Clay Guida will take on Ben Henderson Saturday at UFC on Fox 1. | Photo: Dave Mandel
Clay Guida could earn a lightweight title shot if he beats Ben Henderson on Saturday at UFC on Fox 1.
Still, he wants Henderson to be at his best for the bout. In Guida’s view, that will make a victory over him all the more impressive.
“Ben Henderson is a high-level competitor,” Guida told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “He’s been on a tear as of late. That was the best Ben Henderson we’ve seen that dominated Jim Miller. … I’m expecting another great camp from Ben Henderson. I want him in tip-top shape. That way, after I defeat him, the UFC can’t deny [me] a long-awaited title shot.”
Guida is coming off a win over Anthony Pettis, who had earned a title shot by beating Henderson in the WEC. Pettis was bumped from fighting for the belt, though, when a third bout between Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard was scheduled, and then Guida defeated him via unanimous decision in June. Guida outgrappled Pettis for the win, but some fans criticized the performance as less than entertaining.
“People can say what they want,” Guida said. “It’s impossible to have a boring fight against Anthony Pettis. I was defending submissions and ground-and-pounding him for 15 minutes and taking him down at will. I think people that thought that was a boring fight might be watching a different fight.”
Regardless, Guida won. The victory was his fourth straight since losing to Kenny Florian in December 2009.
“Kenny Florian was a big day in my life,” Guida said. “It was a turning point as far as, I learned a lesson fighting Kenny: not to strike with a striker. I need to fight my fight, and that’s been the [strategy] the past four or five fights.”
It has worked too. Now, after five years and 14 fights in the UFC, Guida is on the brink of a title bout.
“I’m going to go out and prove that I’m the number one contender,” Guida said. “There’s no clear-cut number one contender, evidently, on paper, because Ben Henderson beat Jim Miller, who was the number one contender and now we’re fighting. I’m going to prove that I am the number one contender in the lightweight division. I’m going to let people know that ‘The Carpenter’ is here to stay.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:14:11).