The UFC Featherweight match between Chad Mendes and Clay Guida has been rescheduled for Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 31st as a main card bout at UFC 164. The two were originally slated to meet in April at the UFC on FOX 7 event, however Guida was forced to pull out due to an injury. Guida was unimpressive in his first foray at 145 lbs, though he defeated Hatsu Hioki, while Mendes has been wiping people out, notching 3 wins in less than four minutes total. The match may have title match implications, though the division is loaded, and both men have other reasons to turn in a strong performance.
Guida needs to win this match if he is going to establish himself in the weight class. He came to the 145 lb class after a widely criticized performance against Gray Maynard, a match he maintains thinking that he won, and he didn’t raise his stock against Hioki.
What has slowed Guida down has been the strategies and game plans he has been using in his last few fights. He no longer seems like the instinctual fighter that creates chaos in his fights like when he was at his best.
His best chance is to fight Mendes in the style he fought Maynard. Mendes will be a bit smaller in stature, and he will be looking to land his big shots. Guida will take some shots, but his best bet is to avoid the shots by becoming a moving target and letting Mendes have to chase him down.
If the fight does break down into a firefight, it will come down to Guida’s chin, which has been tested in the past and it has held up for him. Mendes has put people out since his loss to Aldo, and Guida can be very hittable. If Guida can take the punches without getting stopped (remember cuts and blood are a factor here too) perhaps he can tire Mendes out and steal some rounds.
Look for Mendes to be favored at the books going into the fight. For Mendes, a win means an almost certain rematch with Aldo next. For Guida, he just needs this win to get back on track and show he still has ‘it’.