Clay Guida’s official nickname is “The Carpenter”. To his fans, he can go by a multitude of names; none of which are more liked than “The Dude”. Guida exudes a relaxed state when being interviewed before a fight. He exudes anything but relaxation during a fight.
Guida was once one of the most beloved fighters in the UFC because of insane fights with Diego Sanchez, Roger Huerta and Ben Henderson. Despite losing all three of those fights, he picked up bigger fights because of his pure tenacity and his unwillingness to take a step backward.
That was then, this is now.
Guida has switched his style from devil-may-care attack to a more, uh, conservative offense. Always a game wrestler, Guida has completely focused on it and has used it to stifle his opponents and dictate where the fight goes. It is not the most popular fighting style of all time (look what happened to Jon Fitch), but it has got him victories over Anthony Pettis and Hatsu Hioki.
My question is; what happens when Guida faces a wrestler that is better at wrestling than him? Worse yet, what happens when Guida faces a better wrestler with heavier hands? That is exactly what he has to deal with when he fights Chad Mendes.
On paper, this looks like a lose-lose situation for Guida. He is the weaker wrestler, the slower fighter, and he has yet to prove that he has the knockout power that he thought he would have in the featherweight division.
Greg Jackson, Guida’s coach, better have an ace up his sleeve because Guida is going to need it. Granted, this is MMA and anything can happen, but I think Guida is going to really need to bring everything he has if he intends to win this fight.