Profile: The hairy ball of energy, Guida (29-12) comes out of Greg Jackson’s camp with multiple Fight of the Year nominations and wins under his belt. “The Carpenter” has earned six Fight of the Night bonuses and two Submission of the Night awards with a style that can best be described as wild and energetic. The 30-year-old MMA veteran is coming off a couple fantastic years in 2010 and 2011 that helped get him back on track as a legitimate contender for the lightweight title belt. After losing to Diego Sanchez and Kenny Florian to finish out 2009, Guida went on a four-fight winning streak, defeating the likes of Takanori Gomi (guillotine choke) and Anthony Pettis (smothering decision) before falling to Henderson in the lightweight title eliminator at UFC on FOX 1 in a bout that won Fight of the Night. Henderson went on to defeat Edgar and became the new UFC lightweight champion, something Guida still aspires to achieve someday. Opening MMA Odds Analysis: MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas has installed Maynard as the -285 favorite (bet $285 to win $100) while Guida opened as a +215 underdog (bet $100 to win $215) according to the MMA odds. The fact that Maynard has just one career loss is definitely a factor since he is still in his prime and will be ready to challenge the winner between UFC lightweight champion Henderson and Edgar at UFC 150 assuming he gets by Guida. However, he has already fought Edgar three times while Guida previously held his own against Henderson before losing a tough decision. Guida has a lot of fire inside him that continues to drive him toward a title shot, but Maynard is a difficult matchup. Whoever wins may also have to wait in line behind Nate Diaz, who is ranked No. 5 in the MMA OddsBreaker MMA Fighter Rankings and earned a shot with a convincing win over Jim Miller at UFC on FOX 3. Or face him next.
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