Long time lightweight contender Clay Guida recently announced that he would drop down to featherweight for his next fight. He's also got his eye on fighting top competition in the division, namely former lightweight champion Frankie Edgar.
Edgar lost his belt to Benson Henderson and then lost another tight decision to "Bendo" in their rematch. He recently stepped up by dropping down in weight to fight featherweight champ Jose Also but never got the chance when an injury forced Aldo out of the bout.
It would seem that Edgar is now a featherweight in search of another high profile fight. Now that he's followed Edgar to 145lbs, Clay says he'd welcome the chance to scrap with "The Answer."
"That would be a great match up," Guida tells Yahoo! Sports. "I've got a great deal of respect for Frankie and this fight has been a long time coming…[We are] both down here at 145 now and I'm going to make my mark in the division right out of the gate."
Given that at lightweight he was often out-weighed by as much as 15-20 pounds, it makes sense for Guida to want to try his luck at 145lbs, especially since he's coming off of consecutive close losses to now champion Henderson and top contender Gray Maynard. Both he and Edgar found a great deal of success at lightweight despite being vastly undersized and both are coming off of losses to the same men.
Guida would love to fight Edgar but insists that he'd be honored to fight anyone the UFC puts in front of him. "The Carpenter" says he'd love to get back to work in the cage on the UFC's New Year's card but is open to anything in that time range.
Many fighters conduct practice or "test" cuts when deciding whether or not they can successfully go down in weight. They want to see how hard it would be for them to drop weight and how they'd feel at the new weight.
Guida says he's done no such thing. "No sir," he says.
His confidence that he will make the weight cut successfully just comes from a belief in himself. "It's just a wrestler's mentality, man. You make the commitment to go down and you don't take no for an answer," Clay explains.
The Jackson's MMA team member admits that he was a teenager the last time he weighed 145 pounds but says he will adapt. He doesn't intend to dehydrate himself in extreme fashion the day before his next fight in order to make weight, but instead diet down slowly.
"For me it's always a gradual thing," he says. "At '55 I didn't cut a pound so we were pretty fortunate. I definitely have a little extra fat around the waist. Fans and media see us on the scale but they don't see us the weeks leading up to the fight. I still had a few extra pounds I could shed at 155 so I'm sure 146 won't be too far off, especially with the right nutritionist and dietician."
Guida says he looks at himself and Edgar as almost half of the top fighters in the lightweight division and believes that he will find success at featherweight because of his consistent skill development. "I really believe that I've improved more rapidly than just about anyone else in that lightweight division," he says.
"Outside of Nate Diaz I haven't seen a lot of improvements in the top contenders. I fixed a lot of things and believe that I'll only continue to improve with the coaches and training partners that I have. I have a lot to prove [at featherweight] and I'm super excited."
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