Clay Guida promises to push pace against Tatsuya Kawajiri

Elias Cepeda
UFC Fight Night Weigh-in
ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - APRIL 10: Clay Guida and Tatsuya Kawajiri of Japan face-off after they weigh-in for UFC Fight Night 39 on April 10, 2014 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates. UFC Fight Night 39 will take place on April 11 at du Arena featuring Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira and Roy Nelson. (Photo by Maxx Wolfson/Getty Images)

UFC featherweight Clay Guida has a lot of praise and respect for his opponent tomorrow in Abu Dhabi, Japanese legend Tatsuya Kawajiri. "Going to be a heck of a fight. He's fought for belts, he's had belts. He's had some amazing fights, some amazing submissions, very memorable battles in Pride Bushido, Shooto, and it's cool to see the UFC give me this opportunity in neutral ground, in Abu Dhabi in front of just amazing fans," the ever-positive Guida recently told Ray Flores on ESPN Chicago's Fighting Words podcast.

That said, "The Carpenter" is certain that he can push Kawakiri to his breaking point through his conditioning and relentlessness. "I don't know if he knows what deep water is, yet," Guida said.

"He's fought a couple 45ers and he's about to see what fast-paced is...he's about to see what a full gas tank is at 110 miles per hour."

The American wrestler himself has not fought since August of last year when he lost to top contender Chad Mendes via TKO. Since that time, Guida has rested, coached, traveled and rehabbed injuries.

The time off was well-spent, according to the fighter, and he says he's in a good mental place to rebound from the loss.


"You have to have short-term memory. I believe, sometimes in life and definitely in sports," Guida explained.

"Chad taught me a valuable lesson, just like Kenny Florian did right before I went on a pretty good win streak. Just little things that my brother tells me every day in practice. 'Hands up, stay off the fence.' 'Hands up, don't back up.' Chad made me pay for it, unfortunately.

"I'm really looking forward to bouncing back after a nice lay off, resting my body. The body needed to readjust and repair. I had some lower back issues that called for rest. Did a lot of traveling, a lot of coaching, a lot of learning and developing of some skills."

Who are you picking in Friday's UFC co-main event? Let us know in the comments section.

Follow Elias on Twitter @EliasCepeda & @YahooCagewriter