The UFC returned to the FX network last night to deliver a free card featuring some of the UFC’s more exciting and colorful characters. Hard nosed British slugger “The Real Deal” Ross Pearson (13-6) went out on his shield in the second in a TKO loss to WEC veteran Cub Swanson (17-5). Crafty veteran and harbinger of the hairrow “Bad Boy” Brian Ebersole (50-14) added an eleventh victory to his winning streak as he survived early then out-foxed his younger opponent TJ Waldburger (15-7) en route to a Unanimous Decision. The co-main saw “Hands of Stone” Sam Stout (18-7) earn a unanimous nod over “The King” Spencer Fisher (24-9) in their “Fight of the Night” winning rubber match, and the headline bout of the evening saw “The Bully” Gray Maynard (11-1-1) and “The Carpenter” Clay Guida (29-13) deliver a cure for insomnia with one of the most lackluster fights in recent memory.
Ross Pearson vs. Cub Swanson: The long injured Cub Swanson found success in his return to the cage with a second-round stoppage of dangerous former lightweight Ross Pearson. “The Real Deal” came out strong in the first with his characteristic aggression and brawling style. He seemed to have Swanson off-balance and was in control for the majority of the first, but the Greg Jackson product stole the round with an opportunistic knock down. In the second, it became obvious that Swanson had found Pearson’s timing and he used that to smartly counter everything “The Real Deal” had to throw at him. Near the end of the round, it all came together and Swanson landed big to earn “Knockout of the Night”. Swanson via TKO (Punch), Round 2
Brian Ebersole vs. TJ Waldburger: The experience difference between these two hot welterweight prospects was uncharacteristically vast for a bout between two contention hopefuls. Usually when a fighter with 21 fights meets one with over 60, it’s because the latter is in his twilight and is beginning to fade. This wasn’t the case for Brian Ebersole and TJ Waldburger. While Waldburger did start the fight in full command of the action, the craftiness of Ebersole ended up winning the night. Waldburger came close to finishing the bout in the first, narrowly dropped the second, and was taken to task in the third. All around it was a good showing on both sides and should be a learning experience for Waldburger, who finds himself back in the middle of the pack as Ebersole advances. Ebersole via Unanimous Decision
Sam Stout vs. Spencer Fisher: The third meeting between these two lightweight sluggers proved every bit as entertaining as the first two, earning the pair a “Fight of the Night” bonus in the process. Much like the first two fights, the action was primarily on the feet. The difference this time was the takedowns. “The King” was beating Stout on the feet with good movement and high volume counter-striking and from several pundits’ perspectives, and won the first two rounds decidedly by virtue of that striking. However, Sam Stout utilized a more rounded game to take advantage of MMA judges’ somewhat weighted scoring of takedowns. Every round ended with “Hands of Stone” securing at least one takedown. The result was every card but those cage side reflecting a 29-28 one way or another or even a 29-29. The judges, however, saw fit to hand Stout a trio of 30-27 scores for the win. Stout via Unanimous Decision
Gray Maynard vs. Clay Guida: There is a very fine line in the boxing/kickboxing world between evasive fighting where a fighter “floats like a butterfly, stings like a bee” and actively avoiding the fight. That line was crossed by Clay Guida. As one would expect in a completely stand-up affair between two wrestlers, the level of skill and technique on display in the main event was roughly equivalent to a regional Tough Man event or maybe a local Golden Gloves card. Guida attempted to play the stick-n-move game against the more heavy-handed Maynard, and succeeded in the first two rounds. However, as the fight wore on, his either inability or refusal to throw more than one or two punches before ducking away a few steps regressed even further into half-hearted feints followed by a flat sprint across the cage. The result was Maynard taking a Split Decision due to the damage caused by the few strikes he actually landed and a near submission in the fourth. It was easily one of the most boring bouts in the history of the UFC and if Guida wishes to continue implementing this style, he had better learn to string together at least four or five shots per attack if he wants to keep his job. Maynard via Split Decision
Click here for the full list of UFC on FX 4: Maynard vs. Guida fight results.