It appeared in the fight that Hioki managed to work significantly to land damage and finish the fight from the bottom position, yet the judges ruled the fight in Guida’s favor via split decision (29-28, 30-27, 29-28).
Shortly after the fight, Hioki spoke to MMAWeekly.com about the loss. And while he gave all credit to his opponent for the win, comments made by readers regarding Guida’s perceived stall tactics has Hioki wishing to further express his feelings about the bout.
Below is the full, unedited statement MMAWeekly.com received from Hioki:
I hear a lot of people criticizing Guida’s strategy to lie on top; however, it was ultimately my lack of skills to get back on (to my) feet, stop these takedowns and submit an opponent who was staying tight while being on top to put myself on the losing end. I say this again: Guida won the fight fair and square. He was better than me at that night.
I have respected him before and I respect him more now.
I spent a lot of time to develop takedown defense, and I think my takedown defense skill got better than before, but just fell short on Guida. That’s the truth, but I can say that my takedown defense is a lot better than before because we were into prepping for him takedowns. If it weren’t for this fight prep, my takedown defense would have been unchanged and undeveloped, so I would like to (say) thank you (to) him for being a great wrestler.
All that said, I would like to thank all the support from fans who have watched the fight and Guida-san for the competitive match.
Thank you very much,