UFC lightweight fighter Clay “The Carpenter” Guida recently took some time off of preparing for his upcoming bout with Rafael Dos Anjos to speak with Mark Wayne of Fightline.com.
Guida, who joined Lyoto Machida, Antonio ‘Minotauro’ Nogueira and Brandon “The Truth” Vera in donning Jaco Clothing which creates products that enhance MMA athletes’ ability to excel in competition through its innovative, authentic apparel and accessories, gave his thoughts on Dos Anjos as an opponent, his title aspirations, what upcoming bouts he has his eye on, and more. Check out the full interview below.
Fightline: First of all Clay, how are you? How’s the RV?
Guida: The RV is fantastic as always and I’m doing even better. Feeling great, training is awesome out in Albuquerque; just got done and now I’m over here at Hooter’s eating some food and watching a basketball game.
Fightline: Nice, sounds like a good night. You just mentioned that you are training in Albuquerque, obviously meaning that you are training with Greg Jackson; how long have you been training with Jackson and how has preparation for your bout with Dos Anjos been going?
Guida: Things are great, man. This will be my third fight camp out here. We were successful in my last one with Shannon Gugerty, we fell a little bit short against Kenny Florian–which we will get back in the future–and everything’s on the straight and narrow, man. I’m feeling awesome. Really very, very focused on this fight and getting back to the old ways, taking people down and punishing them. I’ve been working my wrestling a lot, working my striking; training with Mike Winkeljohn, the striking coach out here, and couldn’t be more focused right now. I feel great.
Fightline: That is good to hear. As you said, you recently came up short against Kenny Florian. He is about to enter into, presumably, a number one contender’s bout against Gray Maynard. Where do you see yourself in the UFC’s lightweight title picture and is capturing the title a goal of yours or are you motivated solely by a love of fighting and competition?
Guida: To me, the only way to compete is to compete for the top spot in the world, you know what I mean? I wanna be the best fighter in the lightweight division. I wanna be known as the most dominating fighter out there and I wanna have that belt one day. We take it one fight at a time. I’m patient and I’m not gonna rush into something. I feel that this is the best fit for me out here with Greg Jackson, he’s a mastermind and he’s getting me ready properly for each fight and it’s just a matter of time before I’m the number one contender. It’s just a matter of time before I have that strap and people are gunning for me and are hungry. I’m as hungry as I’ve ever been in this sport. I’ve gotten a newfound desire for this sport over the past year and I’m just gung ho wanting to get into the cage. I wish the fight was tomorrow.
Fightline: Greg Jackson is known for being a master strategist. What are some of the holes you have noticed in Dos Anjos’ game with his help? What do you see in him that you think you will be able to expose as a weakness and capitalize on to get yourself the victory?
Guida: We both have holes. I mean, obviously our standup is lacking and I’m working on it, like I’m sure that he’s working on it, everyday. We’ve seen him in his debut–which was a long time ago–he got knocked out by Jeremy Stephens. But even against Terry Etim, who’s a good kick boxer, he was a little hesitant on his feet. Tyson Griffin kind of picked him apart. So, he’s got some holes that we’re going to take advantage of and I think his takedown defense could definitely use some work. I’m sure he’s going to be expecting me to shoot on him a lot. Terry Etim took him down. This is one of those fights that I’m gonna come in there with the whole onslaught and I’m gonna put him in real uncomfortable positions. Whether it’s on the feet, whether I’m on top of him landing elbows–but I’ve got a lot of holes in my game too. I’m sure he’s seen them in the tapes and stuff like that that he’s working on with his camp as well.
Fightline: Fair enough. Talking more about your newfound motivation, I’m wondering if you think that it will propel you upward to being able to defeat the Kenny Florians, Frankie Edgars and BJ Penns of the division. Do you think that you are on your way to sitting amongst the best in the lightweight division?
Guida: Most definitely. I wake up every morning with a smile on my face and more motivated than the day before. And knowing that I have things to learn, I have things to improve on and I’m with the best camp in the world. It makes all the difference being with, like I said, the mastermind out here. Greg Jackson and Mike Winkeljohn–one of the best striking coaches in the game–to me that’s a deadly combination. And not to mention the guys that I train with: Aaron Riley, the likes of [Donald] “Cowboy” Cerrone, Joe Stevenson, Melvin Guillard, the list goes on. I feel bad if I missed someone cause the list is just unreal. It’s a very deep pool of talent out here. Cub Swanson, “Cowboy” Cerrone, Leonard Garcia–I feel like I’m repeating names but there’s so many guys. Frank Gomez, Kyle Noke, it’s just amazing man. I’m really thankful to be out here and being around the likes of some of the best guys in the world.
Fightline: Well, departing for a moment from the topic of your upcoming fight, what other impending fights besides your own are you most looking forward to?
Guida: I’m pumped about [Yoshihiro] Akiyama-Wanderlei Silva, it’s gonna be awesome. Obviously, Brock Lesnar and Shane Carwin speaks for itself. Anybody that’s not even a fan of the UFC wants to see who the biggest, baddest dude in the world is, you know? Hopefully, the winner of that–maybe one of these days they’ll get Fedor out there soon so he can really divide and conquer, separate the seas and come and show who the best fighter and the baddest dude on the planet is. I’m pumped about Kenny Florian-Gray Maynard, man. They’re in my spot right now. I missed my opportunity, I wasn’t prepared at the time and I won’t make that mistake twice. That, to me, is a very, very interesting fight. You’ve got two guys who are good strikers, good on the ground, great grapplers–to me, Gray has the edge if he fights his fight. Not like the Nate Diaz fight where he was manhandling him at first and then he let Nate back in the fight just ’cause he wanted to knock his head off. With Kenny, you go in there and try to swing for the fences he’s gonna just move, be very elusive and he’ll pick you apart and make you very frustrated. There’s so many fights, I’m just trying to think. I’m excited for Keith Jardine, one of my teammates, and Matt Hammill, who is a buddy of mine. Very excited about that. Another teammate of mine, Frank Gomez, is fighting Wagnney Fabiano on Sunday in the WEC. So, there are a lot of good match ups coming up and I’m gonna be tuned in to all of them.
Fightline: I feel like you have missed one fight–a fight that has big implications in your division–the rematch between BJ Penn and Frankie Edgar. What are your thoughts on that match up?
Guida: Oh yeah. To me that’s like another one of those Brock Lesnar-Shane Carwin fights. It’s gonna be awesome. I wanna see if BJ Penn, the real BJ, shows up that we know that dominates the lightweight division cause Frankie’s no one to be taken lightly. I think BJ made that mistake in the first place and he found out the hard way. Frankie’s one of the toughest dudes out there. We’ve seen that from day one when he made his debut against Tyson Griffin. He’s known to be looked past and looked beyond but he comes out ready and just never stops. He’s like a jack-in-the-box, he’s always moving, always threatening and he’s gonna be ready 110 percent. He’s gonna be better than he was in the last fight and I wanna see both of those guys on top of their games because, once again, someone’s holding my belt that night.
Fightline: Hypothetically speaking, if you could compete successfully at any weight, who are the fighters that most interest you as opponents?
Guida: The lightweight division. I think right where I’m at, to me, is the most exciting division out there. People love the heavyweights but at the same time they hate ’em, you know? It’s one of those things where they’re big, they’re fun but they’re slow and, obviously, for every ten of them that’re slow there’s two or three fast, exciting ones but people say that the best fighters in the world, the toughest guys, are supposed to be the heavyweights–you know, the Mike Tyson days or Muhammad Ali–to me, that doesn’t ring true anymore. The lightweights have really set the bar as the most technical, the most exciting and I don’t want to be anywhere other than where I’m at right now.
Fightline: Showing loyalty to the lightweights, very nice. And finally, can you make a prediction for us as to your fight with Dos Anjos?
Guida: I’ve never been much for predictions except both of my hands will be raised at the end. I don’t care how, how fast, whatever. I’m going out there to submit him, I’m going out there to knock him out, I’m going out there to completely dominate him the way that I’m used to fighting. I fight my fight and when I don’t fight my fight people have seen me struggle but, like I said, I’m completely motivated and I’m out here to dominate and take over that lightweight division.
Fightline: Right on, man. That’s it from here. We really appreciate you taking the time to talk today Clay and I hope you enjoy your dinner.
Guida: My pleasure, man. Thanks for the good questions Mark, I appreciate it buddy.
You can see the newly motivated Clay Guida in action this summer against Rafael Dos Anjos at UFC 117: Silva Vs. Sonnen which is scheduled to go down on August 7th at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
You can also visit Guida’s sponsor, JacoClothing.com, for the latest performance-focused MMA products for competitive applications as well as hats, shirts & more.