At UFC 107: "Penn vs. Sanchez" on Dec. 12, lightweight contender Clay "The Carpenter" Guida (20-10) will take his frenetic, caution-to-the-wind style against the technical fighting of Kenny Florian (11-4/9-3UFC) in an effort to move one step closer to a title shot.
I got the chance to get in a few quick questions with Clay between an autograph session and a workout before he was off to watch the Couture vs. Vera fight this weekend.
Check it out:
Michael McColgan (MMAmania.com): First off, anything new you would like to talk about. Last night you mentioned a new clothing company.
Clay Guida: Yeah it’s pretty simple, it’s called FightNightCustoms.com. It comes out Dec. 1. It basically takes the headache away from fighters having to run around last minute and get their shorts customized, get all their leg spots, get all the decals and logos put on there, get their shirts done, the banners they hold up in the ring or cage. It takes away the headache of that. They can go on the Web site, design their own shorts, send the file to us, we print them out and send them to you within the next day or so. Shirts, shorts, whatever. If you want your camp to have the same matching shirts, shorts — or shirts for your parents, your friends, family, fans, stuff like that. Yeah, check it out, we launch the Web site (www.fightnightcustoms.com) Dec. 1. It’s gonna be great.
Michael McColgan (MMAmania.com): On your last fight, a close split decision loss to Diego Sanchez. Now he gets a title shot and you are fighting the guy who just came off a title shot. If you get through Kenny, where do you think that puts you in the title mix?
Clay Guida: It definitely puts us back in the driver’s seat. Obviously … both Kenny and I have struggled in big fights. He’s lost two title fights, and I’ve lost two main event fights, so I don’t think it has anything to do with the pressure, but that we’ve been fighting tough competition. The other guys have been the better fighter that night. Whatever it may be, I definitely think the winner of this fight is gonna put me right back in the driver’s seat and people are gonna see that I am the number one contender. I don’t expect the UFC to come knocking on my door for a title shot, but I am going to be right up there with the Gray Maynard’s, the Frankie Edgar’s. It’s so deep right now so it’s going to be real interesting to see how it plays out after I put a beating on Kenny.
Michael McColgan (MMAmania.com): What do you think will be the deciding factor on you beating Kenny Florian?
Clay Guida: Transitioning from the punches to getting him on his back where we’re going to be confident that I am going to win the fight. His plan is to keep it on the feet as long as he can, try to defend takedowns. If and when I do get a takedown, he is going to try to be raining elbows from the bottom, and if that’s his only game plan, it’s gonna be a long night for him. He feeds right into our gameplan.
Michael McColgan (MMAmania.com): Anything special or different to prepare for this fight?
Clay Guida: Yeah, special and different. I think every fighter, or every professional athlete, needs to sometimes wander abroad a little bit and see what else is out there. So I found my way over to Greg Jackson’s Mixed Martial Arts in Albuquerque, New Mexico and from what I’ve seen in all the gyms I’ve been to, whether it be for a few days or a week at a time, I am sticking with Jackson’s for big fights and stuff like that. The guys over there are so dialed in. They have new faces popping in there every day, not every week or month. There’s dude’s coming in from all over the country, all walks of life, top-notch guys, just a real good pattern of fighters, and we all mold together. We are all working it for two things: to have fun and win fights.
Michael McColgan (MMAmania.com): Let’s say you beat Kenny and B.J. defends the title, if you had your choice would you rather rematch Diego or go right in for the title?
Clay Guida: I am always about going in and fighting the bigger, better guy, man. Everyone saw the fight played out with Diego, I am all about getting that strap. There might be rematches down the road, but I’m all about moving on and seeing what’s best out there for me, and fight the best competition. Put the rematches behind and go for the gold.
Michael McColgan (MMAmania.com): Anything you would like to add?
Clay Guida: I would just like to thank MMAStop Fight Management, they’ve been big supporters of mine. Want to thank the Chicago Carpenters Union, Silver Star, don’t forget to check the new Clay Guida shirt that will be out for the Clay/Kenny fight.