Sherdog’s Top 10: Late Bloomers

Number 10

By C.J. Tuttle Jul 30, 2014
Clay Guida had 22 fights under his belt before entering the UFC. | Photo: Dave Mandel/

10. Clay Guida

Beginning his MMA career in 2003, Guida amassed an 18-4 record on the independent circuit before signing with Strikeforce. In his promotional debut, “The Carpenter” bested Josh Thomson on the judges’ scorecards to win the lightweight title, only to lose it to Gilbert Melendez three months later.

Guida went on to fight twice more before signing with the Ultimate Fighting Championship and reaching the upper echelon of the 155-pound division. Since joining Zuffa in 2006, the Jackson-Wink MMA product has earned a reputation as one of the most entertaining fighters on the roster; and he has the bank account to prove it, earning six “Fight of the Night” bonuses to go along with his three “Submission of the Night” awards. In addition to monetary recognition, Guida’s clash with Roger Huerta at “The Ultimate Fighter 6” Finale and battle with Diego Sanchez at “The Ultimate Fighter 9” Finale are widely regarded by MMA fans and pundits alike as two of the most memorable scraps in UFC history. “The Carpenter” also remains the only man to defeat current UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis inside the Octagon.

At 32, the Illinois native now competes at featherweight, where he has experienced tepid success since dropping 10 extra pounds. Victories over Hatsu Hioki and Tatsuya Kawajiri have been offset by a technical knockout loss to Chad Mendes at UFC 164 and a submission defeat to Dennis Bermudez at UFC on Fox 12.

Number 9 » Tim Kennedy


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