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Clay Guida's featherweight journey starts with Hatsu Hioki at UFC on Fox 6

Clay Guida talks about dropping down to featherweight and finding all the success he failed to attain at 155-pounds. Up first: Hatsu Hioki at UFC on FOX 6: "Johnson vs. Dodson" on Jan. 26, 2013, in Chicago.

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It was only a matter of time before the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight division started filling up with lightweights looking for a different road to gold. After all, failing at 155-pounds doesn't mean it's all over, it just means an extended diet to cut 10 more.

When you can have a fresh start, why wouldn't you?

The latest to venture on down to 145-pounds is Clay Guida, a longtime veteran who found plenty of success at lightweight but simply couldn't get over that final hump, as he told

"We fought the best in the lightweight division and got very close to the top. We've had a couple of chances for a number one contendership or whatever you want to call it, and had some Fight of the Night bonuses and Fight of the Years. We've been all over the place and it's been a fun road, and the road is gonna continue with more success at featherweight."

He expanded on this point even further by looking back on his UFC run with disappointment:

"Looking at my record in the UFC, 9-7, it just doesn't sit well, and I demand more out of myself and I know I can do better and always improve. People see my fighting style, and if they've seen my fights, that record could be 15-1 just like that. I think there's only really one fight that I went out there and it wasn't even a close fight, and that was the Kenny Florian fight (in 2009), which helped change my career in a positive way. So looking at it as a whole and in the bigger picture of my career, after the Maynard fight I spoke with my brother (fellow fighter Jason Guida), who is a huge influence in my life and my career, and he said it might be that time to cut those extra pounds and get down to '45 and start pushing people around and start knocking dudes out. He said ‘You had some close fights, you stunned Gray a few times and wobbled Ben, but we've gotta start finishing these guys.' So I thought about that, and let it soak in for a while."

His featherweight journey begins at UFC on Fox 6: "Johnson vs. Dodson" on Sat., Jan. 26, 2013, in Chicago, Illinois, against Hatsu Hioki, one of the toughest in the world at that weight class.

Will he finally find the success he's been looking for all his life? Or will he crash and burn with close decisions and disappointing performances?

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