UFC veteran Clay Guida was at the top of his game at Fight Night 39 in Abu Dhabi as he recorded a solid bounce-back unanimous decision victory over Tatsuya Kawajiri in the co-main event. The exciting featherweight clash was named Fight of the Night as Guida raised his stock by turning in a high-paced effort in ending “The Crusher’s” six-fight win streak.
Guida, who was knocked out for the first time in his career by Chad Mendes in his last fight, nearly scored an early knockout of his own against Kawajiri. “The Carpenter” landed a huge overhand right in the first minute of the fight that badly hurt his opponent but was unable to secure the finish. Kawajiri cleared his head and spent a good bulk of the round trying to lock in an armbar submission but Guida would have none of it as he slammed him to the canvas on multiple occasions.
The entertaining back-and-forth affair delivered a little bit of everything and saw Guida push the pace and do more of the significant damage. Kawajiri’s gas tank was running on empty by the time the fight came to an end. All three judges scored the contest 30-27 in Guida’s favour and he is very likely to improve upon his current no.9 ranking in the 145-pound division.
Guida has indicated he’s more than willing to compete at either featherweight or lightweight moving forward, and in his post-fight interview tossed out a couple of high-profile names that he’d like to be matched against. He called out trash-talking 145-pound competitor Conor McGregor and current lightweight contender Josh Thomson.
Both of those options would have the potential to be highly entertaining matchups. It will be intriguing to see whether officials will match up the UFC mainstay with one of those opponents next. While Guida is 2-1 since making the move down to the featherweight ranks he did spend the majority of his Octagon career fighting as a lightweight.
Guida, whose fighting style in his last few fights had sparked criticism, delivered a high-energy performance against the tough Japanese veteran. He resembled the competitor who’s produced plenty of thrills during his Octagon career and should get another major fight in his next appearance.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports