Mark Madsen battled a lot of adversity to return to the cage, but once he got there, he made the most of the opportunity.
A former Olympic silver medalist, Madsen (11-0 MMA, 3-0 UFC) defeated Clay Guida (36-21 MMA, 16-15 UFC) via split decision (29-28, 28-28, 30-27). The lightweight bout was the UFC on ESPN 29 co-main event at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas. It aired on ESPN and streamed on ESPN+.
The fight was largely contested on the feet. Madsen tried to close the distance and clinch in order to enter his Greco-Roman wrestling realm. Guida, meanwhile, utilized his technical striking and power to throw bombs toward Madsen.
Both men had their moments. Guida stunned Madsen early, but the Olympian never went down. When separated, Madsen utilized his boxing. Both men found success with their leg kicks as well. When the dust settled, it was Madsen who convinced two of the three judges he was the victor with his performance.
— UFC (@ufc) August 22, 2021
In his in-cage interview, Madsen name-dropped Gregor Gillespie as the opponent he would like to fight next, in order to prove who the best wrestler is in the UFC lightweight division.
The victory for Madsen comes in his first fight in 17 months. After a successful debut in September 2018, Madsen defeated Austin Hubbard at UFC 248 in March 2020. In the bout, he broke his jaw and required surgery subsequently thereafter. Saturday was his first competition back. During his period away, Madsen battled multiple levels of adversity including a battle with COVID-19, his house flooding, and his wife being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
For Guida, the loss moves him back to 4-4 over the span of his most recent eight fights. The third-longest-tenured on the promotion’s roster, Guida has been employed by the UFC since 2006.
Mark Madsen def. Clay Guida via unanimous decision (29-28, 28-29, 30-27)
Parker Porter def. Chase Sherman via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
Saidyokub Kakhramonov def. Trevin Jones via technical submission (guillotine choke) – Round 3, 4:39
Vinc Pichel def. Austin Hubbard via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Alexandre Pantoja def. Brandon Royval via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:46
Austin Lingo def. Luis Saldana via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
Brian Kelleher def. Domingo Pilarte via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Josiane Nunes def. Bea Malecki via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 4:54
William Knight def. Fabio Cherant via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 3:58
Ignacio Bahamondes def. Roosevelt Roberts via knockout (head kick) – Round 3, 4:55
Ramiz Brahimaj def. Sasha Palatnikov via technical submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 1, 2:33