UFC veteran Clay Guida will be looking to work his way into top-five territory when he tangles with Dennis Bermudez this weekend at UFC on FOX 12 in San Jose. Both talented 145-pound competitors were triumphant in their last Octagon appearances, and are riding positive momentum heading into this pivotal clash.
“The Carpenter” elected to make the move to the featherweight ranks after suffering back-to-back losses against Benson Henderson and Gray Maynard. It ended a 16-fight lightweight run that included many memorable battles. Guida owns a victory over current lightweight kingpin Anthony Pettis, and made a name for himself in Octagon wars against Roger Huerta, Nate Diaz and Diego Sanchez.
The No. 7-ranked Guida has gone 2-1 as a featherweight, and most recently emerged triumphant against Tatsuya Kawajiri in a Fight of the Night performance at Fight Night 39. The lone blemish in his 145-pound experiment was a knockout loss at UFC 164 against top-ranked contender Chad Mendes. It was the first time in Guida’s 45-fight career that he had been stopped via strikes. His exciting style has produced a whopping nine Fight Night bonuses.
Bermudez is currently on one of the most impressive runs of any contender in the division. “The Menace” has won six straight bouts and is coming off a Performance of the Night effort against Jimy Hettes at UFC 171. Bermudez manhandled the submission ace before finally finishing him off in the third round in Dallas. His last setback was back in the TUF Season 14 Finale against Diego Brandao.
Since that loss, Bermudez has showcased brute strength and powerful striking in registering victories against Pablo Garza, Tommy Hayden, Matt Grice, Max Holloway and Steven Siler.
Bermudez had been calling for a matchup against an elite fighter, and will finally see that materialize against Guida. Another victory for the No. 12-ranked Bermudez would likely catapult him into the top-10 picture. Bermudez has a 13-3 record with six finishes by knockout or submission. He also possesses a strong wrestling background.
This shapes up as an outstanding matchup. Guida still pushes a frenetic pace and possesses an endless gas tank. A victory over Bermudez would keep him in play as a major player in the division. Meanwhile, Bermudez can emerge as a legitimate featherweight force if he can continue his current hot streak against a proven commodity.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports