CHICAGO -- Clay Guida will take on Hatsu Hioki on Saturday's UFC on Fox 6 card. It will mark Guida's first fight at featherweight, but before the bout and weigh-ins, he has another match on his mind.
Montini Catholic's wrestling team will face the Oak Park River Forest Huskies, and Guida will be matside to coach. He wrestled in high school and was part of a junior college national championship team at Harper College in suburban Chicago.
"I got a big wrestling meet tonight with the team I help coach, Montini Catholic at Oak Park-River Forest. We're no. 1, going for our sixth-straight state title. I believe they're no. 1 ranked in 3A, no. 2 in the state. Two top-10 teams in the nation."
Guida's longtime wrestling coach, Izzy Martinez, coaches at Montini, and he's brought fighters like Guida in to help his team. Guida's fight taking place in his hometown of Chicago days after Montini's biggest dual meet is lucky scheduling because it allows Guida to be at the meet. Working with the high school wrestlers gives Guida inspiration.
"It's a huge part of my training. These kids motivate me," Guida said during open workouts.
Guida says this fight is a new start for him. He was criticized by UFC president Dana White and fans for the loss to Gray Maynard for a safe fight strategy. Guida says that fight is behind him.
"You're going to see a more energetic, revamped Clay Guida. Educated fight fans see the strides I have made. I believe I'm one of the most improved lightweights, and soon to be featherweights, in the UFC. You see my striking. I outstruck Gray, I outgrappled Gray. I beat him everywhere except on the judges' scorecards. I'm beyond that now. It was a learning experience, and Hatsu Hioki is going to pay for it."
But before he gets in the cage with Hioki, it's the Montini Broncos' turn to perform, and Guida will be there coaching them on.