October 11, 2010

UFC fighter Clay Guida took to the airwaves on Sunday night on ESPN 1100 radio in Chicago to announce his fight. He’ll take on Japanese superstar Takanori Gomi in a lightweight showdown at UFC 125 on New Year’s Day in Las Vegas.

“It’s time for ‘The Dude’ to get back into camp and get ready to take down Takanori Gomi, one of my favorite fighters growing up and watching MMA,” he revealed on ESPN 1100’s MMA Tonight. “I look up to him and I’m gonna look up to picking him up off of the ground after I ground and pound him into the canvas.”

Guida (27-11) finished 2009 and a two-fight skid, but rebounded this year with back-to-back victories over Shannon Gugerty and Rafael dos Anjos. Part of that turnaround has to do with shifting much of his fight preparation to Greg Jackson’s camp in Albuquerque, N.M., and the Grudge Training Center in Denver. He’s confident he can start 2011 on a high note with the fight against Gomi.

“I’m gonna beat him to the punch. I’m gonna take him down and implement my game plan,” said Guida.

A former champion in both Pride and Shooto in Japan, Gomi (32-6) received a rude welcome to the Octagon in the form of Kenny Florian at a UFC Fight Night event in March. He returned to form, however, in August, knocking out Tyson Griffin at UFC on Versus 2.

This bout between Guida and Gomi puts either on the fast track towards title contention. It won’t immediately line either up for the winner of Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, who are battling for Edgar’s lightweight belt in the UFC 125 main event, but would likely put the victor one or two more quality wins away from title contention.