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One Night in Omaha with Clay Guida

Alex Trujillo — Clay Guida‘s coach and owner of the Midwest Training Center — does the best Mike Goldberg impersonation I’ve ever heard. He has it all just right. The hyperbolic enthusiasm, the local news weatherman voice inflection, the whole package.

“Coming up next!” Trujillo shouts in his Goldberg voice, and it’s enough to get the whole dressing room cracking up. You can see how it helps to have guy like Trujillo around when you’re trying to stay relaxed before a fight. Soon the talk turns to what it would be like if Goldberg did commentary for porn movies. The consensus opinion? It would be awesome.

This is just part of what I was treated to last night as I shadowed Guida before and after his fight for this Si.com article. It was, to say the least, a unique experience. There are the guys who say that they just love to fight, and then there are the guys for whom it is obviously true. Clay Guida is the latter. Throughout his preparation there was never a hint of anxiety. Little leaguers have more nerves stepping up to bat.

As Guida sat in his dressing room having his hands taped referee Yves Lavigne came by to go over some basics. Just to clarify, Lavigne took out a sheet of paper that he had folded into thirds and held it up against the back of his own head to show Guida where not to strike. Through it all Guida could barely keep from smiling.

They passed the time watching the earlier bouts on a small TV monitor. Guida’s camp seemed appalled at Houston Alexander‘s illegal knee strike, among other infractions during the fight. When the referee said nothing they finally chalked it up to “Omaha rules.” Then they praised their good luck that they weren’t taking on an Omaha fighter.

It was conditioning that truly won the bout for Guida. By the third round the frustration and fatigue was all over Danzig’s face, while Guida looked like he had a few more rounds in him. Afterwards he listed off the three different gyms he frequents and too many trainers to count.

“If I could spend as much time training as I do driving back and forth to different gyms, I’d be in better shape than anyone in the UFC,” he said.

After the fight Guida acknowledged that he needs to get better at finishing opponents, admitting that Danzig’s early kimura attempt made him a little more cautious about his ground-and-pound efforts, but said he had been making a conscious effort to be more controlled and less reckless in his fights.

As for his plans to celebrate the victory, Guida said he likes to have “a drink or two” with friends and family. After that it’s off for a quick trip to Vegas, then back in the gym in Chicago by Monday.

And who’s next on his hit list now that he’s downed TUF winner Mac Danzig?

“Everybody,” he said.

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wease- September 20, 2008 at 5:57 am
What about Clay's fight with Huerta? Was that boring? When do you see an MMA fighter win the first two rounds and still attack in the third. Clay is great for the sport as he wants to put on a show, win or lose. In the Danzig fight, Mac put in a nice defensive game and wouldn't let Clays head out of the arm. What else could Clay do?....Stand up and let Mac knock him out? A win is a win and Clay will fight another day and get a check.
Twist- September 18, 2008 at 9:09 pm
He looks like Even Tanner's little brother.
Me- September 18, 2008 at 9:08 pm
EDIT: I DON'T WANT to see MMA go down the boxing road... ugh I'm an idiot.
Me- September 18, 2008 at 9:07 pm
@Danny

I basically agree with everything said by you and everyone else, cuz I like Guida. I just want to see MMA go down the tragic road of boxing in that fighters come in and just try to outscore each other. Is it an effective gameplan as the rules stand now? Yea sure, but it shouldn't be, that's all I'm sayin.

Beware the woes of boxing.
jewtitsu- September 18, 2008 at 9:05 pm
that fight fuckin sucked...danzig couldnt do shit because guida was a beast but it was like he was a beast driving fuckin nascar...either way you put it, its fuckin boring, good on him winning the fight but the shit you saw with guida and danzig is gonna be the same shit you see lesnar do to couture, just take him and down and old them there...shits mad fuckin gay
wally- September 18, 2008 at 7:46 pm
damn arianny looks hot in that picture


we need a fresh ring girls article on Arianny -- one is not enough
walrus- September 18, 2008 at 7:37 pm
Clay Guida is a jewel of a UFC fighter -- exciting, nonstop and very fitting to the obstacles that may arise.

Alot of you rip on that fight saying Guida held him down, however if Danzig would've completed any of those submissions he attempted at, you'd obviously be happy. Now don't fuck around in saying he was laying on top of him in a cheap manner -- that's Mac's bread and butter -- he was just not successful.

chicago baby, Clay Guida's the shit.
Danny Trejo's Chest Tattoo- September 18, 2008 at 6:45 pm
the "he is not a true fighter" comments are pretty ridiculous. Guida is a highly trained mixed martial artist competing at the highest level. This isn't a bar fight. This is two athletes competing in a sport that is their profession and where the sole objective is to win. Guida executed a nearly flawless gameplan and completely dominated his opponent. Although infilciting damage is a nice perk it makes absolutely no difference if you ref doesn't raise your arm at the end of the fight. These guys aren't doing this for fun. This is their career and their source of income. They are professional fighters.

Not to mention that Guida is one hard-as-nails motherfucker
who cares- September 18, 2008 at 4:45 pm
sorry if the end didnt make sense the outcome would have been the same, clay losing so he worked around that and won
who cares- September 18, 2008 at 4:38 pm
danzig was clearly a better striker and everyone knew it. if clay stood with him he would've been crushed. I don't think he cares bout what ur all bitching about. It's his job to win and he did it in a way where he knew he'd be victorious. boohoo if it wasn't entertaining. He came in with a game plan and did it effectively. If he came in with his usual bar brawl style like with Huerta the outcome would have been the same
seancron- September 18, 2008 at 4:19 pm
This was a shitty ass fight. Actually it wasn't a fight it was a"wild little caveman" hugging Danzig. If it was an actual fight Danzig would have out classed him and submitted him in the 1st round. The ref should have broke it up more often rather than let the gay foreplay continue.Guida is not a fighter, true he may be a great guy, but not fighter.He can't finish anyone in any aspect of the game, so essentially all he can do is overwelm people, but not even with hits but humping and grinding.
Jeffro- September 18, 2008 at 3:44 pm
I thought it was a great fight. I really enjoyed it. Guida would have won no matter what scoring system was used. When you get 2 top tier fighers, with great offence/defence, sometimes you get a "stalemate".

Alot of you whiney fuckers should go back to WWE.
Oatmeal- September 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm
i see danzig coming back and smashing clay in a rematch.
considering all guida could do is hump him, danzig did a great
job of avoiding ANY damage, and if you ask me, has just
as great of cardio considering he was constantly standing
up till the end of the fight

guida seems scared to get hit in the face.....he aint a true
fighter what so ever
Me- September 18, 2008 at 3:29 pm
I can only speak for myself here, but I can easily admit that Danzig lost that fight. My issue is not with the decision, but how we got to it. I would never ask a fighter to take a beating and lose a fight to show his nuts and that he is a real man. That's stupid. But taking someone down and holding them there is pointless.

Allow me to explain, if I can.

I believe that takedowns should only be scored if they result in some sort of progress for the initiator. Submissions (or attempts), damage, TKO's and better position are all examples. If nothing is made of this attempt then there should be no score for it.

Take striking as an example. A fighter is not awarded points for simply throwing punches and kicks, but rather on contact and damage (aggression notwithstanding, as this is another broader method of scoring).

There is a reason that the ref stands fighters up when nothing progresses. Should a fighter be awarded more points for getting stood up and getting another takedown? Sounds like there is a chasm between reffing and judging. A flawed design in a poorly put together 10 must system.

Believe me though I hear all about Danzig inability to defend these takedowns, and that should be addressed. But we must keep in mind the ultimate goal of fighting and that is causing damage to your opponent. If his poor defense still resulted in almost no damage taken than what does that say about the others offense?

Final point, should a fighter be awarded points for takedowns that result in him losing? That would mean that his attempt was ultimately unsuccessful, and I don't think he should be patted on his back for the effort. What if the other fighter wanted to get taken down? We must keep in mind that this is a complex sport and strict scoring systems should be reexamined for effectiveness.
weatherman2012- September 18, 2008 at 2:25 pm
True that Guida's victory was due in part to holding Danzig down on the ground which is not the most exciting tactic but it did win him the fight. Guida controlled him and kept him from doing any damage.

If Danzig was a better fighter he would have gotten himself out of those take downs better. Same thing happened in the Herring/Lesner fight. Lesner just smothered Herring with his huge body. Granted there was a big weight difference but a better athlete would have kept clear of the take down.

If you look at GSP, he doesn't let fighters lay on him and control his game. Look at how Dan Henderson won his fight against Poulharres, he kept moving and slipping out of his opponents submission attempts and kept his game plan dominant. Hendo didn't get the big right hand KO like he wanted but he still controlled the fight.

Fighting is control first and entertainment second.
NinJay- September 18, 2008 at 2:07 pm
I think most of the comments are reaction to a very boring fight. Guida is a perfect example of why i have come to love the lightweight fighters. They have so much energy and what they lack in knockout power they make up for with heart and effort.

I think most people are forgeting the meaning of MMA. The entire premise for the UFC when it was started was to see how different fighting styles would do against each other. What would happen if you threw a greko roman wrestler in with a karate black belt, or a ju jistu expert in with a kickboxer. It isn't so true today because with the always changing MMA landscape fighters now can't diciplined in just one area, they have to have a wide depth of knowledge on all forms of martial arts to survive. This fight was a throwback to the old days though. Wrestler took Jitsu down and did what wrestlers do, held him on his back and occasionaly wailed on him. Obviously Danzigs striking was way better so you wanted Guida to just accept this and stand in front of him and take it for the loss?? No, he did what he had to do to win. It was a fight, i'm tired of the MMA fans who only look for a Griffen/Bonner type of fight every time and if it doesn't happen they bitch. Go watch some Toughman or something.
Plain old Kevin- September 18, 2008 at 1:55 pm
I cannot believe how many fools post shit on CP. Clay Guida has always been entertaining and Mac Danzig is like the teacher from Ferris Bueller's Day Off. Guida's fight before Danzig was a win by TKO so you haters can STFU. Idiot morons that cannot appreciate a fast-paced exciting fighter. Effin Douchebags.
Danny Trejo's Chest Tattoo- September 18, 2008 at 1:17 pm
Are people upset that Guida won in a less than impressive fashion or that he won in general? i really can't see how anyone could logically consider that fight a win for Danzig. The decision for Guida was completely deserved and respectable. He stood with Danzig until Danzig began to get the upper hand, so he took him down and dominated him on the ground. Danzig was completely out-paced and out-muscled. It would have been a pretty stupid game-plan for Guida to continue to stand with a guy who was clearly winning on the feet. You play to your strengths. That's just good MMA.
J- September 18, 2008 at 12:22 pm
I like Guida but this was a boring fight. He's a character and is charismatic and really enjoys what he does. How can someone not respect that?
?- September 18, 2008 at 11:59 am
Guida doesn't rule the world......
FATSQUAD- September 18, 2008 at 11:57 am
Clay Guida effing rules.
His fight against Tyson Griffin is one of my favorites of all time.
Yeah I said it.
Go watch it and tell me Guida doesn't rule the world.
steve- September 18, 2008 at 11:02 am
kalib starnes is the most elusive fighter ever. slightly ahead of lyoto machida.
Dakyn- September 18, 2008 at 7:22 am
Guida won via takedown counting and, admittedly, better conditioning.

Out "wrestling" someone like that isn't fighting; fighting is about trying to beat your opponent, not outscore them on some flawed scoring system.

Boxing bores the shit out of me but at least the two fighters try to hit each other in that sport. These fights are what make MMA look like "a bunch of guys hugging each other".

If this is the "new controlled Guida" I think he'll find his popularity dwindling.
?- September 18, 2008 at 7:06 am
'it’s called wrestiling, and it’s makes bjj tools look like shit. Clay rules.'

It's called Ultimate fighter not Ultimate Wrestler and you are the tool mate!!
Craig- September 18, 2008 at 4:25 am
I like Clay Guida, don't get me wrong. When you step into a cage to face a man in combat, you got balls. Thats why I respect guys like Sinocic, Alberto Crane, and Thiago T. They may not win, but they got balls bigger than any bar-fighter I have ever seen. Anyone of them could kick my ass. But could anyone other than Clay Guida expend so much energy in the octagon, and put on such a boring fight. Of all the fights I wanted to see on the card, this was #1. I was very disapointed. He didnt even mark up Danzig's face. I appreciate that he has dope cardio and goes ball's out, but please, for the love of God, when you spend as much energy as I spend in a year in 15 minutes, KNOCK THE FUCKER OUT!!!!!! (PS I love Danzig, and am happy he didnt get finished).
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