Clay Guida pulls off epic comeback, becomes first to submit Leonardo Santos


Clay Guida pulled off one of the biggest comebacks of 2021 against Leonardo Santos on Saturday at UFC on ESPN 31.

After nearly getting finished with strikes in the first round, Guida (37-21 MMA, 17-15 UFC) rallied in a major way and became the first man to submit Santos (18-5-1 MMA, 7-2-1 UFC) in MMA competition in the lightweight matchup, which took place at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas.

Check out the finish below (via Twitter):

Guida had a brutal first two-plus minutes in the opening round, as Santos crushed him with a hard left body kick that had him reeling. Santos emptied the gas tank with punches to the body and a knees to the head – one of which dropped Guida – and had the fight on the cusp of a stoppage on multiple occasions.

Somehow, Guida survived and regained his composure. He took Santos down with one minute remaining in the round and started hammering with rabbit punches until the end of the round.

Guida came up with all the energy and momentum to start Round 2. He took Santos’ back, locked in a rear-naked choke and finished the fight at the 1:21 mark.

“He had me hurt real, real bad,” Guida said in his post-fight interview with Daniel Cormier. “We needed that one. Wrestling got us here. That’s the one that got us the victory.”

Up-to-date UFC on ESPN 31 results include:

  • Clay Guida def. Leonardo Santos via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 1:21

  • Chris Curtis def. Brendan Allen via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 1:58

  • Alex Morono def. Mickey Gall via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

  • Dusko Todorovic def. Maki Pitolo via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:34

  • Manel Kape def. Zhalgas Zhumagulov via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:02

  • Bryan Barberena def. Darian Weeks via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Cheyanne Vlismas def. Mallory Martin via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

  • William Knight def. Alonzo Menifield via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

  • Claudio Puelles def. Chris Gruetzemacher via submission (kneebar) – Round 3, 3:25

  • Vince Morales def. Louis Smolka via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 2:02


UFC on ESPN 31 play-by-play and live results

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