Former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis’ plans to fight for the UFC title were ripped apart by Clay Guida tonight as he outworked the younger fighter to claim a decision win.

In round one Guida got the upper hand, steering clear of Pettis’ dangerous stand-up early by utilising range and movement, before swooping in for a takedown.

From there he tried to rough-up Pettis from top control, but found that easier said than done due to the former WEC champion’s extremely active guard, forcing him to break free from several triangle attempts. Undeterred Guida continued to work on the mat and controlled the pace of the fight.

Onto the second and Guida’s wrestling continued to be the difference between the two, successfully taking him down early in the round, and again later, slowly grinding down the younger fighter.

Pettis was trying though, and worked for another triangle choke before switching to an armbar attempt late in the round, but the bell saved Guida.

Guida was now only five minutes away from victory and he wasn’t taking any chances. Another well timed takedown got the fight back where he wanted it and he appeared to now be happy to steer clear of further submission attempts and just ride down the clock while throwing minimal offense.

Midway though the round Pettis got his back against the cage though and worked his way back to his feet. Guida was quick to take the fight back down to the mat, but a scramble ensued and Pettis was suddenly in a dominant position, swiftly taking Guida’s back.

There’s less than 90 seconds left as Pettis frantically works for a choke, but Guida slipped out the back door and was back on top, finishing out the round on his opponent’s back.

Onto the decision and it’s no great surprise to find that Guida takes a clean sweep on the judges scorecards, 30-27.

It’s a tough blow for Pettis who had been on top of the world after winning the WEC lightweight belt, and then being promised a shot at the UFC 155lb title. Circumstances outwith his control meant he ended up having to take this fight first before getting that opportunity, and after his loss tonight he’s now out of the title picture, while Guida now puts himself in the mix instead.