Lets find out a little more about UFC fighter Clay Guida. This interview was brought to you by aroundtheoctagon.com-
What have you been up to since the fight with Nate Diaz?
Just staying busy. I’ve had some seminars trying to help out the MMA community. I’ve traveled quite a bit and took a vacation in Mexico. It was good to relax but I’ve been staying active. I last fought on the 31st of January. The next Wednesday I was back in the gym. I’ve helped out with some high school wrestling. But I’m looking forward to my next fight.
What are your thoughts on that?
It’s going to be great. It’s got Fight of the Year written all over it. I consider myself and Sanchez two of the best grapplers in the division. He’s a bigger lightweight coming down from 170. It’s going to be action-packed. I’m going to tear into him from the star. That’s my style. Hopefully I can finish him and I don’t have to go to a decision like last time.
Does a win over him put you in line for a title shot?
It’s a step in the right direction. He’ll be my toughest test to date but I want to take it one step at a time. I’m not overlooking Diego at all.
You worked on a fishing boat a few years ago did you ever think you would be were you are?
Not at all, I had no idea really about fighting. I knew my brother did it and I watched in back in eighth grade with my buddies when Tank Abbott and Shamrock were doing well.
What did you do on the boat?
I worked in a fish factory on the boat. We processed fish 18 to 20 hours a day 7 days a week. It was an awesome experience as a 21 year old male. I wouldn’t change it. I think everyone should try something like that and test themselves. Get out of your comfort zone and see what your made of.
How did you get started in MMA?
Through my brother just by watching him fight. The first one was by accident. I went to a show with my brother and a Lightweight opponent dropped out and they made an announcement over the loud speaker so I got in there. I had no formal training except for a wrestling background. I got choked out in the first or second round but I had a blast. It was a good time and I hadn’t looked back.
How big was the win over Josh Thomson at the Strikeforce show in 2006? That was in his backyard.
That fight and the one before it was the turning point of my career. The fight before that was against Tristan Yunker. He was unknown at the time. He cam out and tapped me out in under a minute after I had won 15 straight fights. Before that we had signed a deal to fight Thomson. I don’t know if I looked past him but it helped me turn a corner in my training. We went out there and took it to Josh for five rounds. We took it five rounds to none.
What are your thoughts on the split decision loss to Gilbert Melendez back in 2006? It could’ve gone either way.
It was still one of my tough fights. He’s a beast. He took it to me for four of the five rounds.
What do you remember about your debut in the UFC 64?
My debut was a blast. My family and friends were there. I got to show my skills on an even bigger stage than Strikeforce. I fought for 20,000 people for Strikeforce but fighting at Mandalay Bay was awesome. I’m looking to stay in the UFC and make an impact in my division.
What was that like walking around backstage and seeing guys like Rich Franklin and Anderson Silva?
It was great. The first day we got there we were in the same workout room with Anderson Silva. Being by him and his camp you are touched by greatness. You are in the presence of a legend. It was so cool. I fought a friend of mine now Justin James. He’s a good submission guy and had me an armbar in the first round. I weathered the storm, got out and I ran through him in the second and finished him off. It was great seeing all those big names. I think about it everytime I get off the plane for the next one. It’s all about the journey and the road to the championship.
You had a war with Tyson Griffin that probably should’ve went your way what are your thoughts on that one?
That fight is a long time gone. I’ve moved past it. He won the other night. He’s a tough dude and I think he won the fight against Sherk. I went for a submission a couple of times in the fight. I think I did enough in the last part of the third round. But some people saw it the other way. No big deal.
How cool was it to get the Fight of the Night?
It’s nice that the UFC takes care of the fighters outside of the purses to show and to win. I don’t plan on it it just happens.
Would you like to rematch Tyson?
I’m not for rematches. Who knows he’s donig well maybe we’ll meet down the road.
How big was the win over Marcus Aurelio at UFC 74?
It got me back in the swing of things. It was the end of summer. I had the loss to Tyson Griffin and Aurelio submitted one of the best Lightweights in the world. It was a split decision but I think I won every round. I dropped him and busted his nose. I thought I fought the perfect fight. It picked up my confidence. I had lost two in a row and it was good to beat a big name that just came over from PRIDE.
Was that fight taken on short notice?
It was a month. I didn’t have long to prepare for that one.
How disappointing was the loss to Roger Huerta? You were easily winning that fight until he caught you in the third round.
The fight speaks for itself. I was dominating it. One of the judges told me the first round was 10-8. I didn’t need to hear that (laughs). I am past that one too. It was a huge learning experience and maybe a blessing in disguise. If I had won that fight they may have inserted me in the title mix. Roger had a lot of hype behind him then you saw his last two fights. Kenny Florian exposed him and I exposed him. Now he’s off the bigger and better things. He’s doing acting and all the best to him.
Would you be open to acting like Huerta, Couture, and several others are doing?
Definitely, the marketability the UFC has people see we aren’t just brawlers and we have some brain power. It’s something I’d like to do but first things first, I want to win the belt.
The win over Mac Danzig was pretty big how cool was that to beat one of the guys who had won The Ulitmate Fighter and the UFC had high hopes for?
Mac had a lot of hype behind him. He’s a tough dude and beat 15 other guys in the house to get a contract. He’s smaller than all of them and beat them all. It was huge to beat a guy who had all that hype. It was the second of three wins in a row. He’s a talented guy and I’m sure he’ll bounce back and have a good career.
Did you ever try out for Ultimate Fighter?
I didn’t try out. I just went out for an interview after my first fight in the UFC. I think they had bigger plans and to stick with the UFC. It was the first Lightweight season when BJ and Jens were the coaches.
Would you ever want to coach on that show?
Definitely, that opens up a huge opportunity. People see how you react and train on a big stage like that. If you can be successful look at how many doors that opens in your gym. People want to rally around someone who does well in the gym and on TV. It’s a huge asset to the UFC and Spike.
Where do you train?
Midwest Training Center, we have some tough guys. Chase Beebe is one of the bigger names. Kevin Knabjian and Mark Miller they fought in the WEC. They beat the hell out of me everyday they just haven’t had the opportunity to get that big fight that blows their career wide open.
How important is your brother to you in your career I’ve seen you two together a lot at fights.
Without him I wouldn’t even know about MMA. I’d be on a fishing boat or framing houses. He’s my best buddy.
What are your thoughts on the fight with Lashley?
He did a great job and he took that fight on real short notice. I couldn’t be out there but my Dad was in his corner. He gave up a bunch of weight. Lashley is a house of a man. It’s no easy task. He stuffed the takedowns for the first round. He did great and and will continue to do well.
Who wins the big fight between Florian and BJ Penn?
It all depends. Kenny has been on a tear submitting guys and finishing guys and BJ looked bad against GSP. But if BJ comes out like he has the last year and a half I think Kenny might have some trouble.
What are your thoughts on the grease controversy? You were there at UFC 94.
I was in the shower. I don’t know too much about what happened. That’s for the coaches and commission to deal with. That’s on GSP’s camp and BJ’s camp.
What do you do after you fight?
It’s mandatory we stick around in the back and watch. They sell the venues out so we don’t have a seat. I go say hi to my parents after the fight then come back and hang out with my brother, coaches and camp and sit back and enjoy.
What does your parents think of you fighting?
My folks are the best. They come to every fight. My mom gets nervous but that’s her being a parent. They love it and they are booked for the fight with Diego.
You have a new Silver Star shirt coming out soon don’t you?
Yeah, check out www.buysilverstar.com. It’s in production right now. It’s going to be a walkout shirt for the Fight Night. I really want to thank Luca and Howard Bass for supporting me and my brother in his fight against Lashley. They hooked him up on short notice. Those guys are great and I know they are doing big things and I know they’ll continue make a dent in the clothing industry and MMA.
Did you ever think you’d have your own shirt like the one Silver Star made for you?
No, but I’m really excited that I do. It goes with the marketability that the UFC has. We have action figures coming out and will be in a video game. We even have Topps trading cards too. Support all of the fighters not just a handful. We need your support and all the exposure we can get.
Is there anything else you’d like to say to the fans?
Silver Star, I want to thank them again. I appreciate them taking care of me. I want to thank my Mom and Dad and my family for supporting me. The fans are great. I want to thank the Chicago Carpenter’s Union. All the best to TapOut. I know Charles is looking down and smiling at us.