With his victory at UFC 125, Clay Guida brought new fans to the sport of Mixed Martial Arts.
I wish I enjoyed doing ANYTHING as much as it appears Clay Guida loves fighting in UFC. He is a ball of unrelenting energy from the moment he leaves backstage until the referee raises his hand inside the octagon. He appears to be inconvenienced by the breaks between rounds. I imagine Guida could run on a treadmill until the bearings ground to dust.
Frantic lightweight Clay Guida reflects on his "Submission of the Night" winning performance over Takanori Gomi. "The Carpenter's" erratic movement confused and frustrated "The Fireball Kid" in the early going but once he found his range, he hurt Guida enough to force the caveman to go back to his roots -- his wrestling game.
I spoke with Luke Thomas, host of MMA Nation, about this subject during his radio show on Sunday night. We differed in our views on Guida's wild thrashing about during the match. Thomas believes it to be a result of Guida's training with Greg Jackson; We know Jackson likes for his fighters to avoid damage and "fight smart." I don't know if all that head movement was part of some master plan. Guida seems to have a grand piano in his chin at times. He has had no issue absorbing punishment as he closes on an opponent in the past.
Perhaps all that movement was just an outlet for what seems to be a limitless source of energy and passion that Guida has for fighting. To me, it was just vintage Carpenter.
I'll try and get to my point. ...
I had eight people over my house to watch UFC 125. Including myself there were probably three of us who were true mixed martial arts fans. Everyone else was there to smoke and joke, watch guys pound on one another. These are people you want to MAKE into MMA fans. They were all quiet during the preliminaries on Ion. Conversations were held on a variety of other topics, including the NHL Winter Classic, the NFL playoffs and who had already seen "True Grit." All of that ended when Clay Guida stormed the arena. Everyone in the room was transfixed by his energy. Amused by his wild hair and frantic body movement. Intrigued by his excitement. By the time one minute had passed, Clay Guida had made five new fans -- five people who asked me "who is this guy" and "when is he fighting again?"
Lots of fighters bob and weave. Lots of fighters have good cardio. Lots of fighters can take a punch. I'd wager none of them do it with the intensity that Guida brings. I read these two comments on the aforementioned MMAMania.com:
That guillotine was sick but....the fight made me hate guida so much moe than before. His standup is so absolutely shitty, his footwork is even shittier.
No time for guida He seems an alright guy, but fighting he's a joke. All that moving, dancing and bashing his head around does my head in.
- That guillotine was sick but....the fight made me hate guida so much moe than before. His standup is so absolutely shitty, his footwork is even shittier.
- No time for guida He seems an alright guy, but fighting he's a joke. All that moving, dancing and bashing his head around does my head in.
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but these comments frustrated me. This isn't Bob Sapp we are talking about, some sideshow spectacle that knowledgeable MMA fans should dismiss. Guida is a former champion with wins over Nate Diaz, Mac Danzig and now Gomi. He would be a tough opponent for anyone in the lightweight division.
Guida doesn't need me to argue his case. I'm writing this for the same reason I wrote my piece on Chael Sonnen. My goal is for MMA to be accepted by the mainstream sports media and community. When I see an ally in that fight, I like to take notice. Clay Guida is just that. He's exciting and instantly likeable. People who know nothing of our sport take notice of him. I want him on as many cards as the UFC can get him on.
You want to sell one of your friends on MMA? Get them to check out Guida. Unlike Kimbo Slice, Bobby Lashley or some other "circus act" they may have noticed, this one will deliver. Guida is a REAL fighter and should be used as an example of how entertaining MMA can be.