by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Since joining the Ultimate Fighting Championship, Clay Guida has put on some of the most exciting fights the lightweight division has ever seen. Now he gets a chance to ply his craft in the main event of The Ultimate Fighter Finale on Dec. 8, as he faces popular fighter Roger Huerta.
“I think it was more timing than anything,” said Guida of his sudden rise to main event status. “I was out at Ultimate Fight Night a couple weeks ago at the Palms and Joe Silva approached me and mentioned it. It sounded like a good fight for the both of us. This has fight of the year written all over it.”
“Fight of the year” indeed, as both Guida and Huerta have been involved in bouts that left fans muttering such words.
For Guida this is also the culmination of a dream since joining the UFC. He will now be part of the main event of a show that’s expected to draw huge ratings, as the heat between coaches Matt Serra and Matt Hughes will lead in to their Dec. 29 fight.
“I can’t even describe in words how awesome this is,” Guida said about headlining the show. “It’s something that I didn’t think would be happening this soon in my career. I think the UFC identifies with people who are going to leave it out there and yeah, I’ve had a bunch of fights go to decision, but I’m always out there giving my best and putting on a good show.”
Huerta has come under criticism from many people since being on the cover of Sports Illustrated some months ago, mostly because of his perceived lack of facing big-name opponents. Guida should be the toughest test he has faced yet.
And while he understands the importance of this bout, Guida respects his opponent and can’t wait to put on a show for the fans.
“Roger’s awesome,” said Guida. “Some people talk him up, some don’t talk so high of him, but he’s a great guy. He’s a friend of mine. I think it’s a fight that needs to happen.”
The UFC lightweight division is still wide open and the title may be as well. Following the successful defense of his title in July, UFC Lightweight Champion Sean Sherk tested positive for steroids. A hearing in front of the California State Athletic Commission later this month will determine his fate.
Regardless of the outcome, the fight between Guida and Huerta is likely to create another contender for the belt, whether Sherk holds it or not.