Manager Believes Clay Guida Should Be Next for Ben Henderson; Expands on Management Problems in MMA

August 16, 2011
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Ben Henderson - UFC

Ben Henderson

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Malki Kawa of First Round Management is trying to change the face of MMA management by eliminating the negative stigmas that have come hand in hand with it since MMA started getting mass exposure.

He has some standards of representation that you won’t find in practice with some of the current fighter management teams. For instance, he doesn’t believe in locking down his athletes in long term contracts.

He feels that if a fighter is unhappy with their management, they should be able to leave on their own terms, and without having to pay an early termination fee. He goes on to say that all of his fighters are signed to the same deal.

Kawa outlined the details of signing Jon Jones, amidst some controversy that he may have acted unethically and stolen Jones from another manager.

He denied those rumors, saying, “Jon approached one of my clients, which was Thiago Alves, and he asked him who represented him, because (Jones) wanted the same representation. And that’s how our relationship started. It took a certain amount of money to settle to get out. I don’t think Jon is ever going to look back again because of the type of work I do for him.”

When addressing management with questionable practices of paying fighters to stay with their respective agencies, he had a message.

“If you’re a manager and you’re paying a fighter who’s in the UFC money so that they can be with you, you suck,” Kawa stated. “You’re probably the worst type of manager out there. And if you’re a fighter, and you’re taking money from a manager for the same reason, then you probably suck too, and you shouldn’t do it.”

Kawa doesn’t believe in taking a percentage of “Fight of the Night” or other bonuses promotions offer to fighters either. He believes that only the athlete is responsible for performance based bonuses, and the management team shouldn’t receive compensation for something they had nothing to do with.

Ben Henderson

Regarding Ben Henderson, Kawa believes that he is the number one contender after defeating Jim Miller at UFC on Versus 5 this past weekend. And due to the timing of other contender fights, Melvin Guillard being at the top of the list, Clay Guida will probably be Henderson’s next opponent.

“Clay Guida would be the guy that would make the most sense based on scheduling,” Kawa said.

Diego Sanchez

Kawa also spoke briefly on Diego Sanchez and his upcoming fight with Matt Hughes at UFC 135. He feels that Diego has never been better since rejoining Team Jackson, and that he’s “chased away all his demons.”

To listen to the complete interview with Malki Kawa (@MalkiKawa) check out content partner TapouT Radio.

  • bajafox

    IMO, this fight makes more sense than Clay getting a title shot

    • wonggfan

      I saw that little interview Guida had on Versus. I’ve never seen him act that arrogantly. “I beat the guy that beat him..”?? WTF?

      This is the guy that chokes every time he gets in a big fight.

      Who the fuck does Clay Guida think he is now? I bet you he thinks that he is the #1 contender or some shit.

      Ben Henderson should outclass this bozo.

      • phrankthetank

        Guida is just sick of playing gatekeeper, he wants a title shot. With Jim miller losing to Henderson it puts guida in line. I don’t blame him for not wanting to fight Henderson. Not the most popular route, but smart.

        • wonggfan

          A gate-keeper who is sick of playing a gate-keeper?

          The reason why I never hated on Guida, despite his mediocre skills, is that he was humble and willing to work hard.

          But by refusing to fight Ben, he is acting arrogantly. He also doesn’t want to work hard.

          I hate shit fighters that pick and choose their opponents. Shit fighters do not enjoy that privilege. They need to fight whomever the UFC puts in front of them.

          • phrankthetank

            A shit fighter? Guida may not have the best skillet in mma, but he’s very well rounded and is a work horse! The guy has had14 fights in the UFC including winning his last 4. Most recently against a title contender. The dude is just sick of waiting in line. Squeaky wheel gets the grease. If he just sits there and accepts every fight, he’s gonna gatekeep forever. You are naive if you don’t think damn near everyone, including the precious few fighters you actually like, has turned down fights at some point or another.

          • Cptmats

            I’ll admit Clay isn’t the most excititng fighter to watch but is pretty fuckin far from a gate keeper i would say he is easily top five at least ~!! Pettis was in line for the winner of Edger Maynard and Clay just shut him out 3 rounds to none. Yes he deserves a tittle shot ! but wanting him to prove it with another win over another top five guy isn’t a big deal either ! If they make him fight Henderson and he loses it will be because Henderson is an Incredible fighter a NOT because Guida isn’t !
            One things for sure is ! He sure as hell isn’t a gate keeper !

          • Unador

            Guida won the fight against Pettis, but didn’t really display any significant improvement in his game or strategy. Nor did Guida illustrate how he would be a succesful champion. He squeeked out the victory with pts, all he did was neutralize Pettis by taking him down. He never threatened Pettis with a knockout or sub. He didn’t overcome Pettis, he just didn’t lose to him.
            I actually was more impressed with Pettis’ performance, and activity from the ground than Guida’s. Pettis was actually fighting, trying to win. Guida is more or less in a competition to see who is better. Subtle yet dramatically different.
            Guida proved he was the better take down artist and wrestler. And the judges granted him a win because of it.
            Pettis’ intentions were to beat Guida and win on his own. To prove that he is the better fighter.
            Pettis failed to realize he wasn’t in the octogan with a fighter, but a competitor. It requires a different strategy.

  • j-k-martin

    Now that is a fight I would pay to see.

  • Unador

    Guida, wtf. He needs to fight Ben Henderson before he should be ‘considered’ for a title shot. He certainly doesn’t deserve one now.
    I think it’s just because he’s getting some years on him, and he’s ready to move forward. Perhaps this is his last big push before he retires.
    He should be financially set with so many UFC fights and wins. They haven’t really kept him on the back shelf. He’s just the Chris Leban of the LW division. Who is also on a title hunt to 185 ( which is retarded, Leben isn’t champion caliber either )

    And I don’t understand this ‘turn down fight’ mentality from middle of the road fighters. As long as your getting paid full price for fighting what you consider a no namer, just pad your stats with W’s and collect your check. They can’t throw chump fighters at you all the time. In fact I would want Dana to give me a no name fight. That is the golden opportunity to go out there and destroy someone, just over dominate the fight so bad it embarasses Dana. You will get the fight you want next time.
    If you lose? you had no right fighting a headliner.