UFC on ESPN 29 Predictions: Mark Madsen vs. Clay Guida odds, analysis 1

With a perfect MMA record and now 2-0 in the UFC, Mark “The Olympian” Madsen enters this weekend’s co-main event at 36-years-old on an upward trajectory after winning a decision over Hubbard in his last fight.

On the other side, Guida is 39-years-old, 36-20 as a professional fighter, and enters on the heels of a decision win over Michael Johnson. Both men look to prove age is just a number as they look to tally another number in their win column.

Madsen vs. Guida odds

  • Mark Madsen: -160
  • Clay Guida: +130

Madsen vs. Guida breakdown

Madsen is a talented, dedicated, and experienced wrestler. He has five World Championship medals and one Olympic medal in wrestling. With an undefeated MMA record, he has no reason to change his wrestle-heavy style. Madsen averages an impressive 8.3 takedowns per 15 minutes. He often circles the cage, primarily to avoid being hit as his standup is unpolished at best, then, as soon as he can, will secure a takedown.

Unlike some MMA wrestlers who grind their opponents down from the clinch, Madsen, with a Greco-Roman wrestling background, implores a unique twisting takedown approach. Because of his top-tier skill and unique style, opponents have struggled to defend his takedowns. Typically, his opponent’s best path to victory is to keep the fight standing because Madsen is a blank slate on the feet, gets hit fairly easily and often, and returns strikes with minimal effectiveness. But, his wrestling has overcome his striking deficit en route to a perfect record.

Guida, a veteran of the UFC, prefers to make fights ugly. He excels during the transitional moments of a fight- scrambles and the clinch. When scrambling, Guida is adept at landing on top, getting a submission, or avoiding the mat altogether. When in the clinch, Guida tries to overwhelm his opponents with attacks, often knees and elbows, from all angles while attempting to grind his opponent down. At range, “The Carpenter” has awkward movement and a great gas tank that tests his opponent’s cardio. If his opponent can avoid getting caught in the transition moments, Guida struggles. But if Guida can hold in the clinch, cause scrambles, or outlast his foe, he’s proven he can still win.

Madsen vs. Guida prediction

There is a significant difference between MMA grappling and Olympic wrestling; while this fight will not solely be a wrestling match, the biggest disparity in talent is Madsen’s wrestling compared to Guida’s grappling. I am confident that unless Madsen gets caught when shooting a takedown, possibly from a knee, he will get his hand raised for the third time in his short UFC tenure.

Guida is notoriously tough but often gets in compromising positions; so, predicting a finish vs. a decision is challenging. Instead, I am taking Madsen to win and am looking to include him in parlays too.

Prediction: Mark Madsen to win

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