Clay Guida vs. Rafa Garcia prediction | UFC on ESPN 44 1

Clay “The Carpenter” Guida, 41, is still going as only he can frantically go in the UFC. Guida has 60 professional mixed martial arts fights and has an 18-16 UFC record. During his tenure with the UFC, Guida has 7 wins by finish and has been finished himself 9 times.

Rafa “Gifted” Garcia, 28, is 14-3 professionally and 3-3 in the UFC. In the UFC, all but one of his fights have gone the distance.

Guida vs. Garcia will take place on this Saturday night’s UFC on ESPN 44 card.

Betting Odds

Garcia opened just north of a 2:1 favorite and has grown a bit early in the week.

Fight Breakdown

Guida, despite his age, is a pressure and cardio machine in the cage. He keeps a high volume of strikes, that are more pitter-patter than actually damaging, while he looks to press forward against the cage. He is able to eat heavy counterstrikes and keep walking forward to keep up his pressure. His striking style- volume without much power and a tendency to get hit often- will regularly create close rounds. Therefore, Guida’s primary gameplan, clinch fighting and wrestling, is all the more important. He looks to push his opponent back to the cage and grind on them for the whole round. He’ll land in tight body shots, a few elbows, and a knee; but, his primary strategy is to grind his opponents into exhaustion. He forces his opponents to carry his weight against the cage, deal with persistent head position, and rarely allows them to get a full breath.

From the clinch, Guida looks to drag his opponents down to the mat. His takedowns are less about getting a leg or a trip and more about opportunistically responding to an exhausted opponent by pulling them to the ground. Guida knows that he often has the cardio edge in fights, and through his clinch fighting and takedown attempts, weaponizes that cardio to drag the fight into deep waters. However, early in fights, Guida is vulnerable to explosive strikes, better footwork, and counter-wrestling.

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Garcia is an enigma in the cage. Despite losing a unanimous decision against Klose, he really impressed as a massive underdog. Garcia threw over 200 strike attempts defended 2 takedowns, and landed some heavy blows. Then, he came into his next fight as a sizable favorite and dropped a unanimous decision with a less-than-stellar performance. Yes, that decision loss was controversial; but, being the nearly 3:1 favorite that he was, the fight shouldn’t have been that close. In that loss, Garcia lowered his striking output to 145 attempts but increased his wrestling significantly, landing 5 of 12 attempts. Both of these fights embody Garcia in the cage. He is an explosive athlete who can pour on his varied striking with real power but tends to hit a fair amount of air in his combinations. He can also be a relentless wrestler who spams takedowns with a high rate of success but struggles to hold position on the mat.

When he’s at his best, Garcia wrestles early and often, then he uses the threat of takedown attempts to get his opponent to lower his hands so Garcia can land something heavy. However, he doesn’t always follow the best game plan, he has gassed out before, and he can put himself in dangerous positions. Simply put, Garcia is a dangerous matchup for most unranked lightweights but he’s difficult to trust.

Prediction and Betting Guide

This is a winnable fight for either man. Both fighters like to create chaos in the cage, weather it, and capitalize on an opponent’s mistake. The key difference between them is Guida gets stronger as the fight goes on while Garcia is dangerous early but can gas late. In this kind of fan-friendly but volatile fight, you have to find plus money to bet.

For my money, I like Garcia to win in rounds 1 or 2. Both men should come out with high-pressure attacks and little regard for their own defense. Garcia is the much more explosive and dangerous fighter; so, as long as he has the energy, he should have the advantage. Plus, 4 of the last 5 times that Guida has been finished, he was finished in the 1st round.

Because I’m advising 2 bets that ensures at least 1 will lose, I recommend taking your normal bet amount and splitting it. Put 60%, or .6u on RD1 and 40% or .4u on round 2.

Best Bet: Garcia to win in round 1 (+450) and Garcia to win in round 2 (+800)

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