Right now the Dana White, Joe Silva, and Sean Shelby should be cutting Clay Guida a bonus check. He just made their lives much easier. No one inside the top ten will acknowledge Conor McGregor’s existence much less actually call him out. It makes sense as a higher ranked fighter; there is no upside for them.
He is a nightmare matchup ranked below them and many fighters today are more concerned about protecting their position than they are fighting.
Guida is not one of those fighters. He is a warrior looking for the best, and most exciting fights. He will fight anybody, anywhere, at any time.
He would also provide the perfect test for McGregor. Guida is almost impossible to stop. He’s well-rounded and has competed against the best in the world at lightweight and featherweight. A win for McGregor would put him in the heart of the title discussion.
The champion, Jose Aldo, already has wins against the top five contenders. The winner of a Guida versus McGregor fight would find themselves potentially one win away from a title shot. It would be easy to sell them as a new challenger for the champion.
This fight would also be the perfect storm of a fight for the July 19 card in Dublin, Ireland.
It is an easy one to market for the UFC between these two likable fan favorites. The fight itself would be one of the most action packed exciting fights. When you breakdown the matchup it has potential fight of the year possibilities.
They are both durable aggressive fighters. McGregor is very technical on his feet with unteachable movement. He uses space, distance and timing to setup devastating combinations. He has shown good takedown defense so far but has not faced someone with the skill set of Guida in that area.
McGregor does have a an excellent jiu-jitsu game if the fight did go to the ground. Which it probably would as Guida is one of the best at getting fights to the ground due in large part to his relentlessness. He is a human dynamo constantly coming forward with incredibly difficult to read non-stop style. It is filled with constant herky-jerky motion with level changes and without any discernible pattern. He can be very frustrating to a lot of opponents.
While Guida is still durable he has gotten better with his standup defense. This is due to his work with Greg Jackson and Mike Winklejohn. They have turned his reckless frenetic style into one that is still relentless but controlled. He does not take as many big shots each fight.
Guida looked at his best in the win over Tatsuya Kawajiri at UFC Fight Night 39 in Abu Dhabi. He showcased his strong grappling after rocking Kawajiri early in the fight. It was an entertaining fight as both fighters were aggressive with their ground games creating some exciting scrambles, submission attempts and slams.
Afterwards, Guida talked about how he had been working on his standup and wanted his first UFC KO in this fight. Kawajiri had little interest in engaging in a striking match, especially after Guida caught him clean and dropped him in the first round.
That will not be an issue with McGregor who is an excellent technical striker with devastating power. We saw that in his Babe Ruthian KOTN UFC debut against Marcus Brimage. He called his shot before the fight and delivered.
We saw his toughness in his next fight against talent young striker Max Hollaway. McGregor tore his ACL in that fight but fought through it to take the unanimous decision. Afterwards he was disappointed in his performance as he did not get the finish. He did display a lot of heart and grittiness.
Currently, McGregor is on pace to be ready for the Dublin card. It was thought that his opponent would be Cole Miller which would be a fun fight but the Guida one is much more intriguing one against a top ten opponent. Guida is a fighter whose reputation is bigger than his ranking. He is the last fighter to defeat current UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis maybe the most dynamic striker in the lower weight classes.
This would be a great fight for both fighters. It would be the perfect test to see which one of them is ready to challenge for the title. A win would not get them the next shot but it would leave them just one fight away from the title.
It would also potentially be one of the best fights of the year. They are both warriors at heart who come to fight every single time they step into the octagon. This one just has to happen.
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