Clay Guida is excited to fight B.J. Penn this Saturday at UFC 237 in Rio de Janeiro Brazil, but there is no denying the version of B.J. Penn that Clay Guida will compete against has lost a step, certainly based on the results his career has generated. There was a time when B.J. Penn was running roughshod through the competition, so much so that he was able to win a world championship in two different weight classes. And 10 years ago, while Penn was the lightweight champion, Clay Guida was also in the UFC moving up the ranks. If the two would have fought at that time, there would be no mention of B.J. Penn’s talent diminishing, much less whether or not the man should be fighting at all. And 10 years ago, Guida believes he could have defeated that prime version of B.J. Penn:
“The opportunity to fight B.J. Penn, we jumped right at it,” Guida told MMA Junkie. “We were on a crash course. Probably 10 years ago this fight should’ve happened. If I eked out a decision over Diego Sanchez, maybe I would’ve gotten the nod against him when B.J. was unstoppable at that time. He had just finished Sean Sherk, he beat Joe Stevenson, he manhandled Kenny Florian, and he just dismantled Diego Sanchez for the title.
“Maybe it was a little bit early for us. I think timing is everything in this sport, and the fans are going to get what they want whether it was 10 years ago or now.”
Some fans are not expecting to get “what they want” from this bout at all, with many people holding the belief that B.J. Penn should hang it up, not merely because of age but because the 40-year-old is currently on a six-fight losing streak. Clay Guida is not overlooking Penn, though, and promises that fans will enjoy what they see when the two clash at UFC 237:
“He’s always dangerous, and we’re definitely not overlooking him, and we’re bringing these guns blazing,” Guida continued. “I see an all-out scrap. Like B.J.’s shirts used to say, ‘Just Scrap,’ you’re going to see an old dog with new tricks in there. … A desperate man is a dangerous man. He’s fought the who’s who. He’s got power in his hands, he’s no one to take lightly on the ground, he’s submitted the best of the best. We’re going to put the pace on him and bring the old Guida ground-and-pound.”
What are you expecting out of the B.J. Penn vs. Clay Guida Matchup at UFC 237?