11 Bouts Signed for UFC’s Versus Debut

By Brian Knapp Jan 26, 2010
Lightweight mainstay Clay Guida will meet Shannon Gugerty in a preliminary matchup at UFC on Versus 1 on March 21 at the Odeum Colorado in Broomfield, Colo. Eleven bouts are now official for the event, which marks the promotion’s debut on the Versus network.

Guida, a 28-year-old Round Lake, Ill., native, has dropped back-to-back fights for just the second time in his career. He submitted to a second-round rear-naked choke from two-time lightweight title challenger Kenny Florian at UFC 107 in December, and, despite the considerable fanfare surrounding him, has posted a mediocre 5-5 mark inside the Octagon. Even so, Guida has proven himself a dependable performer, and, in 36 career bouts, he has never been knocked out. Now training under the ever-expanding Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts umbrella, he owns solid wins over former Strikeforce lightweight champion Josh Thomson and “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 6 winner Mac Danzig.

A San Diego-based Brazilian jiu-jitsu brown belt, Gugerty last competed in November, when he submitted to a second-round guillotine choke from the fast-rising Terry Etim. The 26-year-old, spawned by the Total Combat promotion, has gone the distance only once in his career. A 2004 submission victory against World Extreme Cagefighting featherweight Cub Swanson anchors his resume.

Meanwhile, former Sportfight welterweight champion Mike Pierce will collide with Rob Kimmons in a preliminary bout at 170 pounds.

Pierce, a 29-year-old Portland, Ore., native, lost to Jon Fitch by unanimous decision at UFC 107 last month but acquitted himself nicely and had one of the world’s top welterweights on his heels in the third round. A stout wrestler who favors takedowns and ground-and-pound, he holds notable wins over one-time World Extreme Cagefighting title contender Brock Larson, International Fight League veteran Mark Miller and Strikeforce’s Paul Bradley; in fact, Pierce remains the only man to defeat Bradley.

A black belt in American jiu-jitsu, the 28-year-old Kimmons last appeared in October, when he succumbed to third-round strikes against Jorge Rivera at UFC 104. The defeat prompted the former middleweight’s move to 170 pounds. A Kansas City, Kan., native, Kimmons has secured 14 of his 22 career victories by submission and has won 13 of his past 16 fights.

A light heavyweight matchup pairing Jon Jones with Brandon Vera will headline the UFC’s Versus debut, along with a pivotal heavyweight clash between the world-ranked Junior dos Santos and Gabriel Gonzaga.
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