Clay Guida draws Michael Johnson this weekend at UFC Vegas 18
We have a very exciting preliminary bout going down this weekend at UFC Vegas 18, as longtime lightweight, and shorttime featherweight veterans Clay Guida and Michael Johnson battle it out in the preliminary main event of the evening.
This is a very compelling match up, they’ve both lost a good amount recently, but they’re also both still very skilled lightweight talents. As mentioned above, these are two longtime UFC veterans, so we’ll start out with Mr. Guida, considering he’s been around a few years longer.
Clay Guida (35-20) vs. Michael Johnson (19-16)
Clay Guida first came to the UFC in 2006, seven months after winning the inaugural Strikeforce lightweight championship against Josh Thomson. Guida submitted (rear naked choke) his debut opponent at 4:42 of round two.
Following his UFC debut, Guida was dealt two straight defeats; the first against Din Thomas (UD), and the second against Tyson Griffin (SD). He rebounded from this by defeating Marcus Aurelio via split decision.
This granted him a fight against the surging Roger Huerta, who was 19-1-1 as a professional, and had already gone 5-0 inside the octagon. Huerta submitted (rear naked choke) Guida early in round three, marking his fifth straight victory of 2007.
Guida then went on a three-fight win streak, defeating the likes of Samy Schiavo (TKO), The Ultimate Fighter 6 winner Mac Danzig (UD), and The Ultimate Fighter 5 winner Nate Diaz (SD). He was then defeated by Diego Sanchez (SD) and Kenny Florian (rear naked choke), before going on a four-fight win streak with three finishes.
This included victories over the likes of Shannon Gugerty (arm-triangle choke), Rafael dos Anjos (jaw injury), Takanori Gomi (guillotine choke), and Anthony Pettis (UD). Next came back-to-back defeats to Benson Henderson (UD) and Gray Maynard (SD), before he defeated Hatsu Hioki via split decision.
Guida was finished via strikes for the first time ever in his next outing, as Chad Mendes TKO’d him early in round three of his next bout. He rebounded from this with a unanimous decision victory over Tatsuya Kawajiri.
‘The Carpenter’ has gone 4-6 since this, defeating the likes of Robbie Peralta (UD), Erik Koch (UD), Joe Lauzon (TKO), and BJ Penn (UD) in that time. Though that record doesn’t look the best, he’s proven to be a terrible match up for some of the best in the sport.
We first got notice of Michael ‘The Menace’ Johnson on the set of The Ultimate Fighter 12, where he went 4-0 on the show and made it to the finals against Jonathan Brookins. Though Johnson looked great in round one, Brookins was able to make the proper adjustments to out-wrestle Johnson in rounds two and three to pick up the unanimous decision victory.
Johnson rebounded from this with a first-round TKO victory, before being submitted (heel hook) by Paul Sass.
Following this defeat, ‘The Menace’ won his next three bouts over the likes of Shane Roller (UD), Tony Ferguson (UD), and Danny Castillo (KO). He remained the only man to defeat Ferguson for the next eight years through sixteen of Ferguson’s UFC fights.
Myles Jury put a close to Johnson’s win streak, out-wrestling him to a unanimous decision victory, before Reza Madadi submitted (D’Arce choke) him in round three. Johnson went on another win streak after this, this time making it to four in a row against the likes of Joe Lauzon (UD), Gleison Tibau (KO), Melvin Guillard (UD), and Edson Barboza (UD).
This streak was interrupted by a terribly controversial split decision defeat to Beneil Dariush, before he was out-boxed for three rounds by Nate Diaz. Johnson came back to KO Dustin Poirier in just 95 seconds, and he was right back where he needed to be.
However, he was next matched up with Khabib Nurmagomedov, who absolutely mauled him and beat him down, submitting (kimura) him in round three. And next came a bout against the debuting Justin Gaethje, who became the first man to finish Johnson via strikes, doing so in round two.
Johnson then moved down to 145 lbs, where many of us believed he was going to do very well. After nearly knocking Darren Elkins out multiple times in round one, Elkins rallied for the second round submission (rear naked choke) victory, marking Johnson’s third-straight defeat.
‘The Menace’ then defeated Andre Fili (SD) and Artem Lobov (UD), he looked pretty good in both of those fights. Johnson then had a back-and-forth fight with Josh Emmett, before being viciously KO’d him in the last minute of round three.
Johnson moved back up to 155 lbs after this, only to lose a majority decision to Stevie Ray. He looked incredible in his last fight against Thiago Moises, his striking was looking great in round one.
It looked like he was about to get the finish here quickly in this next round, but Moises dropped for Johnson’s leg and ankle locked him just 25 seconds into round two.
It’s so rare you see that submission in mixed martial arts, especially at the highest level.`
As you see, both of these talents have had their fair share of inconsistency throughout their careers, but they’ve also shown a few moments of brilliance. Guida was the kryptonite to future champions like Anthony Pettis and Rafael dos Anjos, he defeated Nate Diaz handily, and he defeated three Japanese legends in Takanori Gomi, Hatsu Hioki, and Tatsuya Kawajiri.
Johnson has also been the kryptonite to some elite talents, having been the only man the defeat Tony Ferguson in the UFC for ages. Ferguson racked up a 15-1 record inside the UFC before losing to Justin Gaethje last year, with his only defeat coming to Johnson. More over, Johnson won all three rounds against him handily.
Johnson also defeated Edson Barboza, who was in the top six for a good five years, and he KO’d Dustin Poirier. He has victories over three longtime top five lightweights in the sport. Of course, Barboza is down at 145 lbs now, and Ferguson isn’t in the top five anymore, but they were right there for a considerable amount of time.
One thing’s for certain when looking at this match up: Johnson is the superior striker by a mile, and Guida is the superior grappler and wrestler by a mile. Johnson did start out with wrestling, but he has been taken down and handled before.
With Johnson standing 5’10” with a 73.5” reach, and Guida standing 5’7” with a 70” reach, this should be a telling fight from the start. If Guida can’t get Johnson down quickly, he may be in trouble with those insanely fast and powerful hands Johnson possesses.
The same goes for Johnson; if he can’t stuff those takedowns, especially the early attempts, he’s going to get mauled.
How do you see this lightweight bout going?
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That’s the first fight I saw, and the fight that got me hooked on the sport. Since then, the sport has grown so rapidly, and my goal is to enlighten everyone on what’s going on in the sport today.