It’s been shown in any number of fights throughout MMA history that cardio can absolutely be a formidable weapon in the cage or ring.
Some fighters absolutely pride themselves on their cardio. Following a loss to Frank Shamrock in 1999, former UFC light heavyweight champion Tito Ortiz vowed to never get tired in a fight again, and it helped catapult him to his title run through the UFC’s best at 205 pounds.
In the world of the UFC today, when cardio is mentioned, no one sits higher on the list that lightweight contender Clay Guida.
A sparkplug of energy as he walks to the Octagon, Guida is a cardio monster that has pushed the pace in every, single one of his fights, and on several occasions has been able to break his opponent’s will simply by having gas left in the tank when they don’t.
Heading into his fight with Benson Henderson at UFC on Fox this weekend, Guida is once again ready to push his opponent to the breaking point, and then finishing him off when he can’t take anymore.
“I want to see what these guys are made of, and see if they really stand the test of time, see if they know what real cardio is,” Guida told MMAWeekly Radio recently. “Cause I saw him get a little shaky against Anthony Pettis, we’ve seen him and Donald Cerrone go five rounds, that was a couple of years ago, but we kind of saw Pettis push him around the cage a little bit. He felt that power in his strikes.”
Guida respects Henderson’s skills in the cage, but doesn’t believe the former WEC champion has what it takes to hang with him if their fight goes all 15 minutes.
“I’m going to show him what real cardio is all about, what altitude training is all about,” Guida said with confidence.
During his time with the WEC and UFC, Benson Henderson has also been able to outlast his opponents in crucial moments because he still had the necessary energy left to land combinations or slap on a submission.
Henderson has seen all of Guida’s fights, but he’s confident in his ability to be the first person to push the Chicago area fighter beyond his limit.
“I’ve always relied on my cardio to push the other guy, to break the other guy. I’ve used it, I’ve relied on it ever since I was in junior high wrestling. It doesn’t really matter who my opponent is, I definitely always think I have the upper hand in cardio. I always push to break the other guy,” Henderson told MMAWeekly Radio.
While both fighters would obviously love a first-round finish, Guida and Henderson are both fully prepared to go all 15 minutes if necessary.
Henderson, much like Guida, isn’t backing down when it comes to who will truly have the gas tank to go for three rounds.
“We will find out who has the better cardio, who can keep that pace up for a longer time,” said Henderson. “I guarantee you I’m not going to be the one stopping. I’m not going to be the one slowing it down.”
So who will have the better cardio between Clay Guida and Benson Henderson? Tune in Saturday night to find out.