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‘UFC on FOX’ Exclusive: Once Again, Clay Guida Looks to Prove Himself in Career-Defining Fight


(How far can the amped-up UFC star take his current hot-streak? Photo via Heavy)

By Elias Cepeda

If you were Clay Guida, you might be a little pissed off right now. In June, Guida was matched up with then-#1 UFC lightweight title contender and reigning WEC champion Anthony Pettis. Despite beating Pettis and picking up his fourth consecutive UFC victory, the Carpenter didn’t earn a title shot. Instead, he wound up with a bout against the man Pettis beat for the WEC belt, Ben Henderson.

Guida vs. Henderson was booked for a spot on the historic November 12th card that would be televised on FOX, promising a tremendous amount of exposure. Then, Guida learned that FOX would only be televising the card’s main eventCain Velasquez vs. Junior Dos Santos for the heavyweight belt. And now, UFC President Dana White has not even guaranteed that the winner of Henderson (who last defeated Jim Miller) vs. Guida will be the next challenger for lightweight champ Frankie Edgar.

The past year appeared to be an emotional roller coaster for Guida, one perhaps capable of distracting him from his tasks at hand. Or…not.

“That stuff doesn’t bother me for a second,” Guida says. “Emotional roller coasters are for little girls playing soccer. If anything, those things just help me focus more.”

We should have known better. This is, after all, a fighter who once told me that he felt it was ridiculous for a professional fighter to ever get tired and that if he or she did, they should find a new career. Guida just isn’t very good at making excuses. As such, he’s not complaining about having to fight such a tough opponent after beating the #1 contender, or not even being guaranteed a title fight if he beats Henderson.

That’s not to say Guida doesn’t feel he is the rightful #1 contender to the UFC lightweight crown. He just doesn’t mind proving it over and over again. “We’ve been around [in the UFC] for five years and have never been in a rush to get a title shot, so we’re not starting now,” Guida says.

“We are just going to follow our gameplan and keep exploiting our opponents’ weaknesses. Hopefully a big win against Henderson will put an exclamation point on me being the legit, number one contender and show Joe Silva, Dana White, and the Fertita brothers. They’ve seen great performances from me but they’ve also seen me fall short a couple times,” he continues.

As for his television exposure, Guida’s bout will be broadcast on Facebook and on FOX Deportes, and he’s predictably positive about the whole thing: “You know what, if it is a good enough fight people will watch it anyway. They will show it in the future on re-runs and if I fight well I can get the big shot at the lightweight title. Things happen for a reason,” he says.

“The dedicated fans will watch it and hopefully they will bring along some of their friends who are newer to the sport.”

At the moment, Guida is heading to Anaheim from his New Mexico training camp at Jackson and Winklejohn’s MMA. He says he got his RV (the same one he drives to Lebowski fests and jam band concerts around the country) to New Mexico for camp two days after Labor Day, but that this camp “feels quicker than any other before.”

Guida seems to feel that Henderson is a better fighter than Pettis – “That wasn’t the best Henderson out there against Pettis,” he believes – but that “Showtime” had a good game-plan to beat “Bendo”, and that he just might follow it in principle.

“Pettis stayed in Henderson’s face and kept him guessing. It would be smart to follow suit,” Guida says.

As usual, Guida isn’t favored by most to win his next fight, but he’s fine doing what he does best once again. “It’s time to go out there and prove the critics wrong.”

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yuntian- November 13, 2011 at 5:34 pm
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chzhff- November 10, 2011 at 9:15 am
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humperdinkal- November 10, 2011 at 8:43 am
Guida can be entertaining against fighters who have no take down game, but against Henderson, wookie is getting KO'd.
UEG Donkey- November 9, 2011 at 8:59 am
Is this the twilight zone? I'm reading all the comments about Guida being a boring fighter and it seems like I'm being trolled by everyone else in the comments.

Guida. . . boring . . . I can't even picture those two things together I'd watch Guida fight all day long.
smellypiratehooker- November 8, 2011 at 10:23 pm
Guida is not boring, but his style is not attractive cause he never shines in any facet of mma. He grinds out most of his wins through tenacity and hard work but never looks like the god, that champions these days are expected too be.
Todd M- November 8, 2011 at 9:47 pm
^ His fights against Huerta & Diaz were pretty much the same, just stifling the strikers. I don't hate Guida, he is a hard worker and he does go for the finish I just don't like watching him fight strikers, I am really looking forward to this fight though.
SnackDaddy- November 8, 2011 at 9:32 pm
I think Guida has been in one boring fight in his lifetime, and that was his last one against Pettis. To simply label him as a boring fighter is bordering on ridiculous. Guida's probably learnt his lesson from the last fight too. He was supposed to get a title shot after it, but didn't. I'm sure he doesn't want to turn into another John Fitch.
dim mak- November 8, 2011 at 9:21 pm
fucking shoulder strikes? give me a break. guida is pathetic.
Todd M- November 8, 2011 at 8:43 pm
I agree with skeletor that Bendo is the 2.0 of Guida, he is at least as good in wrestling and grappling and IMO a far better striker. I also think Fatty McDickbutts (best name ever) has a point, Guida can often be boring if he is facing a dangerous striker and besides his jumping around I am not usually to excited in his fights. As far as Guida's win streak goes, sure it is a solid run but he has not fought the top contendors Maynard, Miller and come short against former title challengers Florian and Sanchez. At this point though a fight against Bendo is probably a good indicator of where he is at and the winner should be in line for the title shot, I would like to see the winner of this fight Melendez for a contendor spot but there needs to be someone to fight Frankie so the winner on Saturday will probably get the shot.
XENOPHON- November 8, 2011 at 5:31 pm
@smellypiratehooker
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No disagreement from me...its just a money machine, and the pricks have collect far to much from me to stay loyal to their brand.
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@NinjaVanish
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His last fight was surely as you remember it, but I remember Clay in some slug fests not to long ago...
ThePeoplesTroll- November 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm
edgar would stuff guida's takedowns and punish him badly on the feet.
NinjaVanish- November 8, 2011 at 4:23 pm
His striking is horribly lacking, probably the worst in the LW division. Nobody wants to watch constant 25 minute fights where a guy lays on his opponent and dosen't strike at all. He will need to put together convincing wins on his feet if he hopes for a title shot.
smellypiratehooker- November 8, 2011 at 4:00 pm
@ Xeno
I wouldn't say that the ufc rankings are fixed so much as certain people have more opportune situations to move up faster fighting guys more well known with higher profile fights while others seem to stay in a sort of limbo fighting guys that that don't do much to showcase there skill and talent.
XENOPHON- November 8, 2011 at 2:58 pm
@Elias
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Is that all you can post? The UFC claims they have the BEST talent in all MMA, yet they pay less than the car washing company in New York. Let's not forget the UFC only paid one of their 200 Best fighters less than $2,000 dollars.
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Maybe you should take a peak some boxing statistics before you want to compare "wins" before a title shot. There is not one person here who does not know that the UFC rankings are fixed, there is not ranking in the UFC. Fights are strictly based on sales.
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Please re-word your question. It should be, "...why would a reasonable person assumed that Guida would NOT be next in line for a title shot after defeating Pettis?"
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Melendez is discounted, and both Penn and Maynard lost. Who else is there?
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Name dropping....isn't this website about saying it as it is? Or are you another who is afraid to say anything bad about Zuffa, UFC, or their executives?
Elias- November 8, 2011 at 2:09 pm
It's relative to other fighters in divisions. There simply are not that many fighters in any UFC division that, at any given point, have winning streaks longer than that. Also, go ahead and see what the average number of consecutive wins that contenders have put together before getting a shot and I bet this number is on par or higher. Additionally, there are other reasons, mentioned in this very story, why a reasonable person could have assumed that Guida would be next in line for a title shot. Namely, Pettis was the number one contender, promised a title shot. Then, Guida beat him.

Additional points deducted for the TUF nickname dropping at the end.
XENOPHON- November 8, 2011 at 1:56 pm
How can any legitimate MMA writer or portal not be questioned when they make true statements like this:
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"Despite beating Pettis and picking up his fourth consecutive UFC victory, the Carpenter didn’t earn a title shot."
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Really, since the FLUF (TUF) comedy show it's somehow become the norm to think that anyone with only 4-5 consecutive wins deserves a run at the belt.
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Take that same mindset to any other sports, and it fails as bad as Captain Miserable.
Stoomboy- November 8, 2011 at 1:42 pm
@Fatty
Guida is a boring fighter, jog on and watch the WWE you muppet
RSparrow- November 8, 2011 at 1:41 pm
WTF is that white thing on his ab? I knew something was fishy about this fucker.
tp24890- November 8, 2011 at 1:12 pm
@Fatty
you want guida to start drinking his own piss? hows that gonna help get a title shot?
TheWarsawExpress- November 8, 2011 at 1:06 pm
Kenny Florian probably thinks this interview is rediculous.
Fatty McDickbutts- November 8, 2011 at 12:57 pm
Guida is a really cool guy out of the cage, I get that, but he's boring to watch in a fight which is why he's never gonna be #1 contender unless the LW division suddenly hits a drought. Look at what Machida had to do to get his title shot... could be a while
jimbonics- November 8, 2011 at 12:48 pm
We all know Fox isn't showing this fight because of the between-rounds belching.
 
War Guida! Fuck Bendo in the face.
skeletor- November 8, 2011 at 12:37 pm
I just see Bendo as a much better version of Guida. Should be a good fight either way but I just don't think Guida will ever be the champ.
JDubba42047- November 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm
War Guida!!
SnackDaddy- November 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm
Man, i love replaying Guida's fight with Don Anjos just because of its shear pace. It's like you're watching it on fast forward.
Also, to not give the winner of the Bendo / Guida fight a title shot, is nothing less than a travesty.
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