A featherweight bout takes place this weekend between Clay Guida and Hatsu Hioki. This fight is potentially a number-one contender bout, which increases the stakes for both fighters.
This will be Guida’s first trip down to the featherweight division. Guida, one of the most energetic fighters in the lightweight division, is coming off a loss to Gray Maynard. In that fight, Guida showed dynamic movement, but really never looked to press the action. Maynard tried to force Guida to exchange countless times, even putting his hands down, but the two never really got off any real exchanges.
Now, Guida will try his hand in this lighter weight class, and he feels he will have a significant power and strength advantage. Guida has always been know for his relentless and exciting style, but recently he seems to have detracted from this. Maybe this is predicated on Greg Jackson and his tactical game planning, but regardless of the reasons, this lighter weight class seems like a good move on Guida’s part, and he may have the chance to capture UFC gold if he can get past Hioki.
Hioki has been one of the best featherweights save for Jose Aldo. Coming off a unanimous decision loss to Ricardo Lamas, Hioki will look to get back on track in hopes of getting a title shot. Hioki had the chance to challenge Jose Aldo, but opted to get some more experience. In hindsight, this may not have been the best idea. He will need to make a statement this weekend in order to build his brand back up, and his chances are good because he is one of the most dynamic grapplers in the featherweight division.
The winner of this bout puts their name in the mix for the title, which is currently being defended by Jose Aldo against Frankie Edgar later this year. This division will change drastically within the next couple of months, so it is important that Guida and Hioki get a win under their belt in order to move up in the rankings.