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.