Two UFC veterans are set to face off against each other on May 11 at UFC 237 when Clay “The Carpenter” Guida takes on former lightweight champion B.J. Penn.
This will be the first time the pair will meet inside the Octagon -- or in any MMA bout for that matter -- even though both have competed in the UFC for well over a decade and have over 40 UFC bouts between them. Guida claims he didn’t hesitate to accept the fight when the UFC matchmakers called but said he was surprised to hear that the former champ Penn has not won a fight since his win over Matt Hughes at UFC 123 in November 2010.
“A close friend of mine who’s a huge fight fan, he’s very knowledgeable about the sport, and I couldn’t believe it when he said that it’s been 2010 since he won a fight,” Guida said in a recent edition of The MMA Hour. “So I mean, it’s kind of hard to believe that. It’s hard to think that a guy who was a former two-time champion at lightweight and welterweight hasn’t won a fight in nine-plus years. It’s pretty incredible.”
Guida claims it’s a privilege to face someone with a decorated career such as Penn even though he is past his best. The 37-year-old also maintained it’s not his place to say whether Penn should hang up his gloves.
“But getting in the cage with someone like B.J. Penn, it’s an opportunity you can’t turn down. He’s the only one, and his camp and his family are the only ones to say if he should be competing or not. So that’s totally up to him. I’m not in a position to say that. So I’m accepting the fight, and we’re gonna put on a show for the fans.”
UFC 237 takes place on May 11, 2019 at Jeunesse Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While the card is still taking shape, it features a strawweight title fight between Rose Namajunas and Jessica Andrade as well as a pair of Brazilian legends fighting on home soil, as Jose Aldo takes on Alexander Volkanovski in a high-stakes featherweight contenders' match and Anderson Silva squares off with Jared Cannonier at middleweight.