Hoping To See The “Old” Clay Guida at UFC 164
A key Featherweight matchup between Clay Guida and Chad Mendes is part of this Saturday night’s UFC 164 pay-per-view main card in Milwaukee and it will be very interesting to see which Guida shows up for this one. “The Carpenter”, who has been involved in some of the most exciting fights in UFC history, is now being portrayed as a boring fighter under the tutelage of trainer Greg Jackson. After a very un-Guida like performance against Gray Maynard that featured a ton of post-fight criticism, including plenty of venom from UFC President Dana White, he made the move to featherweight and scored a decision win over Hatsu Hioki his last time out.
While fans have been quick to turn on Guida for the change in tactics his last few fights, we can’t forget the many thrills he has provided in the past. His battles against Tyson Griffin, Roger Huerta, Nate Diaz and Diego Sanchez were classics. Guida’s chin is amongst the best the sport has ever seen as he’s never been knocked out in 43-career MMA fights. His stamina is also off the charts. Guida is pretty familiar with the headliners in Milwaukee. Before moving to 145 pounds, he was victorious against Anthony Pettis and lost a competitive decision in an exciting fight against current lightweight champion Benson Henderson.
Mendes for his part has talked about training for both versions of what Guida might bring to the Octagon. The former featherweight-title challenger has been a wrecking machine since his only loss to champion Jose Aldo reeling off three straight victories. All of the triumphs were by way of first-round knockout including a dismantling of Darren Elkins his last time out. Mendes is definitely in the mix for another title shot and it could get fast-tracked if he becomes the first man to knock Guida out. Mendes has certainly shown he has his sights set on Aldo in the hopes of getting revenge.
Guida will definitely have his hands full with Mendes who is a standout wrestler and devastating puncher. Guida has shown a good submission game during his career and usually could be counted upon for action-packed thrills until the recent career transformation. Let’s hope that against Mendes, we see more of the “old” Clay Guida rather than the safety first version we’ve seen of late. A boring victory would likely do less for Guida’s stature within the division than if he were to transform back into the frenzied buzzsaw that everyone used to thoroughly enjoy. Putting on an exciting show win or lose might do more to restore Guida’s reputation.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports