Clay Guida showcased his signature conditioning and relentless pace to earn a unanimous decision against UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn on the preliminary card at UFC 237.
The win put Guida back on track following a submission loss in his last fight while Penn dropped his seventh in a row overall as he continues to compete after coming out of retirement in 2017.
Penn was composed throughout the opening round as he pursued Guida across the Octagon while looking to set up his punching combinations. While Guida was constantly moving and then lunging ahead with his strikes, Penn was more methodical with his attacks.
Guida did manage to crack Penn with a few stiff leg kicks but he also caught more than a few punches in return from the UFC Hall of Famer. Penn’s best punch was a well-timed uppercut that clipped Guida several times when he ducked down to potentially look for a takedown.
It was a strong start for Penn but as time ticked away into the second round, the veteran Hawaiian saw his conditioning begin to wither and fade.
In return, Guida stayed offensive by pressing forward to throw numerous combinations, often ending with a leg kick that landed with a huge thud.
Late in the second round, Guida managed his first takedown of the fight after punishing Penn with strikes against the cage that had the former two-division champion rattled with his gas tank fading.
As the third round got underway, Guida was still pushing forward and Penn was gasping for air. Guida kept throwing punches until he found a home for his right hand that dropped Penn to the ground with a flash knockdown.
Penn got back to his feet but Guida was all over him as he once again looked for the clinch and the takedown against the fence.
With a minute to go in the fight, Penn was still swinging wildly whenever he got a little bit of space but he just couldn’t keep Guida off him. Guida’s relentless attacks just continued to move forward until time expired as Penn put his hands up over the cage in exhaustion as the fight came to an end.
The judges scored the fight 29-28, 29-28 and 29-27 all in favor of Guida.
It’s obviously been the toughest run of Penn’s legendary career as he falls to 16-14-2 with his seventh straight loss. After the fight was finished, Penn left the cage but didn’t say much about his future while Guida was still bouncing on the soles of his feet celebrating his latest victory.