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Tag: Clay Guida

[EXCLUSIVE] Clay Guida: The Talent of Hard Work

Clay Guida UFC
(Photo via, you guessed it, Heavy.com)

By Elias Cepeda

Whether or not he’ll admit it, Clay Guida hates being an underdog. It isn’t that the featherweight doesn’t enjoy proving people wrong – he does.

It’s the underestimation that bothers him. Most of his UFC wins have come over opponents who were favored over him before he broke them down and beat them. Even before his UFC career began back in 2006, Guida’s opponents were regularly favored over him.

The assumption that he is an “over-achiever” that has to defy our low expectations just to win smacks Guida like a backhanded compliment time and time again. He’s too polite to get visibly angry when the term has been brought up but in the past, but he’s made it clear to this writer that he doesn’t think of himself in that way. After about a decade of “over-achieving,” Clay would prefer if we simply started referring to him as the elite MMA fighter he truly is. On Saturday, Guida will once again be considered the underdog when he fights former featherweight title challenger Chad Mendes.

Like Guida, Mendes is a wrestler, but he is a more decorated amateur one. Like Guida, Mendes is happy to go wild and throw strikes on the feet, but the Californian has been putting people out with his shots. Both men are obviously in the same weight class, but Mendes would appear to be the more physically imposing, stronger fighter.

Mendes’ only career loss was a shocking one to division champion Jose Aldo. Since that fight, Mendes has won three straight fights by knockout. At some point, in some way, every successful fighter must be a giant in his or her own mind. And in his mind, Guida is the clear favorite in his UFC 164 match up with Mendes.

“Chad is a great wrestler,” Clay admits to me one afternoon a month ago from his New Mexico training camp.

“But we are going to show him what Midwest wrestling is all about. It is a whole different beast. It is just scraping, driving non-stop, relentless and winning scrambles.”

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Gambling Addiction Enabler: ‘UFC 164: Henderson vs. Pettis II’ Edition


(The UFC 164 marketing strategy summed up in less than 30 seconds.)

By Dan “Get Off Me” George

This Saturday night, Zuffa brings us perhaps the most anticipated title rematch in lightweight history when Benson Henderson attempts to remove a stain from his soul against the man responsible for leaving said stain, new/interim #1 contender Anthony Pettis. The preliminary portion of the card may not boast many recognizable names (which is a nice way of saying it’s garbage-ass) but the PPV lineup is a veritable potpourri of grizzled veterans and surging prospects, with a little bit of something for everyone both new and old to MMA.

So come along as we head to Milwaukee, Wisconsin and highlight the undercard bout you stand the best chance of banking on as well as all of the main card bouts for UFC 164: Henderson vs Pettis II. All lines courtesy of BestFightOdds, per usual.

Undercard bout:

Soa Palelei (+175) vs. Nikita Krylov (-210)

The heavy-handed Australian comes in as the +180ish underdog against Ukrainian (is game to you?) submission specialist and -200 favorite Nikita Krylov. Palelei has a chance to payout early in this fight if he is able to use his striking effectively, but the 16 year age gap between the fighters may prove the difference if Krylov’s is able to sustain the early onslaught from Soa. With this in mind, Palelei has been submitted once in his career and 7 out of his last 8 wins (Well, 6 out of 8. Bob Sapp no longer counts.) have come in the first round. +180 for Palelei is an underdog worth taking.

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The UFC Featherweight Ladder: Ranking the Division’s Worthiest Challengers


(Pictured above: Barry “Sarge” Walters, the schizophrenic UFC fan who can often be seen running onstage during weigh-ins. / Photo via Getty)

By Alex Giardini

Unlike some weight-classes we won’t mention, the UFC featherweight division is currently loaded with dangerous contenders, any of whom could be a serious title threat in the future. At UFC 163 (August 3rd, Rio de Janeiro), divisional ruler Jose Aldo defends his belt against fan-favorite “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung, and as long as an immediate rematch isn’t booked, there will be a feeding frenzy of 145-pounders trying to make their case as the true #1 contender. So who’s worthiest of the next title shot? Let’s put aside the phony UFC rankings and business-driven matchmaking and break down where each featherweight contender really stands in the pecking order.

Ricardo Lamas

(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting)

Lamas is the obvious frontrunner to be next in line but why is he being overlooked? The fact that Jung got the title shot over Lamas after their UFC 162 bout was canceled raised a few eyebrows in itself. Lamas, who hasn’t lost in over a year and a half, has blazed through his opposition in the UFC including men on this very list, and despite demolishing a highly-regarded prospect in Erik Koch back in January, his immediate future is unknown. Lamas has a devastating striking game — including some flashy and dangerous kicks — which gives him the ability to end a fight at any moment. He also has a quality wrestling pedigree, alongside a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, and his ground and pound is murderous; woe to anyone in the division who finds himself on the bottom of Lamas’s elbows and power strikes.

It’s relatively strange that Lamas was skipped in line for a title shot but maybe the UFC feels Aldo’s competition should come with a familiar face. Jung is no slouch, finishing all three opponents thus far in his UFC career, but Lamas also has an equally impressive track record in the company – undefeated in four bouts with previous stoppages over Cub Swanson, Matt Grice. The aforementioned brutalizing of Erik Koch was a major reason to include him in the mix, as Koch was a highly-touted prospect who was already paving his way to a title shot before he met “The Bully.” With Conor McGregor and Cub Swanson angling for fights with the Chicago-born fighter, his next move is up in the air, but maybe he’ll remain quiet until August 3rd to see how everything pans out.

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Rumor: Chad Mendes vs. Clay Guida Being Rebooked, Possibly for UFC 164


(Guida engages the UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Dodson audience in the ancient Native American dance known as the “Iwannanothadrinka.” Photo via Combat Lifestyle.)

We’ve thrown the word “curse” around a lot here at CagePotato in the past year or so (as in “injury curse,” “cursed from birth,” and “curse you Dana for setting this up!”), but featherweight contender Chad Mendes is one of the few fighters who might actually be able to stake a claim to that title. In his past three scheduled fights, all of his original opponents have pulled out due to a last minute injury, leaving Mendes to face off against late replacement opponents on two occasions and cancelling his fight altogether in the third. Then again, any curse that ends in you collecting two quick knockouts and upwards of eighty thousand dollars is a hell of a lot better than the festering boils and dead first born I’ve been stuck with.

Anyway, the last man to pull out of a fight with Mendes was none other than recently-converted featherweight Clay “N-Pray” [*rimshot*] Guida, who was replaced by Darren Elkins just as quickly as Darren Elkins was defeated by Chad Mendes when the two eventually met at UFC on FOX: Henderson vs. Diaz. According to Ariel Helwani, the UFC is considering rebooking Mendes vs. Guida for the August 31st-scheduled UFC 164 card, which will also feature the beginning of Brandon Vera’s second attempt to become the UFC’s first two-division champ when he returns to the heavyweight division to face…Ben Rothwell. Baby steps, folks.

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After Winning Fifth-Straight Fight at UFC 158, Darren Elkins Makes Quick Turnaround to Face Chad Mendes at UFC on FOX 7


(“…and verily, Carvalho did’st invoke the accursed ‘What the fucketh is thy problem, good sir?‘ rule, but forsooth, it was all for naught.” / Photo via Getty Images)

When Clay Guida dropped out of UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs. Melendez due to injury last week, it looked like Chad Mendes might be forced to beat up another outmatched palooka just to stay busy at the April 20th event in San Jose. (Such is his life — just body-shottin’ dudes who don’t deserve to be there, and collecting paychecks. It’s sad, really.) But Mendes’s latest replacement opponent could be an even tougher test than Guida was.

MMAJunkie reports that Darren Elkins — who just scored a first-round TKO over Antonio Carvalho during the UFC 158 prelims over the weekend — has gotten the call to step in against Mendes at UFC on FOX 7. Elkins’s latest victory increased his current win streak to 5-0 since dropping to featherweight in 2011, including previous wins over tough competitors like Diego Brandao and Michihiro Omigawa. If his name still isn’t ringing a bell, it’s probably because every single one of Elkins’s UFC fights have been relegated to the prelims; when somebody says that a fighter has “quietly amassed an impressive win streak,” this is exactly the kind of thing they’re talking about.

Unfortunately, Elkins’s match against Mendes likely won’t make the UFC on FOX 7 main card either — but a dominant win over a former title contender could change his fortunes significantly. Making that happen on a five-week layoff is easier said than done, of course. Your predictions?

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For the Third Time in a Row, Chad Mendes Has Lost His Original Opponent Due to Injury [CURSED]


(Now that I’ve successfully taken out Guida via bear pit, I’m just a first round knockout over a late-replacement UFC newbie away from another 40k. BOOM BABY!) 

Chad Mendes, reader of the Necronomicon, personification of the injury curse of 2012, has just lost his third straight opponent to injury in the past few months. Since KOing Cody McKenzie with a body shot back at UFC 148, Mendes has been a cursed man. First, he was expected to face Hacran Dias at UFC on FX 6, until Dias hurt his shoulder and withdrew just days out from the event. Dias was replaced by UFC noob Yaotzin Meza, who was thrashed by Mendes inside of two minutes. Then, Mendes was set to fight Manny Gamburyan at UFC 157, until Manny blew off his thumb with a firecracker or some shit and the bout was cancelled altogether.

Then, Mendes was booked against Clay Guida in “The Carpenter’s” sophomore featherweight appearance at UFC on FOX 7, which goes down on April 20th. But wouldn’t you know it, the usually uninjurable (?) Guida has done injured hisself too (via Sherdog):

Chad Mendes is once again without an opponent, as Clay Guida has suffered an undisclosed injury and will be unable to compete at UFC on Fox 7.

Sherdog.com recently confirmed the development with sources close to the situation, who verified that Mendes is still expected to compete at the April 20 event from the HP Pavilion in San Jose, Calif., though the search for a new opponent has apparently not gone well.

A perennial top contender with recently developed KO power, it’s no shock that Mendes is strapped for opponents in the featherweight division, especially on short notice. Who would you like to see Mendes fight in Guida’s absence? Personally, I gotta go with Don Zimmer, who has been itching for a fight ever since Pedro Martinez backed out of the rematch.

-J. Jones

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Chad Mendes to Face Clay Guida at UFC on FOX 7, Following Manny Gamburyan Fight Cancellation


(If only he used his moustache powers for good. Photo via Tracy Lee/Yahoo!)

With his UFC 157 appearance up in smoke due to an injury withdrawal by Manny Gamburyan, featherweight contender Chad Mendes has been officially removed from the February 23rd card, and was just given a new match at UFC on FOX 7: Henderson vs. Melendez (April 20th, San Jose). Mendes, who is coming off back-to-back knockout victories in what could charitably be called “rebound fights,” will face Clay Guida, who is coming off a questionable split-decision victory in his featherweight debut against Hatsu Hioki, which followed his Worst Fight of the Year runner-up against Gray Maynard.

For Mendes, the matchup represents a return to tough competition that’s long overdue. For Clay, it’s another opportunity to bounce around the Octagon between takedowns and long stretches of top-control. (I’m just saying, remember the beast-version of Clay Guida who put in legendary battles against Roger Huerta and Diego Sanchez? Well, he got tired of losing fights and changed his strategy a bit. It is what it is.)

In addition to the headlining lightweight title fight, UFC on FOX 7 will feature Daniel Cormier vs. Frank Mir, Nate Diaz vs. Josh Thomson, and Dan Hardy vs. Matt Brown.

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Armchair Matchmaker: ‘UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Dodson’ Edition


(Well, that might explain the spray tan, at least. Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

It’s safe to say that the UFC’s latest trip to the land of major network television succeeded in exceeding most of our expectations. For starters, the event pulled in much higher viewership numbers than most pundits of the sport (and apparently the UFC’s marketing department) ever believed a card topped off by a flyweight fight could do. The fact that the card delivered exciting finishes and entertaining brawls from top to bottom further cemented our belief that the UFC has truly started to hit their stride with Fox. Not that we ever doubted them, but things were looking hairy for a while there *thinks back to UFC on Fox 2, shudders*. 

But today, we must gather up last weekend’s results like a herd of slaughtered bison, take to our (ban)wagons, and forge ahead to the river of subjectivity that is the armchair matchmaker (Oregon Trail metaphors. They’re like, so in right now.). So join us after the jump as we breakdown what is next for some of Saturday’s biggest winners.

Demetrious Johnson: Challenger John Dodson might have brought the pop rocks to his first ever UFC title fight, but Demetrious Johnson surely brought the coke. And by coke, I mean cocaine. Because Johnson fights like he’s on…you know what, forget it. The Tazmanian Devil-esque tornado of takedowns known as “Mighty Mouse” is truly something to behold when he enters the octagon, combining a limitless gas tank with a simple will to survive that is unmatched by 90% of his MMA counterparts, flyweight or otherwise.

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UFC on FOX 6: Johnson vs. Dodson Aftermath — Reasons to Care About Little Flyweights


Props: KVDZFighting.tumblr.com

By George Shunick

When the UFC first began its relationship with Fox, the results were mixed. The first show had only a 64 second fight, and the next two shows – while solid – didn’t do so well in the ratings. Even as the cards themselves picked up on UFC on Fox 4 and 5, the production of the show was excessively drawn out and was tedious to watch at times. But UFC on Fox 6 showed just how good these cards can be. Packed with excellent, violent fights, and backed with the full might of the Fox marketing machine, this card was the first that fulfilled the potential of MMA on network television.

But let’s talk fights, shall we? I know the flyweights aren’t nearly as respected as they should be in some parts of the fight community, but if you’re still in those parts after last night’s performance, do us all a favor, stop reading and get the fuck out. Because what you just witnessed was one of the best, if not the best 5-round title fights in the promotion’s history. In an extraordinarily competitive fight, John Dodson took an early lead off the strength of his…well, strength. He landed a number of monster lefts that were able to knock Demetrious Johnson down, and showed how he is arguably the most exciting fighter in the entire division.

But it was for naught, because what Dodson has in excitement, Johnson has in sheer stamina, will and technique. He roared back in the latter rounds, particularly the championship rounds, delivering innumerable knees to the head, body and legs, mixing in takedowns, and consistently pushing forward. Dodson was unable to keep Johnson’s pace, and in the final round, Johnson unleashed vicious flurries as Dodson backed up. Though he never wilted, Dodson was defeated. Demetrious Johnson remained champion, and was able to deliver one of the better post-fight shout outs you’ll hear. While Benson Henderson may believe all things are possible through Christ (excuse me, “through CHRIST!!!”), Johnson appears to have sided with a more contemporary deity – the Xbox 360.

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UFC on FOX 6: Johnson vs. Dodson — Preliminary Card Results and Commentary


(“Alright folks, we’re about to get these weigh-ins started in a few minutes, but first, please direct your attention to the main stage to see a schizophrenic homeless person doing the robot.” / Photo via CombatLifestyle. To see more pics from this set, click here.)

Before the “Johnson vs. Dodson“ main card lineup kicks off on FOX, FX is giving us a preliminary card broadcast featuring a tasty appetizer-platter of cage fights, including Clay Guida vs. Hatsu Hioki, Ryan Bader vs. Vladimir Matyushenko, TJ Grant vs. Matt Wiman, and Mike Russow vs. Shawn Jordan.

Leading us through the UFC on FOX 6 prelims is liveblog first-timer Alex Giardini, who will be stacking round-by-round results after the jump beginning at 5 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT. (Be gentle with him, okay?) Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest results, and feel free to dump your own thoughts into the comments section.

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