MMA legend Clay Guida seeks to replicate Glover Teixeira's win
MANILA, Philippines – The age of 40 is said to be a no man’s land in sports with the prime of any athlete being the late 20s to the early 30s.
Meanwhile, some would argue that American mixed martial artist Clay Guida should have hung it up as he has gone 2-4 since 2018. His last bout ended up in a loss via split decision over Olympic silver medalist Mark Madsen last August 21.
Guida, who is turning 40 on December 8, takes hope from Glover Teixeira, who snatched the light heavyweight championship from Jan Blachowicz two days after he turned 42 in UFC 267 last October 30.
He will be facing Leonardo Santos in a lightweight bout in UFC Fight Night: Aldo vs Font at the UFC Apex in Las Vegas on December 5. The fight will be shown live in Manila over Tap Sports on Skycable and Cignal as well as the Tap Go streaming application.
“Obviously people tell me to hang up all the time,” Guida told Philstar.com in an exclusive interview with. “Retirement is the furthest thing on my mind. I feel blessed to be healthy and go 150 miles an hour at my age.”
Guida (36-21, including 16-16 in the UFC) is in his 18th year of MMA competition. However, he won’t be up against a young thoroughbred. Santos (18-4) is older at 41.
“I am thankful I have been given an opportunity to fight against a legend,” Santos told reporters in his pre-fight interview.
“I try to make an example (of these guys) and give them a taste of reality that we’re not a gatekeeper,” answered Guida. “If you go through these doors you will find that door slammed in your face. A lot of guys find out the hard way.”
Unfortunately, sometimes the results go through the hands of the judges.
“Being able to take on an Olympic finalist in Mark Madsen was an honor. It was a great opportunity, and it was a huge lesson for us too. We know we outworked an Olympic silver medalist. I am sure he knows that as well. It may be that one judge did not appreciate it as much but it is all good.”
“We’ve been through some close decisions like that, we know it is always a coin toss. As Dana White says always, ‘Don’t leave it to the judges.’”
“Having said that, it carried over to the training camp for this fight. We are not going to leave any stone unturned against Santos. We’re going to grapple; do jiu jitsu. We’re going to box and strike and I’m going to ram that gas pedal and show the crowd and the UFC that the cardio king is here to stay.”
“I have beaten some of the best and lost to some of the best. We’re always knocking on the door over a victory over the next guy. That is what matters at this stage of my career.”