Mark Madsen wasn’t favour with odds ahead of his return but definitely deserved his split decision victory over Clay Guida in the Co-Main event of UFC On ESPN 29 (UFC Vegas 34), which took place on Saturday night, 21st August at the UFC Apex Facility.
Guida as stated in his pre-fight statements, looked to capitalise on the underdeveloped part of Maddens MMA game, which was definitely the striking as the 2016 Olympic Silver Medalist was well vested in Wrestling. Despite been known for his grappling skills decided to fight Madsen on feet and avoided taking the fight to the Mat.
Guida tagged Madsen from a distance and defended every takedown attempt very well. Madsen on his part was tough and kept moving forwards landing whenever he found openings. At the end, Madsen was favoured by the Judges with a close split decision which retained his Professional Unbeaten record and also marked his victory from a terrible ordeal following his last outing.
Madsen broke his Jaw in his win over Austin Hubbard back in UFC 248 in March 2020, which required surgery as if that wasn’t enough, Madsen encountered COVID 19, his house was flooded and his wife was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Madsen after the win dedicated the fight to his wife.
“That was for my wife,” Madsen said afterwards. “I’m so proud that I could bring home a victory. This is my biggest comeback of my athletic career. I’m so proud, I’m so happy. He has my utmost respect. He’s a legend in here. It’s an honor to share the cage with him.”
Guida quickly established his Jab early in the fight looking to tag the wrestling specialist. Madsen was contented with just closing the distance and tried his best bullying the UFC Veteran, pushed him up on the cage and connected a combination of strikes in the clinch.
Noticing Guida’s resort to Striking, Madsen adjusted his game and connected a few strikes of his own from distance. Guida also made his adjustments and with experience on his part, quickly brought hell on Madsen with some Sporadic movements coupled with combinations that Madsen couldn’t defend. Madsen got constantly tagged with those strikes that he started looking for a way to hold down Guida.
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Guida’s strikes weren’t with power but the volume was much and Madsen couldn’t help but pump out his jab which was also finding its home on Guida’s face in the final round and that possibly helped to fuel the Judges decision to award him a decision.
Madsen was so happy for the win and celebrated happily but after everything he turned his sights to the best grappling competitor in the division.
“There’s a guy out there saying he’s the best wrestler in this division,” Madsen said. “Gregor Gillespie, I’m coming for you.”