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Tag: Clay Guida

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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UFC on FOX 6 Interview: Clay Guida Promises to Blow the Roof Off the United Center During Featherweight Debut


(Photo via Esther Lin/MMAFighting.com)

Before Clay Guida was a UFC star, appearing on television screens all across the world, he fought constantly in the U.S. Midwestern regional circuit. Often, he fought multiple times per month. He was a lightweight and the UFC didn’t even have a lightweight division at the time, to say nothing of the three divisions below it that they have since added. Clay fought in halls, bars — anywhere there was a tough guy and a crowd, really. His locker rooms were sometimes bathrooms and closets.

It was small-time, but the energy in those halls and bars would spike when Guida came out to fight. He was a spastic ball of energy from his walk to the cage and on through the fights themselves, and Clay built a fan-base in the area that raucously cheered for him and rabidly followed him.

On local MMA shows, fighters get paid very little, if anything, to fight. Promoters use the fighters to sell tickets, however, and then give a small percentage of the sales back to the fighters. Matchmaking at this level often takes who can sell tickets into heavy consideration. Clay sold a lot of tickets. And he didn’t exactly have a personal assistant or PR team to help him handle the transactions. Back in the day, Clay would hock tickets while training for fights, weigh in, show up on fight night, and then combine warming up with getting tickets to those of his friends and family that needed them.

Since joining the UFC in 2006, Clay has moved beyond fighting in smoky suburban Chicago rooms, but his fans often follow him around the country and world for his fights. If it wasn’t for the amount of work he puts in at the gym that reveals how serious he takes his job, you’d think life is just one big party for Guida. He enjoys having loved ones around him, and the more people that come out to support him, the better, because it makes the celebration afterwards that much more fun.

That said, all the attention and work that goes along with taking care of friends and fans can take a toll on a fighter and affect their energy and focus. There’s always another request for the fighter to fulfill as he prepares for battle, always another favor for him to do. As best as can be observed, Guida does all that he can with a smile on his face. He knew, however, that if he held his training camp back home because he was scheduled to fight in Chicago this Saturday at UFC on Fox 6, it would be a mess. Instead, Guida chose to stay in New Mexico and keep his camp there at Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn’s gym as he has the past few years.

“That’s why we’re out here in New Mexico,” Guida told CagePotato last week. “We’ve really got to focus. I love everyone back home and we’re going to have a great time there during the fight, but training camp needs to be just about preparing.”

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Ranking the ‘UFC on FOX: Johnson vs. Dodson’ Fights by My Own Interest Level


(“Thanks Jay. Joining me now backstage is none other than…uh…wait a minute. You’re Anderson Silva’s son, right?”)

If you’ve been watching the NFL playoffs on FOX over the last couple weekends, you’ve surely noticed the frequent UFC promos throughout the broadcasts hyping a “World Title Fight” on January 26th between “Johnson and Dodson.” At no point is the word “flyweight” ever mentioned — because that would be a turnoff to casual fans, I guess? — and in most of the live promos I’ve seen, Demetrious Johnson and John Dodson‘s first names aren’t even included. Basically, they’re hoping that the mere promise of a “title fight” will be enough to lure some football fans into tuning in this Saturday night, even if those viewers have no idea who the headliners are, or what belt they’ll be fighting for specifically.

By sticking to the ironclad rule that a title fight will always get headlining-priority no matter who else is fighting on the card — a policy that previously drew some fan-criticism when Ronda Rousey vs. Liz Carmouche was given the UFC 157 main event spot over Dan Henderson vs. Lyoto Machida — the UFC has painted themselves into a corner. Johnson and Dodson simply aren’t as well-known, marketable, or admired as some of the other fighters competing at UFC on FOX 6, namely Quinton Jackson, Donald Cerrone, and Anthony Pettis.

It’s a problem, because TV ratings and buyrates are so closely tied to who’s headlining each event. Instead of perhaps making Rampage vs. Teixeira or Cerrone vs. Pettis the headliner, the UFC is choosing to keep things vague (“world title fight!” “Johnson!”) and hope for the best. We’ll see if that proves to be the right decision, or if the ratings will plunge compared to the strong showing of UFC on FOX 5. I know the UFC wants to pump up its budding flyweight division, but I can’t help wondering if they’re doing themselves a disservice when there’s so little heat around that weight class. Could they re-consider their “championship fight always gets the main event” policy down the road?

Since I’ve been thinking about this lately, I’ve decided to present my own rundown of which fights I’m actually looking forward to this weekend. If you see things differently, please hurl some abuse at me in the comments section. Let’s begin…

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*Fingers Crossed* Guida vs. Hioki, Grant vs. Wiman, + More Added to Stacked UFC on FOX 6 Card


(We know, Clay, we had a hard time watching your last fight too.) 

It’s looking like the crippling power of this year’s injury curse is going to be tested early come 2013, because the UFC’s first major network event of the year is currently stacked with more budding talent than a Miss Teen USA pageant. Aside from the Cerrone/Pettis, Jackson/Teixeira, and Dodson/Johnson fights that were announced earlier this week, the UFC has recently announced that Clay Guida will be making his featherweight debut against Hatsu Hioki at the same event as well.

Guida’s last performance saw him channel Steve Prefontaine for the majority of five rounds against Gray Maynard at UFC on FX 4, earning him his second straight loss at lightweight following his much more exciting loss to current champion Benson Henderson at the inaugural UFC on FOX event.

Despite the fact that he is coming off a close decision loss to Ricardo Lamas at the same event, there’s no denying that Hioki is still considered to be one of the top contenders at 145, so a win over Hatsu is not only essential for Guida — he has never dropped three straight in his MMA career — but would easily launch him up the list of potential contenders to boot. Let’s just hope he brings a more aggressive strategy against Hioki or we could be in for a long three rounds.

Also booked for UFC on FOX 6…

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Clay Guida to Drop to Featherweight, Expects Early 2013 Return

tk
(Careful Clay, all those fruity, sugary, woman drinks ironically go right to the hips.)

On the heels of a razor thin split decision loss to Gray Maynard at UFC on FX 4, his second loss to top tier competition in as many fights, it appears that everybody’s favorite energizer bunny/alcoholic, Clay Guida, will be dropping to featherweight for his next fight. Although no debut date or opponent have been decided as of this write up, Guida told MMAJunkie that he expects to make his featherweight debut sometime in early 2013.

Prior to his current two fight skid, Guida racked up four straight wins over such names as former PRIDE lightweight kingpin Takanori Gomi and former WEC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis among others, pulling in two Submission of the Night awards in the process and bringing his total award count to 7.

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Cheesy WWF Promo Photos of the ’80s/’90s, And Their MMA Counterparts [GALLERY]

Our friends at With Leather just put together an incredible/awful collection of cheesy WWF promo photos from the late ’80s and early ’90s, and as we were browsing through some of these gems while drinking our coffee this morning, we couldn’t escape the eerie feeling that we’ve seen these faces elsewhere. The same snarling mugs, the same wacky personas — it’s obvious that some of our favorite MMA fighters owe a debt to these guys. So follow us back to pro wrestling‘s golden age, and allow us to make some startling comparisons.

Jim “The Anvil” Neidhart was the original…
Hillbilly Jim was the original…
Legion of Doom were the original…
Junk Yard Dog was the original…
Ultimate Warrior was the original…
The Honky Tonk Man was the original…
Tatanka was the original…
Big Boss Man was the original…
George “The Animal” Steele was the original…

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Barnburner Alert: Joe Lauzon vs. Gray Maynard Booked for UFC 155


(Jesus Christ, Joe, are you playing for the other team?! You don’t snipe in Carentan, saboteur!)  

Of all the seasons of The Ultimate Fighter to have produced upper-echelon fighters and title challengers at 155 lbs., who would’ve guessed that the season that coined the phrase “Wang and Bang” would one day rule them all? Not only is Nate Diaz next in line for a shot at Ben Henderson, but former title challenger Gray Maynard has just been booked to take on perennial contender Joe Lauzon in a battle that will easily launch the victor onto the short list of contenders at lightweight.

Then again, Sir Isaac Newton did state that every action has an equal and opposite reaction, which might explain why Gabe Ruediger is getting his ass kicked by skateboarders these days.

After spending the entirety of 2011 feuding with former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar, which ended in his first career defeat, Maynard recently bounced back into the win column with a controversial split decision win over Clay Guida in the main event of UFC on FX 4. Although Maynard was thoroughly out-hustled for the majority of the fight, the significance of his offense in the latter rounds combined with Guida’s lack thereof was enough to earn him the nod.

Maynard will be facing the always entertaining Lauzon, who is currently 3-2 in his past five and most recently scored a third round triangle submission victory against former WEC champion Jamie Varner in their classic scrap at UFC on FOX 4. Lauzon has struggled in the past when facing top contenders, having dropped fights to Kenny Florian and Anthony Pettis in the past, but has also finished his opponents in all 22 of his victories. And although his cardio looked the best against Varner that it arguably ever has, there is no doubt that Maynard’s experience in the championship rounds will pay huge dividends if Lauzon isn’t able to put him away earlier.

After the jump: An update on Matt Hamill’s return to the octagon. Spoiler: His opponent just got a lot tougher.

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Old Spice, Chevy, and Six More Corporate Sponsors That Should Tap Into MMA


(“Nothing comes between me and my Baconator. Nothing.”)

By Jason Moles

In the ever-competitive world of professional mixed martial arts, the men and women are fighting for more than just the fans and their next paycheck; they’re fighting for survival. When you barely have enough money left for yourself after paying your training partners, coaches, and buying nutritional supplements, it’s time to find another source of income. Most do this in the way of sponsorships — you know, like the Nike deal Jon Jones recently signed, or Anderson Silva’s relationship with Burger King. And if more of these well-known mainstream companies would sponsor a few fighters, the smaller companies that currently sponsor fighters could move to guys and gals who are still making their way up the ranks without anyone losing out. Let’s look at the companies that best suit MMA, how they should be involved, and why it makes sense.

Company: Old Spice
Ideal fighter to sponsor: Cheick KongoAlistair Overeem

Why it makes sense: Standing 6′ 4″ and weighing 230 pounds, and 6′ 5″/263, respectively, the Frenchman and the Dutchman are the most physically imposing fighters in the UFC’s heavyweight division. Old Spice is known for their funny commercials targeting the same audience watching PPV’s on a Saturday night. In the past, Old Spice has used NFL players Brian Urlacher and Ray Lewis as spokesman for their ‘Swagger’ line of men’s body products, as well as jacked Expendables cast-member Terry Crews. And if those guys can do it, why not Kongo and Overeem? In particular, “The Demolition Man” is the type of guy you want your customers to think they’ll be more like by using your product. Alistair could even make his commercial debut by eating the horse the original Old Spice Guy rode in on.

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